Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
sales success

The lowest form of communication

The internet is such a great marketing tool! it is effective, relatively cheap, and reach millions of potential customers, where ever they are. Many marketing professionals are using legitimate (even if a bit annoying) methods to communicate messages (advertise) their clients goods and services.

It is common, and widely accepted to exchange links between websites, to promote websites. This could be in an article, where some words are highlited, and linked to other websites or webpages.  It could also be in a form of a banner, animated or not, depicting goods or services, with an appropriate link to the relevant site.

Google are making a fortune, selling these ads (AdWords), and placing links on search results pages, in correspondence with the words or phrase searched for,

Another great way to advertise your services, or point to your website, is to leave comments on blogs. As blogs are interactive, you could comment on an article (blog post), with your name, email and website. When someone read your comment (the blog host, for example), the will click on your name, which will be linked to your website or blog. Now you have a unique visitor to your site.

This is all good, and legitimate. Like most things, the internet is being used by good people, and ABUSED by not-so-good people.

SPAM is the lowest form of communicating messages. By definition from wikipedia :

Spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, and file sharing network spam.

Spammers find “clever” (or devious) ways of reaching as wide an audience as they can: leaving linked messages as comments on blogposts , or sending millions of unsolicited and sometimes criminal emails such as this one:

We recorded a payment request from “Internet Friends Network -iFriends.net -Girls Show” to enable the charge of AU$300 on your account.

Because the order was made from an european internet address, we put an Exception Payment on transaction id #POS01-37651831 motivated by our NetBankGuardDog Tracking System.

THE PAYMENT IS PENDING FOR THE MOMENT.

If you made this transaction or if you just authorize this payment, please ignore or remove this email message.The transaction will be shown on your monthly statement as “Internet Friends network”.

If you didn’t make this payment and would like to decline the AU$300 billing to your card, please follow the link below to cancel the payment :

http://www3.netbank.commbank.guardnet-au.com/images/netbanks/logon.html (Broken link – RC)

NOTE: Because email is not a secure form of communication, please do not reply to this email.

Yours sincerely,

© Commonwealth Bank of Australia 2009 ABN 48 123 123 124

Now this looks real, doesn’t it? This is exactly what the spammers intend to do:

The L&F (Look & Feel) of the email looks authentic, with ABN and everything. They even warn you about the email not being:”secure form of communication“!

The Link looks real, and the whole message is believable. Spammers are getting clever about attracting attention, and using techniques knows as Fear Strategy, as used in the Life Insurance industry for decades:

“What if I do nothing – what is going to happen to me, or my loved ones?”

HOW TO SPOT SPAM MESSAGE FROM A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION:

  1. No financial institution will ever ask you in a bulk email (not personalized) to verify your email, or go to a website. They are most likely to call you, or send you to visit your brunch.
  2. Your OWN email address isn’t visible, in most cases.
  3. Click on reply, and see the replied to address (DON’T CLICK SEND!!)

I don’t really know how, but we must do everything in our powers to stop and punish these spammers (who are probably targeting this very site as you read it 😉 ), and put them behind bars, for the damage the cause, or intend to cause. I don’t know if legally we can do that, but if we can’t, it is time change legislation.

Help fighting spam by sending this article to everyone you know.

Don’t you think?

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