The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Saturday, July 29, 2006

There's no free Porsche or Mustang on Craig's list

An attack by a disgruntled spammer on news.admin.net-abuse.email is answering the age-old question: why are people stupid enough to fall for 419 scams?

Spammer Bill Stanley, owner of ironserver.com, offering "bulletproof" hosting is having a great deal of trouble keeping his site on line, thanks in no small part to Steve Linford of the Spamhaus project, and other spam-fighters who coordinate their work through the above-mentioned newsgroup.

In retaliation, Stanley is posting advertisements for a free or very cheap Porsche car on Craig's list (he switched to Mustangs as the Craig's list community caught on). Posing as a woman seeking revenge on a cheating husband, Stanley says "she" wants to sell her cheating husband's beloved sports car for $1, and interested persons should post to news.admin.net-abuse.email to get in touch with her.

As might be expected, the newsgroup has been completely flooded with people begging to be chosen as the lucky recipient and tripping over themselves to commiserate with the aggrieved "Suzie" and tell her what a louse her husband is.

Why anybody would be stupid enough to think that the seller of a car would want to be reached through an anti-spam newsgroup is left to an exercise for the reader, although the obvious answer is that people will believe in anything they desperately want to be true.

OK, repeat after me:

I didn't win $500 from gmail.
I didn't win any lottery I didn't enter.
There's no free Porsche on Craig's List.
There's no Santa Claus*

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