The email looked innocuous.

I was just browsing Ipstenu.Org and saw in this post (link from 2002) you were interested in tech, and so I thought you might also be interested in linking to a resource we put together on the ways technology is improving health.

It went on to tell me about how they were comprehensive, up to date, etc etc. I admit, I wondered how they got my email in the first place, since it’s not listed on my site on purpose. But barring anything nefarious, I assumed they guessed, and since it wasn’t important to me that a personal blog post from 2002 get updated, I deleted the email.

Every five days after then I got a ‘follow up’ email from this person, Camilla Hathaway, and it was strange. I didn’t reply so why would they keep doing that?

But then I got an email from another company about a different post, asking me if I wanted to link to their article about ddos protection. And another from a third company for a post about cPanel.

They all sent follow up emails and they all were very ‘nice’ about it, praising my writing and telling me about broken links.

Spam by any other name…

If the email was about running a banner ad on CNN for $725, you’d know it was spam.

If it was from the FBI telling you the corrupt government owed you millions, you’d know it was spam.

This appeared to be from a real person, a real reader. Except for the fact that there was no way they should have been able to find that particular email address. Except for the fact that they kept email. Except for the fact that who the heck reads old posts on a personal site from as far back as 2001 (I’ve been blogging a long time) and tell me that a link is broken or the information is out of date.

It’s weird, isn’t it?

Well, it’s spam.

The New Spam Game

The old SEO spam was a lot more overt.

We are a Leading SEO & Web Development Company and one of the very few companies which offer organic SEO Services with a full range of supporting services such as one way themed text links, blog submissions, directory submissions, article writing and postings, etc.

or

I was doing some research on [Subject] and landed on your website.

You know the obvious ones. These new ones are more clever. They sound more like people. And the worst part is they aren’t all fake people.

You see … A real company, a legit company, run by real people in the UK, spammed the hell out of me with offers like this. Every day for almost two weeks before I blocked the accounts. This was after I pinged them on Twitter and asked them to leave me alone.

I shouldn’t have to.

If I don’t reply, I’m probably not going to. But I surely am not going to reply within a day if you email me daily. The new spam game, the new scam game is to be nice and hammer you with a request over and over and over.

If It Looks Too Good To Be True, It Is

The bottom line is that if it looks too good to be true, it is. No probably about it.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Hmm.
    I get this kind of emails about my old posts. But that domain is no longer active and the urls are redirected.

    So it was not difficult for me to guess that they were recycling an old directory. If they tried the link, they would have gotten the new url.

    Perhaps, they bought links from an old aggregator or similar defunct services? I wonder.

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