Well, I have received and am receiving several spam mails that announce me as a winner of many things starting from several millions of dollars to an overabundance of alluring gadgets. Initially I have been misled into reading them, considering myself to be smart. But now I have become a bit smarter and have learnt how to ignore such ‘attractive’ Mails. I am now aware of these spam mails and know how to have my share of this ‘unhealthy’ fun. It is indeed a happy start to addressing these spamming problems..! Continue reading and you are sure to enjoy and smile away!
Among many of the disadvantages of an online presence on social media-Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog- is that my inbox is flooded with junk in such unwieldy proportions that I often wonder whether my email was created with the exclusive purpose of getting constantly bombarded with spam mails. I would like to share with you that several are the things that I have’ won’ through mails such as these that include Gadgets, pieces of jewellery, hard cash, expensive clothes, electronic items ….so much so that if I were to have a gadget room of my own, it would be the cynosure of several pairs of eyes and a cause for envy!.
The mails that I receive are so shrewdly worded that at the outset it appears that it is just not possible to ignore them. But now I have clearly understood these types of mails and can actually figure them out by the wordings of the subject of the mail. There were the days when I was not as aware of them as I am now and had ended up wasting a good chunk of my time on those worthless mails.
We often find the subject lines of such spam mails to be quite eye-catching which would make us turn a blind eye to it. Some of them include: “Open the attachment to become a millionaire”; “Important Notice: Do not ignore”, or “Discover your latest iphone in the attachment..,” and the like.
But the ones that I am unable to stand are those that appear to be too opinionated (there is some sort of an irony there): “Avoid reading this mail if you want to lose Rs. 500,000”. That’s what sets my pulse to race. This is some kind of reverse augmentation, a very clever one at that, but at the same time an annoying trick to literally push you to at least open thee mail and glance through the same… I can see some very orthodox sales pipeline methodology used, I can see some very traditional sales pipeline methods used there by first spamming a few ‘leads’ with mails and then expecting at least 5% of them to turn into ‘potential customers’ and finally conversion of 0.5-1% into actual ‘customers’.
What the unsuspicious responders to the mail are unaware of is that almost 90 percent of these mails that allure you with the promise of free devices or gadgets or offer lakhs or millions of dollars are nothing but scammers! These scammers rely on some out-dated, yet effective hoodwinking tricks by which people get victimized and believe them and subsequently, even provide them some sensitive and important data like a bank account number or worse still, a credit card number with its CVV number. Can you believe this? This happens to be the dangerous part of the situation. But all fun is not lost, especially when you play their crafty game with them. This is how it is.
Prior to the ‘Do not disturb’ service being activated on my phone number, I used to very frequently receive calls from credit card companies, insurance companies , banks, job consultancies etc. not to mention the innumerable junk messages that filled my inbox. Frustrated and fed up with the phone calls, once I did ask the cold caller some information regarding the stuff he was trying to sell- in this case a credit card.
I asked probing questions regarding the Annual Percentage Rate etc. for which he had no convincing answers. Surprised, but not sure of what –whether it was because of the fact that I asked that question or because I allowed the call to go on for more than 25 seconds, the sales guy transferred my call to yet another department which dealt with “special and specific queries”. But to my utter dismay, that department was busy attending to another call, and I was put on hold for five more minutes, testing my patience.
Finally when someone answered my call, it got cut! I would love to go on and on about how companies should train their cold callers to have good knowledge about the product they are promoting, before they connect to some random person. But that’s not it. These cold callers are caught in a web when the people at the receiving end, the so-called potential customer, bombard them with more and more questions about their products. Likewise, the persons who send these spanners are of the same category- know nothing about the mails that they are sending.
I still remember the time when I had my dose of twisted fun when a gentle and so -called innocent girl from Kenya , who ‘keeps praying to God to bestow me with long and prosperous life’ sent me a mail which divulged the news of Lady Luck having smiled on her suddenly on one fine morning. She sounded highly excited on the sudden windfall but according to some Godman, she was asked to share half her fortune with a stranger to ward away the ill effects which will strike her on receiving the amount. Hence she had sent me this mail. Usually I would have immediately sent the mail to ‘trash’, but on that day I was at my cheeky best, and hence decided to reply. Immediately, I hit the reply button asking her for more details of the ‘fortune’ which had just acquired!
Like the restaurant waiter who looks terribly pleased and jumps up on seeing a customer about to tip him, she responded to me immediately, thanking me profusely for sending a reply. She went to explain as to how both, she and I are going towards the correct direction by agreeing to split the money amongst ourselves in an amicable manner. But then she got to the main subject matter. A form, sent as an attachment to the mail, needed to be filled up-with what you may ask-yes my bank details! Now it was my turn to send the mail- I replied mentioning that I needed to see the picture of the ‘generous sweet girl’ from Kenya I further typed my mail and added that after receiving the amount, I would love to visit Kenya (where I have business interests) and meet her in person and thank her and hence asked her for her address.
That was the last straw I guess! I had rubbed it at the correct place. There were no further mails from ‘her’ end, even though I followed up the mail and sent her a couple of mails. I mentioned in my mail that I was eagerly looking forward to meeting with my Kenyan friend, but alas ‘no reply’ from Kenya. My ‘engagement’ with the spammer ended finally and I realized that I was wasting my precious time on these ‘junk mails’ by responding to them that served no purpose at all. From then on, I decided that I will open only the solicited mails and any other campaign mails like those of advertising / promotion…..will be thrashed, without wasting my precious time by reading them.
Do you think that the mails will stop now? No way! I will still continue to ‘win’ luxury items, and cash with several zeros that it becomes impossible at a glance to figure out whether the number refers to a lakh or a million or a billion. But dealing with the cold-caller and my Kenyan “friend” was something which I enjoyed!