Spam is just like tax and death – unavoidable. Crafty spammers, scammers and crooks, enhanced by even craftier AI, are at it night and day finding even more ingenious ways to get us to part with our pennies. Sometimes, though, the attempts are just silly. I recently received this email from ‘Weebly’, a website hosting service. For a split second, it sounded plausible – I use Weebly for several websites. But then I looked more closely at the sender’s email address: email@example.com. What a silly lady.
Spoof and Spam
I remember the days when spoof meant imitate for a laugh and spam was cheap tinned meat of dubious nutritional value popular with students. Now I’m plagued with spoof and spam telling me my PayPal and Amazon accounts have been suspended and warnings of dire consequences. The latest wheeze comes from fake couriers with their ‘pay up or else’ mantra. It’s easy to be taken in. Many of the emails look genuine enough, professionally written and with all the right branding. But some fraudsters are just a little bit thick and couldn’t pull the wool over a trained monkey. Take this one (allegedly) from the Royal Mail, a UK company.
Is That a Gun in Your Pocket…?
Let’s face it, if you’re plugged into the modern world your privacy will get compromised all over the place. It doesn’t seem to matter what privacy settings you tick on Faceache, the Tweety thing, Instapout or those endlessly annoying cookie notices, your personal information will leak like a rotting condom and sold on to the highest bidder. I’ve got used to the tedious online ads for stuff I’ve already bought, pointless cold calls from India, threatening emails from crooks, futile come-ons from ladies of the night, blah, blah, blah. But then this popped into my mailbox.
Is this for real?
It’s bad enough some trigger happy redneck is selling dodgy gun licences without the boring bits getting in the way like proper training or checks, but the failure to spell ‘amendment’ correctly is just criminal. Tut! Tut!
Scammers, Spammers, Tricksters and Trolls
Hardly a week goes by when we don’t get a call telling us we’re about to get done for tax fraud or threatening to cut off our internet if we don’t pay up. Then there’s the tirade of texts and emails about dodgy activity on accounts we don’t hold or failed transactions on accounts we do – pay here, pay now. If we didn’t know any better, we’d have sleepless nights fretting the bailiffs might come a-knocking.
Then I started receiving abuse from some loony toon in the States about an image I used in a couple of posts here in Pansyland. The woman claimed the picture was of her, posted without her consent. Except, of course, it isn’t of her. It’s a picture of someone I once knew who died in tragic circumstances. My abuser also alleged that posting her picture made me complicit in a campaign of hate and revenge porn by a former squeeze. Except, of course, the image isn’t remotely saucy. It’s just an old picture from happier times.
It’s hard to unpick my very own little troll’s backstory as her written English is so poor. It’s just a rambling, incoherent rant, really. Anyway, apparently she’s reported me to the ‘sheriff’ (what, of Nottingham?) and threatened to have me arrested by the CIA. I’ll do ‘jail time’ as the Americans call it, if I don’t take the image down. She’s used several channels to have a pop – email, here on the blog, Facebook. At first it was quite menacing but after a few days it just became an irritant. She clearly needs help. Listen up Marsha, it ain’t you. Go see a shrink.
Report, block, delete.
The Mean Fields of Norfolk
I’ve always said that if I was a stick of Brighton rock, you’d find the words ‘city boy’ stamped all the way though me. And if, as a city boy living in the city, I’d heard gunshot, I’d have called the old bill, no hesitation. The truth is, despite the crime and the grime on the mean streets of old London town, I never heard gunfire for real, not once. Now I’m in the middle of huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ country where men are men and birds are nervous, I’m slowly learning to embrace the back of beyond. When I hear both barrels go off in the mean fields of Norfolk, I just shrug my shoulders and chuck another log on the wood burner. Pity the poor pheasants, though.