Today, I woke up in the morning, in a very good mood. It was 7.00am and I had plenty of time to drink my coffee, read the latest world news and check out my e-mails before I go to work. I sat in front of my computer while singing a happy song; thankful to be alive and ready to live another gorgeous day. As I was having a flavorsome sip of coffee, I opened my mail box and there it was! A spam-forwarded e-mail sent by a friend.
At first, I opened the email confidingly. I didn’t even think about it. My friend was usually sending me nice emails, e-cards with e-kisses and e-bears; I actually find them cute (although I almost never forward them or even read the whole thing). Because the truth is that I have a general dislike for any kind of spam e-mails even for those that are sent just to say that someone cares about you, someone loves you and someone considers you to be a best friend. After all, those e-mails are not truly necessary, I know who my friends are, and they know I care about them although I might have seen them for a while. It is just an ideological thing. I personally believe that too much e-love can change true human relationships and may lead to true communication loss.
But I digress. I’ll try to stick to the point. As I said, this friend used to send me lots of cute stuff and informative mails. But this one, today, was different. I didn’t know if I should get scared or get mad. In a few words, the mail said that someone that received the mail and considered it spam mail lost his son 7 days later. And some other guy that did forward it won the lottery. Plus, someone else wanted to forward that mail but assigned this task to his secretary who forgot it. What was the result? The secretary lost her job and this guy’s family died. Oh, I forgot to tell you that the mail came with a very spiritual image of the Virgin Mary. As you can see, the person who wrote this e-mail was deeply religious. So, if I send this e-mail to 15 people in 10 days, I will have the Lord’s blessings, otherwise a beloved one will die! Awesome!
Of course, this is not the first time I’ve received an e-mail like this. I am sure you’ve received several yourself. “Terror” e-mails I call them; they contain all these fancy original threats – I wonder whose job is to come up with them. There are some sick people out there, taking advantage of whomever will do the stupid thing and forward those emails. The threats have a really wide spectrum, they are evolving and no matter how many of those e-mails you delete, they always come back worse. If you don’t forward these spam e-mails, you will have bad luck, you will lose your job, your sex life will be either miserable or non-existent and something really bad or even fatal will happen to a family member, a good friend, the love of your life or yourself (your pick).
And the question pops into my head: Does anyone make a profit off of those e-mails?
After some research I found 2 possible explanations:
• These forwarded spam emails contain viruses; no matter how up-to-date your anti-virus software is, it can not keep them out. And even if your computer can, maybe your friends’ computers can’t.
• Some people want to make a mailing list and use it for any possible purpose. If you forward these e-mails you just verify your “correct” email address.
What can we do?
Don’t play their game. Delete the messages or report them as spam mails. Do not even think of forwarding them to your friends. All in all, do you really think that there is a tiny possibility that one of those e-mails can bring you luck, fill your wallet, and change your sex life or your life in general? We are not that stupid – are we?