No she hasn’t

Well, Angelina Jolie is very keen to have me as a friend on Facebook. It’s a pity I am not on Facebook, as she has invited me to be her friend nine times in two days. It’s almost as if she wants it too much. If she keeps this up, sending me constant invites, I might start wondering if she’s maybe a bit needy. I mean, it’s definitely her – look at the picture! Unless … I don’t know … it’s some kind of unsolicited email sent randomly and en masse with various clickable links that might be used to confirm a recipient’s email address should they guilelessly click on them.

I am, as you know, fascinated by spam. I have written about it before. I plough through my spam filter every day, in order to rescue genuine emails that might have slipped through and been caught there in the gauze, and as I merrily delete it, I can’t help but enjoy identifying the trends in subject headings. Some of them are evergreens: the ones that just come right out with it and mention Viagra and Rolex and penis enlargement pills – and of course the Canadian pharmacy never goes away. But I like the ones that suddenly start to crop up in spurts, like, currently, the one that purports to be from Twitter and urges you to click on a link to either rescue your password or read some unread messages, or the Outlook Setup Notification, or the Angelina Jolie invitation.

I love the made-up names that appear to try and hoodwink you into thinking the email is from a long-lost friend – recent examples: Jesus Chastity, Sandy Sandoval, Leslie Gala, Kyle Yadira – and the matey subject lines like, “Hello” and “Usual thing” and “Hi!” and “Hello from Russia!”

I truly wonder who would fall for these obviously unscrupulous ruses, but then again, I understand the maths, and it only takes one hapless fool to respond or click and the relatively low-cost operation can be deemed a success. I have clicked on the Angelina Jolie one and await her reply.

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8 thoughts on “No she hasn’t

  1. You do realise that just loading the image may be enough to confirm your email address? Unless your email reader offers decent security, you may find that the “old school” method of handling email as plain text (and rejecting read receipts) is the only safe way.

  2. I share the fascination. For some reason I get Japanese spam aimed fairly specifically at housewives, which frankly is more interesting than half the real emails I get.

  3. Is it possible that Ms. Jolie’s publicist runs her Facebook page and desperately wants the Radio Times film editor to get updates about her?

  4. i now get most of my spam email from my own email address, which is kind of weird. i like to think that somewhere in a parallel universe my parallel self is trying in vain warn me about something terribly important, and as a result, i now own several thousand discount-price blue pills and anal vibrators.

  5. I get a lot of this shit as well. Had one today from the financial director of some Burkina Faso bank who was asking for help transferring $7m belonging to some wealthy foreigner who died in a plane crash in 2000 into my account.

    I like reading them as they they can be quite creative however i’m constantly remined of the Fonejacker character who promises (adopts thick Nigerian accent) “to transfer the monies” in return for you bank account details.

    If you respond to these things you deserve to be fleeced to high heaven.

  6. How curious – George Clooney had been pestering me for WEEKS to be his Facebook friend, so in the end I gave in and added him. We’ve been getting on really well, and I’m going to meet up with him on Friday night in an NCP car park near Basingstoke. You should think again about Angelina.

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