Abandon All Fear

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[Gullibility Virus] Email Nostalgia

Posted by Lex Fear on June 2, 2007

This Post Is Rated: F for Fun. Some good ol’ web 1.0 humour.

Seems like a day doesn’t go by that I don’t get an offer from Russian beauty Natasha, who is looking for love and wants to marry me, or the lawyer of the recently deceased Directory of Operation International Credit Settlement, Central Bank Of Nigeria, who wants to channel some funds through a Western bank account and cut me in on it. Then there is the just plain wierd German ones like this:

AM MONTAG 4. JUNI!
Firma: MOBILE EMAIL US
Kurzel: WKN : 42Q109 / MM1.F
ISIN : US60742Q1094
Preis: 0.309 (+32%)
2-T Prognose: 0.93 +300%
REALISIERTER KURSGEWINN VON 300% IN 2 TAGEN!
MONTAG 4. JUNI STARTET DIE RALLYE!

I miss the old days, when spammers actually worked hard to fool us. Back then spam was written in English, you could trust the scam was genuine. None of this badly translated Gringlish nonsense you get nowadays.

So for those who remember when instant messaging meant sending an email, going to make a cup of tea, then coming back and clicking refresh on your inbox, without further ado I give you…

I usually don’t blog these forward things but I’m just blogging this one, because it might be true…

I was on my way to the post office to pick up my case of free M&M’s (sent to me because I forwarded an e-mail to five other people, celebrating the fact that the year 2000 is “MM” in Roman numerals), when I ran into a friend whose neighbor, a young man, was home recovering from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (which is predictable, since as everyone knows, there’s no actual chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is why the government made them change their name to KFC).

Anyway, one day this guy went to sleep and when he awoke he was in his bathtub and it was full of ice and he was sore all over and when he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEY HAD BEEN STOLEN.He saw a note on his mirror that said “Call 911!” but he was afraid to use his phone because it was connected to his computer, and there was a virus on his computer that would destroy his hard drive if he opened an e-mail entitled “Join the crew!” He knew it wasn’t a hoax because he himself was a computer programmer who was working on software to prevent a global disaster in which all the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It’s true – I read it all last week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)

The poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report his missing kidneys, but a voice on the line first asked him to press #90, which unwittingly gave the bandit full access to the phone line at the guy’s expense.Then reaching into the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle around which was wrapped a note that said, “Welcome to the world of AIDS.” Luckily he was only a few blocks from the hospital – the one where that little boy who is dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for everyone in the world to send him an e-mail and the American Cancer Society has agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail he receives. I sent him two e-mails and one of them was a bunch of x’s and o’s in the shape of an angel (if you get it and forward it to more than 10 people, you will have good luck but for only 10 people you will only have OK luck and if you send it to fewer than 10 people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS).

So anyway the poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital, but on the way he noticed another car driving without its lights on. To be helpful, he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation. Send THIS to all the friends who send you their mail and you will receive 4 green M&Ms — if you don’t, the owner of Proctor and Gamble will report you to his Satanist friends and you will have more bad luck: you will get sick from the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your shampoo, your spouse will develop a skin rash from using the antiperspirant which clogs the pores under your arms, and the U.S. government will put a tax on your e-mails forever.

Source: I can’t remember (old one I know).

Subject: Caution…

I know a lot of rumors have been going around about planned or possibly planned terrorist attacks. Most of these e-mails I read and pretty much go on about my day. This however sounds SERIOUS!

Don’t go to the bathroom on October 28th. CIA intelligence reports that a major plot is planned for that day. Anyone who takes a poop on the 28th will be bitten on the butt by an alligator. Reports indicate that organized groups of alligators are planning to rise up into unsuspecting American’s toilet bowls and bite them when they are doing their dirty business.

I usually don’t send emails like this, but I got this information from a reliable source. It came from a friend of a friend whose cousin is dating this girl whose brother knows this guy whose wife knows this lady whose husband buys hotdogs from this guy who knows a shoeshine guy who shines the shoes of a mailroom worker who has a friend who’s drug dealer sells drugs to another mailroom worker who works in the CIA building. He apparently overheard two guys talking in the bathroom about alligators and came to the conclusion that we are going to be attacked. So it must be true.

Source: About.com

Hoax emails are the ingrown toenails on the stinky foot that is the Web. Congress refuses to pass an anti-spam email bill because our representatives believe such a bill could have an adverse effect on e-commerce. Whiners.

