Last August, I wrote about some crazy Nigerian hackers sending out spammy e-mails on my behalf.
Sorry to say, friends, it happened again.
FIRST, A TECHNOLOGY LESSON
I’ve recently learned that it’s not actually called “spamming” in this case — it’s called “spoofing.”
Many of you probably received an e-mail that looked like it was from me because they used my name; but the e-mail address was totally different. This means that possibly a long time ago, some obnoxious nobody with no morals somehow got my address book and is sending e-mails to my nearest and dearest — but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve changed my password, I’ve set up two-step authentication in Gmail, I monitor where people are logging into my account from, but the deed has been done and I can’t fix it.
IGNORE THESE KINDS OF E-MAILS FROM ME
So, for now on, you’ll probably get some sketchy e-mails from me occasionally. Please accept my blanket apology and just don’t click on the link. If you’re not sure if it’s from me or not, contact me to find out, but I tend not to write e-mails that look like spam.
Here’s an example of an e-mail that one of my friends received last week from “me”:
Subject: from: Lia Lehrer
[SKETCHY LINK, I WON’T INCLUDE IT HERE JUST IN CASE YOU GET CONFUSED AND CLICK ON IT]
Sent from my iPhone
There are a few warning signs in this e-mail.
- Subject line. You will never see “From: Lia Lehrer” in a subject line from the real me. Obviously you can see who it’s from in the “from” line, so I can use the precious subject line for more important things like “Dinner tomorrow night” or “Pizza toppings” or “Dancing monkeys visiting my office with Oreos.”
- Weird words. I have never and will never use the word “Salutations.”
- Full name signature. Rarely do I sign an e-mail with my full name. Come on, if I’m e-mailing you, we’re probably already besties and on a first-name basis … and also, who are these other “Lia” friends spelled the same way that you’re cheating on me with??
- Sent from my iPhone. Remember those commercials: “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC”? Well, friends, I am a PC. I’m not getting an iPhone. I love my Samsung Galaxy S5.
THE BEAUTY OF THE SPOOFED/SPAMMED E-MAILS
You gotta look at the bright side of life, though, right? Here’s what happens when spoofed e-mails get sent on my behalf: Without my even trying, here I am, showing up in your inbox, keeping in touch with you!
Wow, I haven’t heard from Lia in a while, but oh, that’s so nice of her to e-mail me. I should really call her.
I have one specific friend who lives out of town and we have a hard time keeping in touch as often as we would like; but she consistently texts me after receiving these spammy e-mails to make sure it wasn’t really me sending them, and, BOOM, we’re texting!
It’s like an alien has come into my inbox and e-mailed people on my behalf who he thinks I should be in touch with. “Lia! You haven’t e-mailed Sally in a while! You know what, rather than waiting for you to reach out, I’m just going to do it on your behalf.”
Spammy spoofy roboty alien, you know what might be better? Maybe send these people some actual content. Cut it out with the virus-inducing links; instead, maybe there’s a way you can include a message with my latest blog post and an intro message like…
Hey Sally, it’s been a while, I thought you might like to read my latest blog post.
[Excerpt from latest blog post.]
Hope you’re well! Salutations! Greetings, Earthling!
Sent from my iPhone
Friends, I look forward to keeping in touch with you soon … whether it’s from me directly or from my social assistant, the Spammy Hacker!