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Why spam works

You may be aware of the phenomenon whereby you receive unsolicited email messages appearing to contain offers for goods and services at amazing prices—with subject lines such as, for example, “Exquisite Replica”—but which might in fact not be quite what they appear. Some, if you can credit it, are even designed with malicious intent and are intended merely to trap the unwary into responding electronically, an act that could in turn initiate one of a number of elaborate online scams.

If you get the feeling that I am describing something that is quite well known, perhaps even obvious, then good for you, you’re probably one of those irredeemably cynical media-savvy kids that marketers fall over themselves to attract. But spare a thought for those who are less calculating—less jaded, goddammit—and thus less likely to spurn the blandishments of a complete stranger:

Exquisite Replica: Never sent my products Internet

I ordered $500.00 in watches from this company Credit card billed right away (with an additional $13.00 admin charge). Waited 3 weeks and never got them. When I phoned they were rude, and said they were out of stock of the product. Re-ordered the product (switched the one watch that was out of stock). Waited another 3 weeks and nothing.

They now are claiming that I got the watches, but will not give me any mailing info. Told me if I did not like it I could "hire a lawyer".

Might just do that, but expensive, because I am in Canada and of limited means.

End-story... avoid these people at all cost.

Windsor, Ontario



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
You may be aware of the phenomenon whereby you receive unsolicited email messages appearing to contain offers for goods and services at amazing prices

What? People you don't know just send you email?
Sep. 7th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
So I have been told. I have yet to see this in action.
Sep. 7th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Every single one of us over the age of 30 holds at least one parent back, continually, from being Sad of Windsor, Ontario.

Edited at 2009-09-07 03:15 pm (UTC)
Sep. 7th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
But would they have fallen so easily back in the day for scams by post? After all, 419 letters (for example) were doing the rounds years before email became the norm. The scammers targeted financial firms rather than sending a letter through everyone’s door but, in the light of the success of their email ventures, they must be kicking themselves now that they didn’t. And idiots have been turning up on Watchdog for years with similar tales of loss.

The question here is: would Windsorguy have responded so readily to an amazing offer involving fake watches put to him on a street corner? The signs are that the answer is yes, in which case he’s part of that group of people who are very hard to legislate for.
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
You are referring to the Congenitally Thick.
Sep. 7th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Street corner example: an unfortunate chap in Kensal Green who paid someone a hundred quid for a bucket full of "diamonds", which turned out to be the itsy bitsy remnants of a broken car windscreen.
Sep. 8th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
Fortunately my parents wouldn't know how to switch a computer on! :-)
Sep. 8th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
Mine both totally would have been geeks if they'd been born a couple of decades later.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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