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Spam Email: This Almost Fooled Me!

Posted by: NoAdware Team on October 12, 2010

Hello,

I think this is very important, even though I’m used to receiving spam email and identifying spam, sometimes some spam email are written so good that they can fool almost anyone.

So here’s the spam email I received, so if you get something like this pay close attention. I’m going to tell you why I absolutely know this is 100% a spam email.

=============

(myemail@gmail.com was actually my real email address)

Subject of Email:

myemail@gmail.com – – Short listed for a Reward

Body of Email:

Fabulous News! You have been short listed to receive a Reward – NUMERO UNO WATCH Worth Rs 2750 FREE!

This free watch has been reserved for you as a part of our special invitation program.

You had recently been recommended for Bag It Today membership by one of your friends.

Here is your invitation to join Bag It Today – An online boutique of your best loved brands available at upto 75% off.

Shortlisted Entry (User id) :
myemail@gmail.com
Your Reward: A Numero Uno Watch
worth Rs 2750 FREE

Your personal link to claim reward: www.bagittoday.com/reward/myemail@gmail.com
(Click to claim your winnings)

Just cover our gift delivery, promotion and handling charges of Rs 499.

This reward is being distributed to fortunate few and will be handed over on first come first serve basis.

SEE IF YOUR ONE OF THE LUCKY FEW…

=============

This email had also a Big button at the very bottom, saying: click to claim your winnings, here’s a screenshot of that:

So why this was going to fool me?

First of there’s my email address in the subject line and throughout the body of the email. Usually spam emails don’t include personal information such as your name, etc. They usually say: Hello Friend, or just Hello.

Second the email is composed in html, this means it’s not plain text there are tables and columns in the email, much like an email you get when you subscriber to a Newsletter. Most spam email are plain text so this is a bit uncommon. Here’s screenshot of the first part of the email; the part you see when you open the email.

Click here to see a bigger screeshot

I’m always interested to know why a spam email was going to fool me. You can learn from this, and become a better “spam catcher”.

The body of the email is promising me that I am going to receive a reward, a number uno watch. It did not say I WON like what most spam emails do. If it did probably I would have deleted the email within seconds.

The theme througout the email is about a REWARD. The title at the very top says:

Short listed for a Reward !!

What helped to fool me is also the FROM: line, which says Bag it Today that name seemed something REAL for me for some reason.

Than at the very top of the email, there’s the words:

If you are not able to view this email properly, please view it online by clicking here. To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add [todayshop@intoday.in] to your address book

If you receive a lot of email, many of the REAL emails contain those exact two lines… so that’s also why this email is written well and almost fooled me.

This spam email is unlike any other spam email I received. Plus of course it’s in my INBOX not in the SPAM folder, I don’t read anything in the spam folder.

So what did NOT fool me? What did I SEE that helped me realize indeed this is spam?

I was going to click on the link, which of course “should” have taken me to the website to claim my reward. But luckily I remember that I should NEVER click links inside emails unless I know 100% who the sender of the email is.

In this case I wasn’t 100% sure of course.

Viruses in Emails are either in Attachment or inside the links. This means to get the virus you have to either OPEN the attachment or CLICK on the link.

Usually links are masked. This means the REAL link can be this one for example:

http://www.garbagevirus-tes.com/jvirud.html

But you SEE in your email something like this:

http://www.gerwebsite.com/claim-reward.html

So how do you know the REAL link?

Just put your mouse over the link, (WITHOUT clicking on the link) and then look at the bottom of your web browser and you’ll see the REAL url.

Here’s screenshot:

Click here to see a bigger screenshot

So that’s the trick.

Always do this, and if the link at the bottom is different that means the link you SEE is MASKED, if you click it you’re going to get a virus.

To make this email EVEN more real there’s also the unsubscribe link. Almost all REAL newsletters or ezines you optin for contain this link. It’s a LAW that you have this link.

So this email contains this too, making it even more “real”:

If you do not want to receive any more newsletters, Click this link

So I hope you do pay VERY close attention because it’s really easy to get fooled sometimes, especially if you wake up happy in the morning, reading an email that you received a REWARD will make you happier – then the excitement alone can fool you.

So hope you find this useful.

Clark

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