The Wonderful World of Spam

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spamSpam – annoying bits of malicious code or advertising email that tries to infiltrate websites – is an amazing thing. It is different from the pink Spam compressed in a can although both are just as likely to induce a gag reflex.

Occasionally I like to look at spam. It sits in one of my email accounts until I delete it. According to my site’s spam protection software, I have accumulated over 4600 bits of spam. June was a particularly frantic month with 1142 pieces of the stuff siting in my account. I’m not sure why June induced this outburst; maybe the financial year drawing to an end sent spammers into a frenzy.

Sometimes I flick through to check the predominant themes and they invariably comprise lottery, inheritance or banking scams written in broken English and beginning with ‘Dear Loved One’, or ‘My Beloved’ (somewhat familiar for a stranger!)  They mention recently inheriting a lot of money, winning the lottery or having to escape from a brutal regime and needing assistance to transfer millions of dollars which they will collect once out of the country.

To do this they request my bank account details and offer to share their cash with me. This is exceptionally generous. I’ve been offered so many millions for every uncle, aunt, cousin or parent that has suddenly died or won the lottery that I could be a multi-billionaire by now.  How amazing that so many countries in Africa (particularly Nigeria) are full of dead rich people whose benefactors are waiting to share it with me.

I’d  love to send a message back to the spammers and thank them for participating in the Nigerian lottery on my behalf. Or to express my condolences for their deceased family member whose final deed was to bequest me a large sum of money. Instead, I sigh as I press delete and wait for the next money-spam bonanza.

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Sue Bell

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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