Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Feb. 6, 2003

Here's some spam, ma'am

It's not enough that I get unwanted stuff in my mailbox - magazine solicitations, an offer for an unforgettable "free" weekend in the Rockies if I agree to listen to a spiel about a condo purchase, letters from politicians telling me how much they've done for me. Now I have to sort through the junk e-mail - commonly called spam - on my computer to get to the messages I really want.

I must admit spammers are creative with sender names. Often they are impossible to pronounce while others seem to be combinations of languages or ideas. The name Callado Ramadan, which appeared in one message, is the combination of a Spanish word - Callado - which means to be silent or quiet - and Ramadan - an Islamic religious holiday.

The subject lines are frequently followed by an exclamation point as if the messages are really exciting! Some are all capitalized to emphasize HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE!

I've categorized the messages into groups. The first are those that want to help me quit smoking, even though I don't smoke and never have:

"HealthWatch: Want to Quit Smoking? We know the secret!"

The real "secret," HealthWatch, is to not START!

Another offers special prescription drug prices, even though I rarely take anything but over-the-counter medications:

"sfm: Order Viagra, Phentermine and Other Drugs without a Prescription!"

Sfm is apparently more diversified than some folks for I later received another message from him or her:

"sfm: Buy Stocks for Just $4!"

Then there is the group promising to enhance various body parts, sometimes ones that my gender doesn't possess:

"Cosley Formanek: Bigger breasts without surjary!" (their misspelling)
"Lotan Raymos: No doctor visits and no embarrassment!"

Lotan, once you've been in the delivery room to give birth, you're beyond embarrassment.

Another group wants to provide me with "special" information related to the IRS, despite my husband being the one who does our taxes:

"Rawat Fanton: Important IRS related information!"
"Soulard Lawczyk: Resolve IRS and State Tax Debt!"

Making certain my love life is well provided for is another area of interest for the spammers, ignoring the fact that I have enough trouble keeping up with Art:

" View Photos of Singles in Your Area!"

Yet another group encourages me to go shopping, even though that activity is something I have never cared much about:

"Sadolsky Roach: Time to go bra shopping"
"D. Omino: 10 Free Pizzas and a Movie!"
LifeMinders Inside Offers: GET PAID TO SHOP! GET PAID TO EAT!"

Finally, there are the ones I can't classify - those I'm not sure about, but am more than content to let them remain in the unclassified category:

"The Crocodile Hunter: Croc Poo"
Latimer Frisch: Just passing this one on to you!"

Thanks, Latimer! Just passing your message into the trash!

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