I don’t normally pay attention to the spam that arrives hourly in my inbox as the junk mail filter in Mozilla catches most of it before I ever see it and I usually just hit the junk button for anything that makes it past the filter. Occassionally, though, something gets through that makes me stop and actually take a close look. Not because I have the slightest interest in buying whatever’s being pitched, but because I can’t believe anyone makes buying decisions based on such crappy sales techniques.
I’ve spoken of my fondness for the Mozilla and Thunderbird mail clients in the past due mainly to their use of the Bayesian filtering methods to sort out spam and how effective it tends to be. This has resulted in spammers trying all manner of tricks to try and defeat this filtering method including adding random characters between letters in a sentence (e.g. s^o@r:t*a l)i#k
e %t_h”i/s) so that the filter won’t think it’s spam, but it rarely works. Then I got a spam today that was written by someone that seems to think that the method of spelling popular among chat room and “texting” people is a good method of bypassing the filter. It resulted in a pitch for the following weight reduction fantasy product. I’ve bold faced all of the intentional misspellings done to try and avoid the filter.
Subject: no one will love u if u are fat sprawling
Your body can buurn 3-7 pounds EVERY WEEK with [Name of Craptastic Product Deleted]
PhonyLabName clinical trials have shown positive results in over 94% of the cases
[Name of Craptastic Product Deleted] works for both women and men offering weeight-losss of up to 2 pounds per day,
and that’s WITHOUT dieet or exercise
Don’t avoid the foods you love!
Just Stick this patch on ur body/hand & it will do the rest
1 month supply—$ 49.95
2 month supply—$ 70.90
[Name of Craptastic Product Deleted] will bring you fasster results while at the same time giving you moree energy and a better mood. You can lossee up to 3-7 pounds EVERY WEEK! You can’t go wrong with the dieet patch, the weiight drops off fast and without any work on your part. Don’t you owe it to yourself and those close to you to look as good as you can?
Easily losse weiight without diieting
Eat ur favourite delicious food at the meantime
only [Name of Craptastic Product Deleted] diett patch would do!
Gain back ur self-esteem with this proven diet patch
Cliicck-here to gain back ur low self-esteem now
Is that not the most hilarious thing you have ever read? The email contains whole mess of text at the top consisting of a hundred or so random words that have been hidden by setting the text color to the background color in another attempt to beat the Bayesian based filters.
So I’m sitting here staring at this ludicrous spam and wondering who the hell is dumb enough to spend $50 for a months supply of a diet product from someone who can’t even consistently spell the word “diet” properly and who writes sales pitches that sound like something you’d hear in an AOL chat room? Seriously, who the hell would find the above ad at all trustworthy without being just this side of literally brain dead?
I realize there are a lot of stupid people out there who are also desperate to lose weight and more than willing to buy into wishful thinking products that require little real effort, but surely there aren’t enough stupid people responding to these ads to make this sort of thing profitable. Then again…
It was interesting to note that the links to the product page were routed through Google to a site with a domain of “swfr.biz” and appeared to contain an affiliate ID of sorts in the form of “myaffid=####&e=####” indicating the spammer was earning money through referrals alone. There could be plenty of money to be earned via that method as I’m sure a lot of skeptical, but still curious people will click on the link to see where it goes and if the spammer gets paid on a per-click rather than a per-sale basis then he/she could rack up some decent money just from curiosity alone. That would explain why the spammer would bother, but if it doesn’t generate much in the way of sales then why would the distributor bother with allowing spammers to offer such a poor representation of their product?
According to the WHOIS database the domain is registered to a Lee Yung Ngyuon of LYN Distributors out of Toronto. His email address is a very telling “email@example.com” which gives you an idea of what he’s peddling. Going to the “swfr.biz” domain directly results in just the words “hello extreme on kiki” with no HTML formating in the source document. It appears you have to know the exact path to the pages you want to view as the URL for the product page is quite involved. The “shaw.ca” in his email address is the domain of the web hosting company he’s using. Doing a Google search for “LYN Distributors” results in the first link being to the Toasted Spam websites entry on a penis enlargement pill also distributed by this company. Seems the folks at LYN Distributors are ready to fulfill all of your Craptastic Wishful Thinking Product needs. In other words, the distributor ain’t too worried about his image as he’s obviously selling products that only truly stupid people would buy so as long as there are enough stupid people in the world he’s set for life. Given what I’ve seen of the average intelligence most people have I’d say he’s probably laughing all the way to the bank.