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Wasting Time with Junk E-Mail
recent times, I've found myself receiving e-mail messages asking me to
post links on various pages available from this server. So far, one
hasn't been in regard to anything I've actually written, and
neither one was even remotely relevant to the pages in question. (That's
why I didn't say "people have sent me", because I doubt any people were
involved once the actual copy was written. Being that far off the mark
strongly suggests automation and software is involved somewhere.)
junk mail I receive generally comes from sellers of lasers and laser
safety equipment in the Pacific Rim and probably as a result of my
hosting a mirror of the Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ. The rest generally
comes from some very misguided Russians and I have no idea what it's
about, being as I don't know any of the Russian language.
Here's the most recent (as of this writing) of those messages. (Both of these arrived in late April of 2017.)
remember being a kid and feeling overwhelmed with fire safety lessons -
they were taught at home AND at school, and they were a subject of many
a PSA that came on television when I thought I was tuning in for
something a little more light-hearted. But as I’ve gotten older, and
through the work I do for senior wellness, I appreciate how much it was
emphasized during childhood.
And the learning shouldn’t stop once we grow up!
safety is an important - and frankly, a lifesaving - topic, whether
we’re talking about fires that start in the home or those that ignite
outside. With that in mind, can you do me a favor, and look over the
information below? If you see anything you think is helpful on the
topic, I’d sincerely appreciate you adding it to your site - maybe this
page (http://greyghost.mooo.com/repairfaq/sam/audiofaq.htm), or one
that you think would be more appropriate!
[table of links and titles removed mainly for space reasons]
said, I don’t think this is a topic we talk about enough, so if you’d
like something more in-depth to share on your site, let me know. Maybe
I could write a story on fire safety for you, or send you additional
information to share?
Thanks in advance!
All the best,
2885 Sanford Ave SW #35235 / Grandville, MI 49418
P.S. If you’d rather I didn’t reach out in the future, please send me an email letting me know!
I can't quite figure out the
angle here. Most junk mail is sent in the hope of making a profit in
some direct ("click these affilliate links!", "buy some illicit pills
that are probably fake!", "you've won a million dollars in the Nigerian
lottery!") or indirect ("visit this web page that I've festooned with
all manner of advertisements!") way. All of the links I removed point
to disparate sites on the web, whose maintainers almost certainly have no involvement in this. (Certainly
neither FEMA nor the University of Wyoming would be involved in such
dubious behavior.) They're not bounced through any kind of tracking
system along the way. (A possible screwup on the part of the sender?)
(A possiblility that came to mind
about a day after I'd first written this page was that of a spammer
"improving" the quality of their collected addresses. It works: there
are a lot of people who think that "unsubscribing" from a message they
never signed up to receive will actually result in that happening. If
someone did reply to what looks like a fairly normal message, it could
confirm that their address is good and should remain on the list.)
2885 Sanford Avenue SW in Grandville,
MI, assuming Google Maps and Street View is accurate, is a building
that looks to consist of multiple business suites. One of these seems
to be a mail scanning service -- mail sent to a particular box at that address is digitized and made available to someone. Obviously whoever that is would much rather we didn't know who they are. This address seems to attract more than its fair share of dubious activities as a result.
Searching the web
(again, as of this writing) doesn't turn up very much, other than a
church whose contact form is being abused by spammers of all sorts.
I'd have probably thought nothing
more of it, were it not for something niggling at me, saying "this
looks awfully familiar". And sure enough, going back to my inbox, I
found another one! Sent about a week prior to the first, this one read
much the same way:
While the world continues to do a better job of acknowledging the needs
of those who are disabled, accessibility continues to be an obstacle.
Just because someone is physically challenged doesn’t mean they should
have fewer resources. In fact, they should have more!
In my own research, I have found a wealth of information that I think
needs to be shared with others. Let’s help eliminate the
needle-in-the-haystack situation and put this information out front and
center. What do you think? Can I count on you to help me share these
resources? Maybe here: http://greyghost.mooo.com/cdrepair/?
[table of links and titles removed mainly for space reasons]
I appreciate you taking the time to help with making the world more accessible to others, and I thank
you for your consideration.
2885 Sanford Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418
P.S. If you’d prefer not to be contacted in the future, please send me an email to let me know.
Here again the URLs don't
point to any kind of a referral or tracking service through which
monitoring could take place. Another web search turns up two results instead of just one. Only two of the URLs featured in each message point to the same sites: Redfin.com and a Dodge dealer in La Grange, Indiana. Neither site appears to have been compromised, and the articles referenced are still up on both sites.
Both messages were delivered with
plain text and HTML versions. There's nothing insidious in the HTML
version that I can see. Each one came from a different domain, though
the ownership information is cloaked identically between the two.
So...here again, I'm completely
baffled by the purpose of these messages. They're very obviously junk
mail, but what's the angle of the scam they're trying to pull? One
message seems to suggest that they'd like to write something for hire,
but the other says nothing about doing this. There's also this
from Spamhaus, although it pains me to even mention them, since I think
they are really kind of arrogant in the "all of the power and none of
the responsibility" sense. (Mind you, I hate spam and junk mail as much
as the next guy. I just don't care for the way in which Spamhaus
insulates itself from any responsibility or liability, even when their information
Now, I'd have really figured that was the end of whatever-this-was, but in late November of 2017, it happened again! This message talked about disaster safety for people with disabilities and read as follows:
home-educator to my own special needs child (my youngest has autism), I
periodically help other families by taking in their children during
class time. I have at least two students I’m fortunate enough to teach
semi-regularly who not only have a cognitive disability, but also a
in California, where we’re known for having earthquakes and wildfires,
I can’t help but think about what would happen if a natural disaster
were to occur while one of these special students were under my care.
I’ve done a lot of research and consulted with their parents to make
sure we’ve done all we can to make sure that everyone — regardless of
their physical abilities — has a safety plan.
this info can be a little difficult to find, and since you already have
so many great resources on your site already, can I trouble you to add
the following list of articles to this page:
http://greyghost.mooo.com/cdrepair/? (Or if not that page, one with
Disaster Safety for People with Disabilities: What to Do When Emergency Weather Strikes
Disaster Preparedness For Seniors By Seniors
Grants for Home Modification: 16 Resources for Homeowners with Disabilities
Safe travels: Disaster preparedness on the road
Family Communication Plan for Parents
Emergency Power Planning for People Who Use Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology
Emergency Preparedness for People With Disabilities — Guide and Checklist
I really appreciate your support!
Curiously, every single one of these received to date mentions my "offbeat CD repair tips"
page as the "most appropriate" place to put these links. Maybe you know
something about this that I don't? I'd certainly be interested in hearing your take on this,
or any other page on this site. (No, I won't post links to other sites,
unless of course they are relevant to the subject being discussed. Nor
do I do link exchanges.)
Copyright © 2017 by William R.
Some rights reserved. Terms and conditions governing your use or reuse
of this material may be found at the top level page. By the way, I
actively report any and all unsolicitied commercial e-mails ("spam")
sent to any e-mail address published in a page on this system. Updated
05/28/2017 to fix the bad link pointing to my "contact" page,
as discovered by LimestoneFormation some time prior. Last updated on
November 29th, 2017. Never let it be
said that I don't get right on reports of problems and mistakes on this