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March 24, 2007

Spam selling Stock Spam services?!?

Filed under: Commentary,World Wide Web — Bob @ 7:58 pm

Today I received a spam that neither SpamAssassin or Mozilla Thunderbird caught. The title is “Business proposal for SHARE owners”. It contains the usual random word gibberish on the first and last lines but none of the image spam that has become so popular.

The primary text in this little gem contains an offer to create a “pump and dump” stock spam scheme for my company. The sender claims they have been operating in the U.S. market for three years with huge success, but “now it is getting harder and harder to work on US market”.

The spam’s claim of 200% increase seems wild until you read what the SEC is saying about these schemes. Remember this article? Joel Spolsky wrote an interesting article about this phenomenon a while back; its worth reading if you haven’t seen it before.

Back to the spam under the microscope: it also outlined their handling fee for such an amazing service: 10% of closing price times daily volume. There is no indication of how long this fee applies; maybe indefinitely, sort of like paying protection money to the mafia? There isn’t any offer of a refund the day-over-day share price decreases, but at least (I was assured) there was no upfront payment required.

The spam originated from the networks of ITnet S.p.A. of Genova, Italy. Most likely a hijacked computer that is relaying email.

Have you seen any really unusual or interesting spam recently?

2 Comments

  1. Hi Bob. This is Pooya, we talked yesterday and I just found your weblog.
    The funny thing about the new spams I get is that they seem like they know more about me now! I get more and more Canadian and even geeky spams about Linux and iptables, etc.
    I block all the images and everything in emails not to let spammer know I got that mail.
    I started thinking it that might be the learning spam filter which is actually working against me. Because it has already learned what types of emails I read more and let those types in. I wonder how much Spamassassin analyzes the email contents and categorize them.

    Comment by pooya — March 30, 2007 @ 11:13 am
  2. Hi Pooya! You can read a bit more about how SpamAssassin works here:

    http://wiki.apache.org/spamassassin/FrequentlyAskedQuestions

    Building a database of targeted email addresses for spam is now big business, and various data mining techniques can be used to find you and match up your email with your interests.

    Comment by Bob — March 30, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

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