Daily Archives: April 7, 2010

Flattery Spam

In recent years I’ve had my fair share of “who’s who” spam: senders calling themselves who’s who and inviting me to check my entry[1].  It seems like a descendant of one of the very oldest forms of online spam from a more innocent age “your website has won our prestigious award” (subtext: please display our logoaward and link to our site)[2].  Since I never follow the links, I’ll never find out if there’s a more sinister motive such as trying to infect my machine with malware.

The latest variant on this is new on me:

Dear Nick,

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the 2010/2011 Edition of Distinguished Professionals Online.

We are please to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved March 15th, 2010. Congratulations.

The Publishing Committee selected you as a potential candidate based not only upon your current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals. Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication and our online network.

Not so bad.  Much better English than yer average spammer!  It even goes on to say

As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate.

So they even have a reason why I should have to check my listing!   But that way I’ll never compete with the likes of Walter Mitty.  Funny then that to confirm my listing, I get to click what looks like an individualised tracking link at an unknown domain whose owners are hidden from the public whois listing.

Something to publish?  More like something to hide!

How fortunate then we have Google, where you can find information about me, or indeed about anyone else online.  And that in the unlikely event that you want to know more about me, you can research further based on what you found there, and get it for real.

[1] No, I don’t have one.  At least, not to my knowledge :)
[2] Come to think of it, blog comment spam is perhaps the real modern successor to the award.

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