With help from you, the TechTV reader, I believe we can put pressure on Congress by elevating email scams to a profoundly irritating art form and bombarding inboxes the world over with the worst hoaxes the Web can offer.

Before you set out to compose a super-spam masterpiece, you must first understand the basic components of an email hoax and how they can magically fit together to help make online life a baffling ordeal.

  1. Subject line — As Thomas Jefferson said, an email hoax is only as good as its subject line. Amateur scammers usually settle for hackneyed ALL CAP ex
    clamations like, “IMPORTANT!! TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR YOU!!!! OPEN NOW!!” I suggest something more personal, yet broadly applicable, like, “I found your dog.” Many people have dogs, and most would be thrilled to hear that their dog was not lost. You can try it with a cat, but we all know that cat people are a lot less gullible, and frankly, wouldn’t care all that much if their cat was dead.
  2. Sick child — All good email hoaxes should include one or eight pleas to save the life of a sick child. Never mind the obvious non-logic that somehow money can be generated by forwarding an email to 256 friends. Try to think like your audience: You’ve never ventured beyond the AOL homepage, you constantly sign up for “free email offers,” your name is Gomer. Now hit yourself in the head with a ball-peen hammer. Perfect.
  3. Urban legend — Urban legends are only scary if they take boring, everyday activities and turn them into inescapable death traps. Examples: HIV-laced syringes on gas pumps; prospective gang members hide in back seats of cars at gas pumps; gas pumps turn into man-eating snakes and eat your spleen.
  4. Cancellation or taxation of much-loved services — Two facts of life: People are cheap and people hate change. Threaten to tax email, cancel AOL instant messaging, ban cell phones, or raise the price of Old Navy drawstring pants and gullible email slobs will go berserk.
  5. Free crap — People will sell their mother’s pancreas for a free pen. Use this to your advantage.

With these five hoax facts under your belt, you are now ready to create your very own “super scam.” Simply mix and match our helpful hints and you’re on your way to mass email fraud. Here’s an example:

Subject: Hey, it’s me

Hey,

I know that everybody hates email forwards, but when my brother told me about his friends Pete and Barbara and their daughter Nicki, I couldn’t say no.

Ya see, Nicki has this weird brain condition that causes her to gruesomely murder anyone who uses the word “potato.” This brain condition is degenerative and extremely contagious. If not stopped, millions more will be stricken, and we’ll have to start calling potato chips “crisps” like those silly Brits.

Doctors say that the only way to cure Nicki’s ailment is if this email message makes it around the world 947 times in two days. To up the ante, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and the Prince of Monaco have promised $200 billion dollars to the first 53 people who forward the message to 1,000 people or more. I received my check yesterday, which I used to buy a PlayStation2 and Jennifer Lopez.

Did I mention that Nicki’s brain condition will raise gas prices to $200 a gallon? Well, it will.

Please forward this to as many people as you can, especially people over the age of 67 with poor reasoning skills.

Thanks for your help. Dave

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now you give it a try. Use the Talkback section below to share your own handmade hoax emails. We’ll select the best and forward them to the TechTV Newsletter subscribers. Those people will read anything

Source: TechTV

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular Internet Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are becoming infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without question every groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows up in their inbox or on their browser. The Gullibility Virus, as it is called, apparently makes people believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes relating to cookie recipes, email viruses, taxes on modems, and get-rich-quick schemes.

“These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery tickets based on fortune cookie numbers,” a spokesman said. “Most are otherwise normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told to them by a stranger on a street corner.” However, once these same people become infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they read on the Internet.

“My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone,” reported one weeping victim. “I believe every warning message and sick child story my friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are anonymous.”

Another victim, now in remission, added, “When I first heard about Good Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there were dozens of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must be true.” It was a long time, the victim said, before she could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, “My name is Jane, and I’ve been hoaxed.” Now, however, she is spreading the word. “Challenge and check whatever you read,” she says.

Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the virus, which include the following:

  • The willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking.
  • The urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others.
  • A lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story is true.

T. C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter, “I read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos makes your hair fall out, so I’ve stopped using shampoo.” When told about the Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop reading email, so that he would not become infected.

Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately. Experts recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet users rush to their favorite search engine and look up the item tempting them to thoughtless credence. Most hoaxes, legends, and tall tales have been widely discussed and exposed by the Internet community.

Source: Hoax.it

They don’t make ’em like they used to.

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One Response to “[Gullibility Virus] Email Nostalgia”

  1. lwtc247 said

    LOL.

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