So Cute! So Devious!

It’s been common knowledge for some time now that spammers have not gone away, no matter how much numbers have declined since the unceremonious nuking of the likes of Rustock. If we’ve noticed any trend worth reporting, it’s that spammers, have only gotten smarter. Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it, that people who come off as being so stupid could actually be regarded as smart? As much as it pains me to admit it, at least some of the scumbags must be wily. It’s evidenced by their survival and an ongoing social epidemic that sees people parting with their hard-earned money, all because some stranger emailed them and told them it was okay to click that suspicious-looking link.

The debate over spammers’ ability to adapt will continue for a long time, but when we actually see evidence of this newfound ability to cogitate, it’s worth reporting on. This week, reports of an email scam so devious in its devising that even the leaders in North Korea took a break from an ill-conceived and embarrassing rocket launch to ogle the pictures and say (in Korean, of course) “AWW! SO CUTE! Ook at da diddle puppy dog! Who’s a cute puppy?”

Yes, folks, it’s true. The scammers have provided real evidence that they are, indeed, spawns of Satan. For only the antichrist – or Boris Badenov – could come up with such a deliciously brilliant and duplicitous plan. Please, mister spammer, if you’re reading this, SEND ME THE SPAM! It’s not enough just to read about it! I want to be part of the sublime madness!

All right, calm down. Here’s the deal:  according to Commtouch Café, the illegitimate email comes with the promise of being able to adopt one of six Siberian Husky puppies (just look at that picture! How can you resist?)

I am giving them out because they were always cared and looked after by my father,” the email explains while you shed several salty tears, “but with a heavy heart i lost him and he was all I got [okay, so spammers aren’t book smart, but I never said they were. There’s still street smarts, k?] ,i work with a global, broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and new ways to manage health…” and so on.

Don’t look at me! [sniffling and searching for some tissue] You compose yourself long enough to read on.

“My father died in an accident last month on his way back from work and i have very bad memories when i see these puppies around me, because they were always together with him since i am always busy in the laboratory.”

Oh…my…God…[choke]… it’s enough to bring even the biggest man to his knees.

You’re far too busy to read any further, what with weeping profusely. It seems too good to be true, and guess what? It is. This poor soul, God bless him, dearly wants to give you a puppy, but he must pay €105 (around 140 dollars), apparently for the ownership papers. It’s a paltry sum, you admit between sniffles, as you scour the room for your credit card, checkbook, cash on hand, or whatever else you care to use as currency.

Those of us who are dumb enough to fall prey for this bogus tale are asked to send the money via Western Union, a tremendous way for the crooks to avoid being tracked down. And, of course, sending the money will not get you a puppy, but it will leave you as embarrassed as a North Korean rocket scientist and, of course, out of pocket for 105 Euros.

As one writer put it:

“This is why, whenever receiving such an email, one must ask himself/herself: why would anyone send out random email offering puppies for free? Think about it! If you were a dog lover, would you give some expensive puppies to just anyone because they wrote you an email about how they loved animals?”

Too true. But it begs a larger question than the stupidity of humanity, something which is not up for debate here. What if all spammers get this smart? Let’s face it, over the years all of us in the business of nuking them have probably done significant damage. And what type of damage can one do to a spammer? A flaming arrow right to the wallet. Mercedes and mansions don’t buy themselves, you know.

Uh-oh. It’s all about survival. They have no choice but to get smarter.

I love a good horror story, but this one’s going to keep me up at nights.

Written by Malcolm James


  1. Joe Banner · April 19, 2012

    That is a much more sympathetic approach than the ol’ Nigerian prince thing. This certainly does mark a drastic change in spam’s approach appealing to something besides fear or greed: decency. And that’s something much easier to exploit because people will let go of common sense to try and make sacrifices to do the right thing.

  2. Kate Fick · April 23, 2012

    I love puppies as pets! Pictures of puppies like these are very heart-warming and inviting. Though I have not received an email as such but I definitely would also fall for it. The story truly touches one’s heart and I am a very helpful person. Sad to say to the spammer that I don’t get easily fooled with a story specially if it involves money. Regardless how much is involved, my point is, I like to pay for stuffs that I immediately get in return. I don’t like to wait.

    So there, let us all be cautious of every transaction that we put ourselves into.

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