Really and truly. A job. With Google. In fact, lots of stuff has been happening lately. I’ve been notified of a cure for my tinnitus. I got special deals on renting jets. I can pick up a yacht anytime I want. Trip to Hawaii? Lot’s of good deals there. Plus, NASA has accidentally found a cure for diabetes and I’m being let in on it. NASA and me, we be bro’s man. My sexual prowess can now be enhanced, not that I had any sexual prowess to begin with but if I did, it would be most enhanceable now. I can get financing on a metal building, induction cook ranges, iPad deals, and apparently I got more Amazon gift cards waiting for me than I can spend in a lifetime.
Of course, it’s not all been good news. I’ve been notified that several people have run background checks on me. My credit report needs reviewed. A sexual predator has been detected in my neighborhood, and this website is scoring a big zero on the search engines. The world will be ending soon, Jebus will be returning from the dead, and Obama will be instituting martial law so I will need to buy survival supplies. Yup, things have certainly gotten busy around here lately.
In case you haven’t noticed, all these offers are bullshit. Seems some son of a bitch got a hold of my email addresses, sold them to another son of a bitch who then added them to a computer which spews out spam emails by the hundreds to me every fucking day. Seriously, as I wrote these first few sentences 10 more showed up in my junk mail. It never stops. Every day I get hundreds of spam emails like above and there is no signs of it slacking off. I actually had to reset my junk mail settings so unless the sender is in my contacts, every single email now goes to junk. I still have to go in and scan for legit messages but no doubt a few slip through the cracks.
I know, if you look on the email somewhere there is a little link that says ‘unsubscribe’ or some variation thereof. Supposedly, you click the link, unsubscribe, and they will leave you alone. Um…no, they don’t. In fact, telling them you want to unsubscribe does just the opposite. It let’s the spammers know that your email is active and you do read it. So they just keep sending you more.
These spam emails are more than a distraction, they can be dangerous. Most are designed so if you open one and click a link you will download a virus to your computer. Some virus’s are just minor bugs to slow down your system. Others can do some serious damage or in some way, use your computer to connect to others for some nefarious plot to take over the world, find and kill Sarah Conner. While others are just weak attempts to get you to buy something. No matter what, if you get any of these, simply delete without opening. Get them out of your computer system.
Spam has gotten tricky over the years. Many use celebrity names as endorsements. I get a lot of cures and financial aids from Oprah herself. I didn’t think we were that close to be honest. Many more are from that quack ‘dr.’ Oz. He has disavowed any knowledge or control of said emails on his tv show but it happens enough that he has to have something to do with it. And by the way, if Oz is a real doctor, I’m an astronaut. He is the epitome of slime.
Other tricks are to use common names like John Smith or whatever. Send out enough spam with random names and someone somewhere will see the message, recognize the name as a friend or relative, open the email, and get screwed. I also get things like ‘final notice’ or ‘your warranty will expire soon’ types of spam. It makes you look twice thinking you may have forgotten to pay a bill or something. Since I don’t own anything nor have any warranty on what little I do own, these go straight to the dump. But it doesn’t stop at emails.
If any of you run a blog or website with comments enabled you no doubt have run into spam commenters. People who send out comments that have nothing to do with the topic at hand and everything to do with putting up links to sell shit or get people to download bad links. These are fairly easy to spot. Many are very generic, saying something to the effect of, “Nice post. Keep up the good work.” or something similar. If you are using a program like WordPress you have a lot of control over these. You can set high standards for commenters to keep out the spam. Have each comment require a moderator to approve, or block all comments completely if you don’t want to hear from anyone. You should also put time limit on comments so conversations don’t drag on forever. If you use some other website program, there should be similar controls for comments in place. Comments are good for a blog or business site but keep control of them or they could get out of hand. If you want to have extended conversations, set up a forum and let them have at it.
Robocalls, telemarketers, and spam text messages aren’t nearly as common, at least not with me. That whole Do Not Call registry is pretty worthless anymore. A lot of the telemarketers have come up with ways to circumvent the law or just don’t give a shit. Many spam calls, emails, and texts originate from out of the country, or through so many computers it becomes impossible to track down the source. If you have a good phone and carrier, you can block numbers from your system completely. It helps but doesn’t stop everyone. Wait until next year when the elections go full bore. Everyone will be getting spammed to death by the idiots running for office. And there are a lot of idiots running for office. A lot.
I would love to come face to face with the pricks who do this spam shit. If I ever did, it would not end well. I don’t get much legitimate email over the course of a day but what little I do get is important. Comments for the blog, notices of when domains are due, app updates, things of such a nature which I really need to keep up with. Having to sift through all this bullshit is getting on my nerves, which according to one series of emails, I can cure with this one weird trick, just click here!
It must be profitable somehow because otherwise, I don’t see how they would continue to do it. There are plenty of gullible people out there who would easily fall for some of the tactics these scumbags use. And I can only see it getting worse. Our computers, our devices, are becoming more and more important every day. We are using them for more things than ever before and they are already complicated enough without some scam artist trying to hack said devices. But the more important said devices become to us, the more vital, the more dependent we become on them, the more people will try to take advantage of said dependancy. All to make a buck.
There is not much I can do about the current spate of spam. My only real option is to configure new email addresses and use them until they get hacked someday too. Not a big deal as my hosting allows unlimited email accounts, but every time I change them, I have dozens of accounts I need to change to reflect the new address. And there are always a couple I will forget. I still see accounts with emails I have retired years ago.
If you are having spam issues you may need to take some of the steps I have. Reset your junk mail filters, don’t open any email with attachments, use a virus scanner although most of them don’t work, but it will make you feel like you did something positive. Don’t answer calls if you don’t recognize the number. If it’s for real, they will leave a message. If you think it’s spam, then it probably is, type the number into Google and see what comes up. Chances are, if it’s a spammer, it will show up in the search results with a lot of people complaining. If you are signing up for some new service, think twice before allowing them to contact you for advertising purposes. Opt out whenever possible. If the service is a one time thing or only short term, consider using a temporary email address. It will at least afford you some protection. I also shy away from mainstream email services like Google or Yahoo. They tend to get hacked too often and sometimes they work with spammers rather than prevent them. If you have a domain and hosting, check with said hosting to see if you have email accounts available and use them. Have at least two, one personal, and one for public or business. I know, it’s a lot of work but it is safer in the long run.
It’s damn near impossible to hide your email and phone number from anyone nowadays. No matter who you are, if someone thinks they can scam you out of something by using your contact information, they will most certainly try. You do what you can to protect yourself from all the bullshit. It’s a pain in the ass but it’s the way life is for now, until something more better comes along. Just be careful.
I wonder what kind of starting salary I can get at Google?