It never ceases to amaze me, the things that show up in my mail box. As an AOL member, I have use of some of the finest spam filtering technology in the world, but I still get at least three of the following, each week: The Nigerian Scam, Unsolicited Hot Stock Tips, New Mexico Oil Strike Announcement, and Sexually Explicit Come On’s.
Do you think they could let me send and receive important business letters? No! Mention SFI, or have a link to an Affiliate Gateway in your signature block, and suddenly, you are considered a spammer. Some things just aren’t meant to be easy, but there are a few things we can do to work around these problems.
I’m not going to get into this subject too much, except to say, they are some of the finest and most frustrating tools on the Internet. Any time someone sends an unsolicited commercial message, it should be blocked by the filter. Spam filters assign points to different aspects of a message. Too many points, and a message is filtered out. Where problems arise is when the filter fails to distinguish between legitimate commercial messages and those that are unsolicited.
There a couple of things that can be done to help insure that important messages are delivered.
1. Don’t use affiliate gateway links in your signature block. Your message will be delivered. However, the in bound filter will assign points if a reply has that link in it. The reply stands a good chance of being blocked by the filter.
2. Avoid using all capital letters in the Subject Line of your message. The spam filters will assign several points to your message for this. If too many points are accumulated, it goes in the trash.
Recognize a Scam
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Nigerian Scam, or one of the many variants. Some rich oil executive or a bastard prince has just died a tragic death. If you would be so kind as to sign a legal document stating He is your long lost cousin, and that You are his only surviving relative, You will be paid 20% of the money safely stashed away in a foreign vault. Blah! Blah! Blah!
This scam has been around for years. However, many may not know that the Nigerian scam is actually an effort to collect your personal information for the purpose of stealing your identity!
Once these cyber crooks have a person’s personal information, i.e., Name, SSAN, DOB, Bank account info, they will systematically clean your clock! Not only will they empty any money from your bank account, they will also apply for and obtain bank loans, credit cards, and checking accounts in your name.
By the time you discover what has happened, you could be left holding the bag for thousands of dollars in debt. Your credit rating will be destroyed and you might have to deal with legal problems and bill collectors for years to come.
The moral of the story is obvious. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. And, it should be obvious that the Nigerian Scam is an attempt to involve you in a fraudulent act. If you lie down with this dog, expect more than just fleas. Expect to be spayed or neutered!
Hot Stock Tips and Oil Strikes
These have been showing up in my mail box for the past few months now. Again, this is an effort to prey on weak minded and vulnerable people. When someone out of a job, or in need of a quick fix to a financial problem, reads this, they figure, “what the heck, things can’t be worse than they are now.” WRONG!
If you send in your credit card information, You are a fool! You and all of your hard earned money will soon be parted. The same with the New Mexico Oil Strike. Does anyone really believe that companies like Halliburton need your thousand dollars to process the supposed largest oil strike outside of the Persian Gulf?
One more thing about these two scams. Be careful when you click on the OPT-OUT links at the bottom of the page. A couple of these scammers have gone to new heights to steal your personal information. Their Opt-Out links actually lead to a data collection form.
You are led to believe that you need to complete the form in order to opt out. Actually, your info was just stored in a data base, and you can expect to receive several more spams / scams, only now, you really are Opted In and the spam filters wont be able to stop this trash from arriving in your mail box.
Spam Filters are terrific tools, I just wish they could filter out the scammers and let the legit stuff through. Until the technology can be developed to the point where it can distinguish between honesty and flim flam, We will all have to be on our guard. Use a bit of common sense when opening your mail. Be careful with the opt out links. They should be simple and automatic. Never give data of any kind to someone you suspect of being illegitimate. And finally, get your sexual kicks with your significant other. Leave that trash completely alone and spend your on line time in the pursuit of more important things. Earning a second income, writing an article, or learning how to build your own site come to mind.
Learn more about other Frauds, Scams and Schemes.