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Spam

I participate in a number of technology forums. One of the forums sent me a report on July 29th which included the following claim:

… email is still king and 75% of the world’s digital knowledge is stored in email.

On a possibly related note, McAfee released a report the same day that announced that spam was at an all-time high:

McAfee announced today that the volume of spam emails has increased 141 percent since March to more than 117 billion emails a day. That means 92 percent of the email we get, assuming it all goes unfiltered, is spam.

So 75% of the world’s digital knowledge is stored in email and 92 percent of email is spam. I now need to refine my understanding of the phrase “digital knowledge”.

Factory Warranty Phone Calls

Sigh. More spam and scam. This time it was a recorded phone call to my cell phone telling me that my factory warranty is about to expire. Press 1 to speak to a representative.

This particular con has gone out of control in the States — see here and here for some examples. The RCMP have a caution here.

Although I have my cell phone number registered on the do not call registry, I have no way to identify the offending company. Based on my searches on the web, many people are getting dozens of calls a week utterly unable to get the nonsense to stop.

Princeton Premier Honors Edition Registry

Spam and scam. That was my immediate reaction to the following email:

Hello Richard Cleaver,

It is a privilege to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009/2010 Princeton Premier Honors Edition Registry.

This recognition is an honor shared by only the most accomplished professionals who have demonstrated excellence within their careers and communities.

Inclusion into the Princeton Premier global network is considered a benchmark of achievement. Once accepted, your successes are documented and preserved for all time in the hardcover registry, which is distributed throughout the world.

There is no cost to be included in the registry. Simply complete your application form and submit it within five business days to be considered for publication.

On behalf of the entire Princeton Premier community, best wishes for continued success.

Sincerely,

Frank Thomas
Managing Director
Princeton Premier

This offer from Princeton Premier complies with 15 U.S.C. §§ 7701-13

My first course of action, aside from wondering how they got my email address, was to hit their website. The website is fairly weak. A few dead links — notably the “Apply to Princeton Premier” and a sense that the business model is to sell “beautiful hardcover Honors Edition” books. Not much else to better understand the organization.

Google provides better insight. Consumer Reports WebWatch’s Blog has a good overview of the scam here. And this website has some interesting insight as well.

Oddly enough, the reference to 15 U.S.C. §§ 7701-13 in Princeton’s email is the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. How ironic.

Things Are Looking Up

I promised one of the readers of this blog that I would return to my optimism about the future and away from the bad economic news. And, thanks to an unexpected email, things are truly going my way.

Hopefully it is a really big amount of money. I can hardly contain my excitement! I am lucky, lucky, lucky!!

A.C.F
Rotterdam Branch,NL.
Dear Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that you have been chosen By the organizers of the Association Of Charity Foundations (A.C.F) and Canadian lottery organisers as one of the final recipients of a Cash grant prize.
You are required to Contact the Officer incharge below for confirmation.Endeavour to give him a call immediately you get this email for urgent response to your claim process and also to claim your confirmation number which is important to claim your cash grant win.Make sure you reply back to the email address stated below only.This is for your security as a online winner.
Confirmation numbers will not be stated via email for security reasons.
*****************************************
Rotterdam Branch Officer Incharge
Mr. A. Van Gogh
A.C.F NOTIFICATION DEPARTMENT
Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
TEL: +31 617 623 594
EMAIL: acfnldep@yahoo.com.hk
*****************************************

This was my response:

Ben E. Fishery
Canadian Branch, Canada
Dear Mr. Van Gogh,
i am xcited beyawn beleaf that i have been chosen By the organizers of the Association Of Charity Foundations (A.C.F) and Canadian lottery organisers as one of the final recipients of a Cash grant prize.
This is to confirm that I have Contacted the Contact Officer incharge below to confirm the confirmation.i did endevour to gave him a call immediately when you get this email for urgent response to my claim process and also to claim my confirmation number which is important to claim my cash grant win.Only Contact Officer incharge was not answering his telephone that day.Make sure you reply back to the email address stated below only.This is for your security as a online prize awarder.
Nothing else will not be stated via email for security reasons.
*****************************************
Canadian Branch Officer incharge
Mr. Ben E. Fishery
A.C.F RECIPIENT DEPARTMENT
Canada, Canada.
TEL: ++–245 5693002 –4993
EMAIL: ben.e.fishery@naive.ca
*****************************************

I hope I hear back soon.