A few months ago, I would have been annoyed to receive spam or a phishing attempts in my inbox. At this time, I would simply come across the email, wonder if this person contemplated life, think about that for a few more minutes, and then delete the message. However, this method is such a boring process with no gain. When I started to get more spam and phishing attempts in my inbox, I decided to be creative.
One day, I got a message from the Facebook Award team saying that on behalf of the United Kingdom, they are giving me 1 million British pounds (hooray for me, right). All I needed to do to get the money was enter my name, address, phone number, age, country, and occupation (but Facebook already knows all of these things). Finally, I had to send this information to an email that had no relationship to Facebook whatsoever (the email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. If spammers and phishers are going to try to see my private information and possibly share that private information with the world, then two can play at that game). Let’s not forget to mention that they left me their warmest regards.
The person hiding behind the email address made an earnest attempt to take away my personal information. Although I usually delete emails like this, I somewhat appreciated this person’s efforts. I decided to give this person all of my information:
Full name: Johnny Appleseed
Address: 123456789 Cedar Lane (that’s a lot of numbers)
Phone number: 777-7777-7777 (I am not responsible for anything that happens if anyone calls this number)
Age: 101 (not a teenager)
Country: Planet Earth (try to find me now!)
Occupation: I forgot my occupation (next time, I’ll say that I plant seeds all day)
Then, I simply had to end in style:
Thanks Facebook rewards team. You guys are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been doing this ever since. I got another email where Optimum (my email provider) was going to shut down my account in 48 hours unless I gave them my password. These people were a little smarter using the email address email@example.com, but I still knew it wasn’t Optimum. The password I sent to them was “NotGonnaHappen.”
Phishers try so hard to take people’s private information. That’s how people get hacked. I take the time of day to respond to these people’s emails, but then the phishers never bother to respond to my emails that I spend so much time on. I wonder why.
These are some of the things I am considering to do for the next person who sends me one of these emails:
- Send over some interview questions about why this person spams other people.
- If I get another message about some Facebook rewards team, I’ll tell the person that I work for Facebook.
- I’ll send over the definitions of 10 words so the phisher can brush up on his/her vocabulary.
The possibilities are endless. Maybe this entire thinking process is the teenager part of me talking, but I have a lot of fun sending out these kinds of emails.