by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/10/10 03:31 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/10/10/478582.aspx
Apparently, my existing home mortgage is very impressive.
Because starting in June of this year I have been getting a lot of e-mail claiming that it makes me eligible for a decreased rate (as of midnight 4/26!).
What makes my mortgage most impressive is that I never had to sign any papers to get it. And I never have to pay any money back. On the other hand, I never received any money, either.
I don't even have a home; I live in an apartment.
I won't get into how annoying spam is, I think we all know about that. But I did find one interesting fact about all these mails -- they all follow the same pattern. Here is how they all start:
After accomplishing the survey we are elated to submit to you the following, Your existing mortgage meets the criteria to get more than a 3.2 lower amount!
After wrapping up the appraisal we are keen to provide for you this offer, Your existant mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.1 decreased amount!
After exhausting the survey we are happy to suggest to you as follows, Your existant mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.4 better tariff!
After completing the evaluation we are elated to provide for you this proposal, Your current mortgage qualifies you for more than a 3.1 decreased cost!
After exhausting the inspection we are thrilled to submit to you the following, Your existing mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.7 devaluated percentage!
After wrapping up the appraisal we are pleased to afford for you what follows, Your present mortgage meets the requirements for you to get more than a 3.6 better cost!
After resolving the review we are enchanted to proffer to you this endorsement, Your existant mortgage licenses you for more more than a 3.6 decreased amount!
After closing the study we are gratified to accord to you as we will specify, Your existing mortgage licenses you for more more than a 3.5 smaller percentage!
After satisfying the assessment we are jubilant to proffer to you the following, Your present mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.5 devaluated amount!
After performing the evaluation we are delighted to submit to you what follows, Your existant mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.2 lesser rate!
After finishing the assessment we are happy to propose to you the following, Your existing mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.1 lower amount!
After realizing the survey we are jubilant to proffer to you what follows, Your current mortgage meets the requirements for you to get more than a 3.3 lesser cost!
After accomplishing the check we are confident to extend to you what follows, Your existing mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.2 deflated percentage!
After completing the canvas we are keen to grant to you this offer, Your existant mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.9 lower amount!
After finishing the study we are enchanted to proffer to you this offer, Your current mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.6 lessened cost!
After wrapping up the inspection we are ecstatic to suggest to you what follows, Your existing mortgage makes you eligible for more than a 3.4 devaluated cost!
After finishing the check we are happy to give to you this proposal, Your existing mortgage qualifies you for more than a 3.5 smaller cost!
After completing the analysis we are satisfied to offer you this, Your existing mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.2 lesser percentage!
After accomplishing the study we are excited to give to you this proposal, Your existing mortgage makes you eligible for more than a 3.3 lower tariff!
After wrapping up the analysis we are enthusiastic to proffer to you as follows, Your present mortgage certifies you for more than a 3.1 deflated rate!
After accomplishing the study we are enthusiastic to afford for you this, Your current mortgage licenses you for more more than a 3.9 deflated cost!
After culmination of the analysis we are charmed to grant to you this endorsement, Your existant mortgage licenses you for more more than a 3.8 lesser tariff!
- After executing the audit we are confident to proffer to you as follows, Your present mortgage licenses you for more more than a 3.8 decreased tariff!
And so on (there are many more, but you probably get the point).
Every one is different, and it makes you feel like there is some script that runs and creates these random mails that follow the same basic structure but plug in words, presumably to confound email spam detectors.
Of course, the link that each one offers also seems to be different, and I have never followed any of them (even if it were genuine, they could never beat my current mortgage!).
But what was weird was how I looked at it, from a linguistic standpoint.
The first one ever sent, I dismissed as spam since it referred to a mortgage that did not exist and the English seemed off to me.
But as they started piling up, I still knew it was spam, but I started to realize that knowledge of English would probably be required to be able to have more variations than anything short of a thesaurus could offer. Perhaps that comes from some script writer, but clearly someone has to have some idea of how the language works.
So it struck me as both brilliant and idiotic:
BRILLIANT because sooner or later they might get the syntax right, and really they are not trying to; they just want to avoid spm detection.
IDIOTIC because on the first day four of them. Only a fellow idiot would actually jump up to take the offer.
It makes me wonder why they bother -- do people fall for this nonsense?
Imagine if they used their power for good?
# Serge Wautier on 10 Oct 2005 4:33 AM:
I don't quite agree with you. You know, these people who sell blue pills to me are very serious. You know me, I wouldn't by a cat in a bag (OK, this is literal translation from french but since your blog is about i18n, I thought the bad translation wouldn't be a problem ;-) ), I mean... I'm not an idiot. And I'll tell you what, these pills are great. I'm very confident that they will soon have a very positive effect on my [...] life. Of course, it's serious stuff, not magic. It is therefore normal that the effect is not noticeable immediately or even within weeks.
> Imagine if they used their power for good?
They do, Michael. They just do.
# zzz on 10 Oct 2005 6:00 AM:
I think outlook should still mark those as spam, it does right? Anyhow before Outlook got the junk filters adequadately working, permanently auto-deleting any mail with mortgage worked pretty well among other words... It's a bit amusing they try use all those words but just having mortgage in it is usually enough to tell it spam.
# zzz on 10 Oct 2005 6:02 AM:
Oops! How silly the previous statement of mine now looks, since given you received m*rtg*ge in the message (through mail I assume), it would have been deleted by my filters ;)
# Michael S. Kaplan on 10 Oct 2005 10:26 AM:
Well, this is actually my ISP account that goes to Outlook Express, so I am reliant on my ISP's filters, which have seemed strangely resistant to this mortgage strand....
# Vorn on 10 Oct 2005 10:55 AM:
<i>It makes me wonder why they bother -- do people fall for this nonsense?</i>
It only takes one to make a profit.
# Mihai on 10 Oct 2005 12:58 PM:
Just mark as spam all emails with subject starting with "After" :-D
# Mihai on 10 Oct 2005 2:00 PM:
The recipe seems quite simple.
Just take a sentence and create lists of synonyms (the Thesaurus in Word is great :-). Then mix and match.
All your messages (and way more) can be obtained from the following "pieces":
After culmination of
After wrapping up
we are charmed
we are confident
we are delighted
we are ecstatic
we are elated
we are enchanted
we are enthusiastic
we are excited
we are gratified
we are happy
we are jubilant
we are keen
we are pleased
we are satisfied
we are thrilled
as we will specify
Your current mortgage
Your existant mortgage
Your existing mortgage
Your present mortgage
makes you eligible
meets the criteria
meets the requirements
for more more than a
for more than a
for you to get more than a
to get more than a
# Maurits [MSFT] on 10 Oct 2005 6:46 PM:
# Jonathan on 11 Oct 2005 8:16 AM:
"...Only a fellow idiot would actually jump up to take the offer.... do people fall for this nonsense?"
You just have to put 2 and 2 together, and you'll arrive to the same conclusion like douglas Adams did in "The Dilbert Principle": People are idiots.
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