Fans of parodically bad writing, take note: the Bulwer-Lytton Contest results are in. I’d have made some witty comment, but my creative spark’s just not there tonight; regardless of what they say, no muse is definitely not good muse…
Y’know, after I got one too many spams advertising a Canadian pharmacy “verified by BBB”, I just had to go check it out and see how truthful they were.
So, after removing all tracking information from the URL to prevent any sort of click-through revenue, I entered the address of the site. It looked fairly legitimate, and even had a number of seals at the bottom identifying affiliation with various big names in online business.
Except… well, let’s just say that something was rotten in the province of Ontario.
And why were they hosting the BBB report on their own site, rather than linking to the BBB? A quick search at the BBB’s web site turned up the real report (compare the mailing address in that first screen shot if you have any doubt!), which points out that they’re not even a member— membership, of course, being a requirement to display the seal featured on the front page. Oops.
Oh, and also, those links in the fake report don’t work at all. So much for getting the much-needed background information.
Even worse: They claimed to be a secure site using a Verisign encryption certificate. Of course, that was also a fake certificate hosted on their site. Indeed, there was no security at all— no padlock in the corner, no HTTPS URL, nothing.
So yeah. Avoid these guys like the plague— no pun intended!
This one… well, I’m not even going to touch the URL, because it doesn’t work anyway. :-p
Subject: Application approval #06864597I Sun, 24 Jul 2005 09:33:19 -0800
From: “Rodney” <Rafael.Braun@charter.net>
Subject: UK NATIONAL LOTTERY CONGRATULATE’S YOU
Never mind that errant apostrophe— why should I be concerned that some random guy in Taiwan won the lottery?
I also have a spam for prescription drugs here from one Sanatorium D. Tinglier. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d be willing to buy drugs hawked by someone with a name like that!
I swear, I just don’t get spammers sometimes. “Fill your wife’s hospital”?!
As is usually the policy around here, all the text below, save for the URLs, is verbatim.
Subject: Rep0rt : f|LL yOur w1fe’s hospita| nOw
From: From: “Dena Horton” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I’d be far more inclined believe your e-mail is a notification from a major online bookseller if it didn’t contain sentences like this one, quoted verbatim:
“Complete the form below , with all your corect information wroted by you las time you changed / updated or maked ! your acount.”
Wroted? Maked? Come on…