Spam Mail

Spam mail now intentionally being sent to the wrong person:
Internet ScamBusters #4

SCAM: Some Bulk Emailers Are
Sending Personalized Email–
But Addressing It To The Wrong Person.

Here’s the scoop: An acquaintance of ours recently let us in on this bulk email scam: it’s *very* devious. There are at least two (and probably more) bulk email companies that are using this approach to bulk email now–I think you’ll see why it is so much more likely to be effective.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say your name is Steve. You get an email that starts off: “Dear Stuart.” It then goes on to present the bulk email pitch. Since your name isn’t Stuart, you assume that this is a legitimate email that was sent to you by mistake.

You most likely read it (most people do), and then you may well try to send it back to the sender so they can send it to the correct recipient (Stuart).

In the process, you most likely don’t perceive this to be a bulk email, so you don’t get annoyed (or worse). You also are more likely to read the message, since most people just bulk erase bulk emails. And, you are more likely to respond (at least by forwarding the email back to the sender) so the bulk email company knows that you at least received it.

Does this work? According to our acquaintance, he’s heard that is much more effective than traditional bulk email. We’ve received five such bulk emails since he told us about this approach, so it definitely is being used by bulk email companies.

(We don’t know what they send to the people truly named Stuart–we suspect they get the same email, but they’ve chosen a reasonably unusual name, and since it is personalized, it probably works better than normal bulk email even to Stuart’s.)

We anticipate that there will be *a lot* more use of this sneaky technique. So, feel free to spread the word by telling your friends and colleagues to subscribe (see below) to get this issue of Internet ScamBusters!

Now you won’t be fooled next time you get this kind of bulk email!


We recently learned about a new Web site that can help you avoid losing your money to fraudulent schemes. It deals with specific scams and fraud. It’s at: