An interesting spam

Just saw something in my e-mail spam folder that I had to share. I’m not sure if it was spam or legit, but it sure seemed like spam so I deleted it.

The subject line said the person was looking for lesson information. I was surprised it wound up in the spam folder at first, but that’s why I check instead of deleting blindly.

When I opened it up, though, I saw why it was there (I think). The message (which was not addressed to me in the To field, but to a David Dudley) said the person was looking for fastpitch lessons for a 15 year old boy coming in from the Netherlands. It didn’t say what kind — pitching, hitting, fielding, etc. — just generic “lessons.” It then asked for some information, including costs, location and contact info.

I dunno. Maybe it was legit, but it just didn’t feel right. It seems like if you were asking about lessons for someone coming in, you’d say the kid was coming to such-and-such town, is that anywhere close to where the instructor lives. The punctuation and grammar also had that spam-like feel to it, although that could be a function of writing in a language that is not your native tongue.

In any case, assuming it was spam (or phishing) I find it interesting that someone would go to those kinds of lengths to harvest names and e-mail addresses and put something like that together. I guess the usual standbys (cheap drugs, Nigerian princes, lottery winnings, etc.) aren’t working as well anymore.

On the other hand, if you are reading this and are the person who sent it (with a legit request for information) send it again with better info, and put the word fireant in the subject line! No special reason for fireant. I just like the word.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on December 16, 2008, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Ken,You are very wise to spot this from the get-go. The telltale signs you recognize were right to set off your “scamdar”. Great job!This is a variation of the fraud transfer and dump scam. The way this one works is when you reply (I did to see what the catch was knowing it was a scam I wanted to see how it worked) they say they are sending their kid to your town for a couple of months.They offered me $1,000 a day for 2 weeks of training saying they wanted their son to “stay busy” until they got here because they had important business to attend too back home.Here is where the scam comes in, and it is a new twist on an old scam, he then said that he wanted his son to have spending money so he was going to send me a check for $50,000 of which I was supposed to take my cut and then wire the balance to the account he was setting up for his kid.Of course, the check would have been fraudulent, so as soon as I wired the money to his account he would take out the cash, the check would bounce and I would be liable for the $50K. This is a classic internet scam with a training lesson twist.One time in my online store a guy wanted to purchase about $75,000 worth of a particular item. I told them I was happy to sell this to them, but they would need to pay first. It was “Robert from Nigeria”. He sent the check and kept calling me for the tracking info.I stood strong and told him as soon as the check cleared we would send him the merchandise. He called every day, panicked I am sure. Of course the check was returned as a fraud, fortunately we were smart enough not to send the merchandise, but the check looked real, we easily could have been snookered our of the stuff. Anyway, any time someone offers to pay you more than the amount of any particular item or service you are offering and then have you wire them the balance or some variation of this, that is the scam. Hopefully this helped. These are very prevalent on sites like Craigslist and eBay. They really aren’t Phishing, they are going to send you a check which you will deposit, only it is a fraudulent one.I hope this helped. It is amazing how hard people will work not to have to work. Personally, I prefer the rewards hard work provides, the money is secondary, but that’s what makes our country so great I suppose.

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  2. Thanks for explaining the details of how it works, Coach. I was curious as to exactly what the angle was — and I figured there was an angle. Sounds like you took the smart approach on that $75K check. Sort of like pizza places calling back on a 10-pizza order, but with a much higher risk factor. I guess the lesson here is, as always, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Thanks again for sharing the detailed explanation with everyone!

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