Email scams and hoaxes

And now for something completely different.

Since Bill Gates and Disney were purportedly circulating emails ostensibly offering $5000 to anyone forwarding said email to their list of contacts, it has been some years since I have received so many scam attempts in such a short period of time.

The surprising thing is that now that the internet and email are over 20 years old, people still fall for this crap. This is particularly infuriating when today a very brief internet search performed on the same devise on which people receive the email, can debunk the trite shite that is being peddled.

The difference between the scam peddled today and the scam peddled 10 years ago is that 10 years ago scammers got away with it by appealing to people’s greed. The rationale for otherwise passably intelligent people to forward the alleged Bill Gates email was that they had “nothing to lose” by doing so because you never know; it may be true. Today scammers have wisened up and have moved on from exploiting greed to appealing to people’s alleged sense of decency or need to be awed.

And so it is that only in the past three weeks, I have received emails asking me to forward to my list of contacts messages about not pouring used cooking oil down the drain to safe guard the water table, or about there being an exceptional five Fridays in a month or about there being two suns shining because of some rare astronomical occurrence today.

Of course, any of the above can be disproved within seconds by an internet search.

And yet, generally intelligent people will still comply and forward the email without a second thought. Worse still, instead of making use of the BCC field to hide the addresses of their contacts, people just copy paste their entire contact list in the CC field for the greatest joy of hackers and spammers the world over.

Forwarding what is clearly crap to your list of contacts is not victimless idiocy and the idiotic “there is nothing to lose” attitude is as blindingly lazy as it is intellectually stunted.

If you are really itching to forward crap to your contacts do it in the BCC field folks.

Just to get back on the subject of this blog, regarding the “we have nothing to lose” attitude and how it is used to perpetrate and perpetuate the climate change boondoggle:


The final argument reminded me of that annoying email that used to circulate persistently some years ago that was purportedly sent by Bill Gates. The email stated that Microsoft was conducting a secret experiment and that Bill Gates himself would give US$5000 to anyone that would forward the email to all their contact list. Most recipients of the email duly forwarded it to friends and colleagues attaching a message that said: “You never know. It might be true. Anyway we have nothing to lose by forwarding it”.”


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3 Responses to “Email scams and hoaxes”

  1. Patrick Donnelly Says:

    You mean they AREN’T giving away money???????

    But that is the basis of the Ponzi scheme: all the more insidious because some do get money out! To see that requires so much more it is easy to see why they fall for it. Clearly, I should have borrowed more gaming the system more ruthlessly! I met one guy in the early eighties, buying one house per year ….. possibly laundering money for someone else, now I think of it!

  2. guidoamm Says:

    … and why do you keep such lucrative leads all to yourself then? Share man; share with the less fortunate please.


  3. rogerglewis Says:

    I usually get some government official from Nigeria requiring a proxy bank account through which a handsome commission is available just send details and so on. Not dissimilar to a Tax return or the National census really.

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