Sunday, August 31, 2003


When asked to name some creative endeavors, most of us would think of people such as artists, composers, and authors. Yes, these are creative people, but they are joined by an unlikely, and unlikable, group - spam writers. Every day, computers are beseiged by clever e-mail messages designed to elicit a response from the recipients. It takes will power to resist e-mails with sources and subjects such as:

Mail support returned mail ... see transcript for details
Customer support scheduled PC maintenance

We are all familiar with the sleasy promises of anatomical enhancement and performance improvement, but many can be fooled by the creative word formulations by the spammers. These include:

Distribution center confirming your order
Administration your security code
Human Resources your recent e-mail message
Reward center award notification
Customer Service your warranty
Finance your $500 advance
Publications renew subscription
Mail center returned mail
IT Department authorization enclosed

And millions more. It is difficult to imagine what a recipient's response might engender. Unless enticed, we don't open these messages. It may well be that alll the spammer wants to know is that the viewer's e-mail address is correct. What we do know is that every day these creative people will be devising and sending ever more beguiling messages for us to receive