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!
Cops and Robbers
The deluge of GDPR emails has finally dried up, thank the Lord. For the uninitiated, GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. It’s the latest wheeze from the European Union intended to strengthen the law about the collection, privacy, security and retention of personal data. The new rules are fairly straightforward, if a little OTT – like so much that comes out of Brussels. I’m all for protecting the little person from the exploitation of corporate bigwigs but I can’t help thinking the reputable will comply, the disreputable won’t bother and those squeezed in the middle will be bewildered – think brown owl trying to chivvy up the girl guides or some poor sod juggling the mailing list of a local am-dram society. I doubt it will stop nuisance calls from India or spam emails from God knows where. A case in point was the mailshot that recently dropped into my inbox from a US company. They were trying to flog me such must-have products as a concealed ankle holster perfect for a sneaky armed robbery, a decorative bracelet knife because Saturday night’s alright for fighting and a magnetised holder for the loaded pistol I keep under the sink next to the Fairy Liquid (that’s a joke, obviously). Every trailer should have one. Did I subscribe to this crap? Nope. Did I unsubscribe straightaway? Yep. Will it make the slightest bit of difference? Not a chance.
If you like to see my own half-cocked GDPR kinda-compliant privacy thingy, you can see it here. Happy reading.