CAN-SPAM spammers with a sense of humor

Filed Under: Featured, SophosLabs, Spam

shutterstock_SpamWordCloud170The CAN-SPAM act, passed in the United States in 2003, hasn't done much to deter the spammers here. Although India took the crown as the spammiest nation in 2012 the USA is back on top so far in 2013.

Occasionally in the flood of spam that passes through SophosLabs there are messages that make us take a second look.

Today brought just such a message to our spamtraps. In fact it brought several.

The offers themselves were pretty standard stuff for spam. Training to be a nurse or learning the secrets of 17 fat-busting foods aren’t going to turn research heads.

However, the obligatory small print at the bottom of the email showed a little more flair than the average CAN-SPAM mandated message.

can-spam footer500

This message was optimized to be viewed on awesome computers such as the one you're probably using. However there are so many ways to view emails these days that our message may be displayed differently for you. Perhaps you're laying in bed using a tablet or you're taking a bath while using your laptop (not recommended), and hopefully you're not viewing this message on a smartphone while dodging traffic or your neighbor's dog Spike. If you'd like to let us know which device you use to read your mail please send us that comment here. We'll be happy to make your offer viewing experience that much easier.

Do these offers not tickle your fancy? We're sorry to hear that, please go ahead and unsubscribe."

Opt-out is not the correct method for managing annoyances like spam. Opt-in is much preferred but it has been a while since anyone offered me such a polite opt-out.

In case you are wondering, that feedback link really does take you to a page that asks which device you read your email on and for any other comments.

I was tempted to leave a comment but "If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all".


Spam word cloud image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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7 Responses to CAN-SPAM spammers with a sense of humor

  1. DonSimon · 612 days ago

    Haha, that's generally the tone I take when I'm writing consumer directed messages or copyright. You can have fun at work, right?

  2. Connie Taunton · 612 days ago

    India has *taken
    Someone definitely has been reading too much bad-grammar-ridden spam.

  3. Yes, kate with a small 'K', who uses four periods in a row, and begins a sentence with 'And'; you show them how abominable grammar should be written!

  4. Bruce Valeriani · 612 days ago

    "Although India has took the crown..."

    What? Really?? That's NOT English....

    "Although India has taken the crown...." would be the correct grammar.

  5. Paul Ducklin · 612 days ago

    Thanks, everyone, for pointing out the typo :-)

    (Actually, since India no longer has the crown, but merely held it for a while, "has taken" would not be correct. We meant to write "took...now fixed.)

  6. Banquo · 611 days ago

    I wonder if the "Unsubscribe" link was to verify that the email address that the spam was sent to was actually used by someone. The "we're just a bunch of good guys" humor might just be an attempt to appear innocent.

  7. njorl · 608 days ago

    If you are "laying in bed using a tablet", did you buy the latter from a Canadian pharmacy that'd sent you an e. mail earlier?

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About the author

Richard manages SophosLabs' operations in the United States. His principal security interests are endpoint security and user education. When he's not worrying about digital perils he enjoys singing, much to the distress of his cat, whose name does not feature in any of his passwords.