All content on this blog from Tim McGhee has moved to the Tim McGhee Substack, and soon, Lord willing, will be found only on that Substack.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Never reply to spam

The spammers are getting more clever to get past the spam filters and all their AI.

Lately, they've been using an algorithm that scrapes this blog, finds some reference to a Wikipedia article, makes a dumb assumption about what the article was about (not realizing I just link to Wikipedia a lot), and then send me a form email about an article they wrote that's supposedly better because it's more thorough and quotes from “more than 20 different sources” to “ensure that our article is authoritative.”

And then they don't include a link to the article they're talking about.

So, either they want me to buy it or republish it. Not happening.

After getting a few of these emails, they have several obvious common characteristics.

Subject: Quick Question

Signature includes: 5 Ross Rd, Durham, NH 03824

“BTW, if you didn't like getting this email, please reply with something like "please don't email me anymore", and I'll make sure that we don't.”

Aside from weird capitalization in URLs, it seems like it almost could be a legit email.

The tell is when I went to look up the Web site for the domain name the email is from: search engine spam. Nope.


1. Email filters for some characteristics above to a Gmail “Spam2” label (for later spam reporting, but keep the junk out of my inbox now).

2. Block 3 different senders with nearly identical Wikipedia email content.

If they actually are people reading this blog, then maybe they'll read this and figure out they should remove me from their list. Otherwise, to the spam algorithms they go.

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