New spam low (slightly OT)

Mark Mandel Mark.A.Mandel at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 27 17:48:23 UTC 2009

Interestingly, this mail came to me on email with two warning headers,
neither of which appeared on Victor's original letter that Ron quotes:

* Due to a filter you created, this message was not sent to Spam. Edit Filters

* Warning: This message may not be from whom it claims to be. Beware
of following any links in it or of providing the sender with any
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m a m

On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM, <ronbutters at> wrote:
> But some of the phishers are very sophisticated and convincing. I recently got one purporting to be from CitiBank. All that gave it away was the final two letters of the website: "do"; that is the Dominican Republic, notorious as the source of online scams of various sorts. Caveat lector.
> ------Original Message------
> From: Victor Steinbok
> Sender: ADS-L
> To: ADS-L
> ReplyTo: ADS-L
> Subject: [ADS-L] New spam low
> Sent: Aug 24, 2009 10:46 AM
> Spam syntax and word choice have been discussed here and on a number of
> blogs over and over and over... I've been trying to figure out what
> makes the spam and phishing headers so obvious to spot (especially
> combined with the corresponding "names"). It's been varying from message
> to message--for example, a number of messages that spoof bank notices
> use "expiry" where no US bank would use it.
> This morning, I got a flag from one of my mail servers concerning spam
> that it had filtered out. One, while spoofing my own email address was
> actually generated on the Taiwanese server (a common source
> for much of that stuff). The subject header, "I'll kill you, I promise".
> The content was the usual nonsense and unimportant, but the header was
> what attracted my attention. It was exactly the kind of header that
> stands out as spam right off the top. Yet, the mismatch is purely
> semantic--no other clues needed. Was it yet another bad dictionary
> entry? Just randomly generated nonsense? I have no idea...
> Â  Â VS-)
> PS: In case, the content may give a clue--not sure to what, though--the
> main entry was, "Before starting this newsletter ..... can I ask you to
> tell your friends about it, and get them to sign up? Thank you", with
> some supporting links and disclaimers.

The American Dialect Society -

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