Who’s Who?


I got an email. It wasn’t picked up by my spam filter but that’s exactly what it was. Spam spammity spam.

Apparently I’ve been accepted into the 2013 Worldwide Who’s Who. (You can’t see me falling around laughing can you?)

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent 2013 Worldwide Who’s Who.

We are pleased to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved April 2nd. Congratulations! The Publishing Committee selects potential candidates based not only upon their current standing, but focusing as well on criteria from executive and professional directories, associations, and trade journals.

Given your background, the Director believes your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication. There is no fee nor obligation to be listed. As we are working off of secondary sources, we must receive verification from you that your profile is accurate. After receiving verification, we will validate your registry listing within seven business days.

Once finalized, your listing will share prominent registry space with thousands of fellow accomplished individuals across the globe, each representing accomplishments within their own geographical area.

Spam works by hooking in to a want or desire. If the person who sends out the spam can make the topic connect with the recipient, the recipient is more likely to click the link.

Spammers have used the promise of a new job, sex, travel, money and fulfilling various other human desires. The idea is to make an offer attractive enough that the person who receives the email ignores the dangers of clicking on potentially damaging links.

The Promise of Fame

This time around they’re using the bait of fame. If I believe the email, I’ve finally been recognised as someone important. I just need to approve my profile and then everyone will know about me. Clicking that link will assure my place in history. The Worldwide Who’s Who knows who I am. The fact that I’ve never done anything worthy of being listed in a Who’s Who shouldn’t deter me. I’m a click away from fame and recognition.

We live in a world obsessed with fame so I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of clicks on that link. I don’t know if those clicks will infect computers or just lead people on to requests for money but I know that many people will take the bait. So many people are desperate for the world to validate them. They want fame for fame’s sake.

What about me?

I want to be in my family’s Who’s Who. I want to be listed as husband and dad. That’s what matters to me. Whether I’m known beyond my home is not what matters. My job does give me a wider profile in the community but I’m not interested in chasing fame.

Outside my family I’ll put my energies towards making a difference in the world that doesn’t depend on people knowing who I am but in knowing who God is. The verse below is probably a good way to start.

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously. –Micah 6:8 (The Message)

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I Trust Myself

SpamI trust myself. I really do. I guess that’s why I’m opening so much spam email these days.

I’ve noticed that there’s an increasing trend amongst spammers to somehow make their emails to me appear to have been sent from my own account. Brilliant strategy.

There was a time that I would have been sceptical about receiving emails about 80% off a range of medications. In the past I would simply delete emails about reducing or increasing the size of various body parts. I can remember mornings when I would arrive at my computer and spend a few moments deleting emails that suggested I visit amazing websites that would excite me. I’ve even been known to send emails with winning investment advice directly to the junk folder.

Everything’s changed now.

These days I just have to open those emails because I’ve sent them to myself. I trust myself, so if I’ve sent an email to …. well …. me, it must be something worthwhile. I don’t remember sending the emails but they must be important or I wouldn’t have sent them. All I know is, if my name is in the ‘from’ field, there must be something good inside.

I wonder if maybe some of the medications involved can actually transport you forward in time. Maybe I took a pill that rocketed me a few years into the future. Once I got there, I must have thought, “These pills are great. I must tell ‘past me’ about them.”

I also wonder, do the spammers really think that we’re so stupid that we’ll see an email that has our own name attached and think it’s legitimate and open it right away to see what goodies await us?

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We're in the money

Sometimes it all comes at once.

My bike needs a major repair. The shifter lever needs replacing. The problem is one small, broken spring but they don’t sell the spring so I need to find a second hand shifter or buy a complete replacement. Ouch! (If you have a spare Tiagra 9 speed shifter please send it my way.)

Our computer is an old Celeron 900 which has worked its little CPU out for years for us. Over the past few months it’s been having more and more issues. Today it doesn’t want to work at all. I’m hoping to get it running again tonight but we really need to bite the bullet and get a new computer. I’ve recently taken on some extra work which requires me to have a reliable computer at home.

As you probably already know, I’m flying out of Australia this weekend with Compassion Australia to see their work in Haiti. Flights, accommodation and meals are looked after but there are always extra expenses so I’ll need some extra cash.

On top of that there’s all the usual efforts to balance a very tight budget.

Just when I was getting ready to tear my hair out I was thrown a lifeline. This email arrived in my inbox.

We the entire members of Chiesa Cattolica Italiana hereby notify you as the winner of $650,000.00 US (Six hundred and fifty thousand US dollars only.

You are advice to contact immediately you received this mail for Further instruction on how you are to claim your donation prize.

Please quote your qualification numbers to our secretary for security Reasons.

Qualification numbers N-222-6647, E-910-56 quote in all Discussions. (1)FULL NAMES, (2)ADDRESS, (3)CITY, (4)STATE,(5)COUNTRY, 6)SEX, (7)AGE (8)MARITAL STATUS, (9)TELEPHONE NUMBER, (10)OCCUPATION

Contact information below:Executive Rev .Sis Rose Eduardo

Forget repairing my bike or computer. I can now buy a new bike, new computer, new house.

OK, yes, I know that it’s just spam and that I haven’t really won anything. Don’t you wish that just once one of those emails was the real thing?

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I am tired tonight

By the frequency of the almost identical emails that land in my inbox I’m guessing I’m not the only one getting spam that follows this pattern.

Hello! I am tired tonight. I am nice girl that would like to chat with you. Email me at Maria@****.com only, because I am using my friend’s email to write this. To see some pictures of me.

Here’s an idea. If you’re tired, go to bed. Get some sleep. Then you won’t have to keep emailing people you don’t know, offering to send them pictures of yourself.

By the way, another hint, nice girls don’t generally offer to forward pictures of themselves to complete strangers. If you don’t see a problem with that kind of behaviour talk to your  mum, she’ll explain.

I’m not even going to begin to critique your use of the English language. I’m guessing that the sad, obese, mid-fifties, chain smoking guy who has never had a successful relationship in his life, who is sitting in his darkened study sending out these emails, wants me to think that you’re a gorgeous, nineteen year old nymphette from Russia who desperately wants to hook up with an overweight mid-forties guy like me.

Sorry to spoil your fun but I’m happily married and I don’t need pictures of who you’re pretending to be. For that matter, I need pictures of who you really are even less.

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