Thursday, 15 November 2007

Invasion of the Polaroid People

When you get a piece of phishy spam it’s often instructive to analyse the hidden assumptions behind it, assumptions deliberately put there in the hope the spam will hit the intended target more times than not. However I’ve been getting rubbish spam of late, which doesn’t even give you the pleasure of a bit of close textual analysis.

Firstly, I don’t live in America, secondly, I don’t bank with who you’re claiming to be, thirdly, if you don’t get my name right I’m unlikely to trust you, fourthly, I can recognise a redirected address when I see one and fifthly, you’re sending it to an email address I don’t use alongside any passwords. Poor show.

They remind me of nothing so much as the time two older kids in junior school who’d just heard my first name called by a friend in the yard, asked me if that was my name, told me they’d been sent by the headmaster and that I had to come with them at home time because my mother had died and so there was no one waiting for me back at my house.

They addressed me as if they had more knowledge than they had, used the spurious authority of a trusted figure, attempted to play on a general weakness and totally cocked up. They’d failed to realise they were mimicking the way real authority would work very, very badly indeed and that my mother worked at a school across the city and thus was never home before me on school days. Poor show.
I wonder sometimes what they wanted, I think it was just to make smaller kids cry. I wonder if being rubbish at it stopped them in their tracks, or just taught them greater cunning.

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