Gary D's Take

SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE……

SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE……

Aug 26, 2012

James Gregory, the famous southern comedian (and a personal favorite of mine) has a bit he does about labeling on packaging. Along with the part where he talks about how some  laxative labels say “Works while you sleep” and him saying, “I don’t want that!” (Me neither!) , he mentions the part of the labeling that says “ Warning! This is a medicine and is to be taken for medicinal purposes only. This product is not food or candy.” Gregory’s explanation for that is they put that on there because “SOMEBODY- SOMEWHERE” ate it like candy and were not pleased with the results.That hapless person then sued the laxative company and thus was born that part of the labeling. This leads into a whole segment about crazy warnings on products that are there because “SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE” did that.

Adopting that mind set…when I got ANOTHER email from the “lawyer” in Nigeria who is representing the estate of that long lost relative who has been living in Nigeria and recently passed away leaving me a ton of money. I thought, “why do they keep sending these?” The answer , ala James Gregory, is “SOMEBODY—SOMEWHERE” has fallen for that scam and sent them five thousand dollars via Western Union to cover the “costs” of getting all that money from the non-existent dead relative they never heard of.

My family has always been very active in rescuing animals , particularly dogs. My wife was approached one time , via email, by a “missionary” family on a mission trip to Kenya that was looking for a “home” for their Papillion that “couldn’t stay in Kenya with them”. All the “missionaries” wanted was twelve hundred dollars to cover the air freight for the dog…in advance via Western Union. Then all we had to do was pick up the dog  at the airport. When we offered to pay the airline directly…our pseudo missionaries immediately lost interest. Once again I thought “Why do they do this ?”…the answer…”SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE…”!

Interestingly enough, an article on spam and phishing by Owen Linderholm entitled “Keep Organized Crime out of Your Network” on http://www.itsecurity.com/features/mafia-2-protect-yourself-it-security-060707/says that “yes, the Mafia is getting involved.” WHY? Back to James Gregory…SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE!

Spam has become a BILLION (with a capital B) dollar per year industry and the reason why is very simple, SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE falls for this stuff….everyday….three hundred sixty five days a year! As P.T. Barnum said , “There is a sucker born every minute.”

I am sure you are saying to yourself , “I would never do something that stupid!” Granted if you are reading this you are probably in the top ten percent of savvy technology users..so what has this got to do with you? Simple , although YOU would never be sucked in to a scam , who do you know that is less techno-savvy who might? The answer to that is probably more than one person. So how can you help? Obviously when our less savvy brethren call us and say “Hey I got this email from……..” We always advise them to delete it and warn about the dangers….that’s a given. As we all well know, most of the time, they call us AFTER they click on that suspicious link or open that bot laden attachment. So what do we do? Do what I am doing now, write about ittalk about itkeep sounding the alarm….ALL THE TIME!

A famous member of the governmental war on drugs once said , “It’s not really the SALE of illegal drugs that is the real problem…it’s the BUYING of them that really cause the problems. If no one bought them, the problem would go away overnight.” If that SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE that falls for the phishing stopped falling for it….. If sales of fake Viagra didn’t rise after a spam campaign…. if sales of bogus stocks DIDN’T go sky high when the spammers sent out those “stock tips”….. THEY WOULD STOP!

I remember a quote I read by a famous con-man who had gone straight and was working for the law. “ You can’t con a truly honest person. All cons have an element that appeals to the larceny in someone’s heart. If you truly believe that you can’t get something for nothing and are not willing to compromise your principals , NO ONE can successfully con you.”

So , my brothers and sisters in technology, keep preaching the gospel about spam and phishing. Do not shirk your task or waiver from your purpose! The soul you save from spam will be one less SOMEBODY-SOMEWHERE!

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