How to attract more spam


Got this in my mailbox today, from the spammer or spamming group which has been very active in the last couple of months:

From: Ford Fall Clearance <>
Subject: Re: Ford Dealers are Slashing-Prices. All Models Must Go..
To: <redacted>


Don’t miss out on the “Ford End-of-Summer Saving Event”
Limited-time special pricing on select Ford models
Compare offers to find the lowest price here:
(Use the link above to view this message in your browser)
message id 4335021

Click that link (which I have obfuscated so it goes nowhere) and you will be taken to the website of


The spam email was from “Ford,” so this particular page focuses on Ford vehicles, but you can select any make and model, and I’m sure the “affiliate marketer” has pages for every brand which they blast out on a daily basis.

So, let’s put in some bogus information here – notice that the phone number and the email are both for the Federal Trade Commission. Enver Hoxha was the communist dictator of Albania for decades.


That should generate some interesting emails and phone calls at FTC headquarters. Notice that by submitting your information, you agree to be called, robo-called, emailed, texted, etc. by anyone and everyone in the universe.

So what did I get for submitting my information?


That’s right: Nothing. Even if I select my make and model on this page, and click “Search,” I still get the same result. Nothing.

But wait, there’s more.


Now you get to give them a mailing address, so that your junk mail will increase by a factor of 100.

But don’t stop now! There are more deals ahead!


Look at all this information they want you to hand them, including your birth date and social security number.


That’s not just advice, that’s a command. Just don’t ever do it. You’re inviting identity thieves like a porch lamp invites moths.

I run an online business (several, actually) and part of our privacy policy reads like this:

We don’t know how it would be possible for anyone to hate spam more than we do.  In the same breath, we are aware of the challenges and inconveniences associated with identity theft.  As a result:

  • Your information will never be sold, traded, given away or otherwise divulged to anyone, and we do not purchase names from other companies.
  • We do not keep any financial data (i.e. credit card numbers) on file.
  • We do not buy information or names from others.
  •  We do not advertise by spamming. Ever.

Unfortunately many businesses do not subscribe to such policies, and you can be guaranteed that anything you respond to in your email that was unsolicited or from a company you have never done business with will result in an even greater flood of spam, or possibly criminal misuse of your information.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Another mail-forwarding scam

This scam is very well-crafted. It looks legitimate. It’s not. Mail re-shipping, as I indicated in my previous post, is a crime.

Dear Old Wolf,

According to your recent email inquiry, you are interested in more details concerning the vacancy of Mail Clerk.  You can find further information about the position in this email. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email them or you can call us (904) 239-3968.

Global Logistics Plus Inc is an online mail service with a physical location in Florida. We offer our clients a US postal address where they can receive parcels and correspondence. Foreign business people selling and buying goods in the USA find this service to be invaluable, since a lot of US retailers do not ship internationally. Global Logistics Plus is also very popular with Americans who need to receive their mail on the move. Our customers can easily manage their mail online, consolidate packages in bulk and forward it anywhere in the world with considerable discounts.

We strive to improve our management of personnel and warehousing with innovative approaches that help to keep our company ahead of competitors  by maintaining low costs. For example, our remote employment approach allow us to massively increase the number of addresses we offer, as well as drastically reduce costs involved with storage. You have a chance to become one of our remote employees. Our business processes are entirely automated, no elaborate training is necessary and there are no start-up costs. You can work from any location in the United States. We encourage you to submit your application and resume, so that we can consider your candidacy more thoroughly.


•       Monitor the list of incoming shipments, receive paperwork and instructions from your online account
•       Accept parcels and letters delivered by the major carriers to your home address
•       Process them according the instructions
•       Deliver the items to your local post office and ship them to our clients using prepaid shipping labels provided by our company
•       Inspect all packages, photograph the contents and upload the photographs
•       Submit reports via email and your online account

This is a relatively independent position that relies on the individual’s ability to take their responsibilities seriously. This job requires constant presence at home and strong commitment and discipline. However, the work is financially rewarding. A full-time employee of Global Logistics Plus receives a monthly salary of $2,000 plus $500 bonus for processing more than 50 orders per month. It requires you to be available at your home address during business hours (9am-5pm) from Monday to Friday, and occasionally in the evenings or on the weekends. You must have a computer, a digital camera or a cell phone with built-in camera, a printer, a stable internet connection and reliable transportation.

We place a very high priority on the security of our employees. One of our most important policies is to investigate all potential customers in order to verify that their business is genuine.  This allows us to avoid the potential for criminal activity. We require all of our clients to provide two forms of ID as well as Form 1583 that has been certified by a notary. They must also complete an interview and verification process. The primary items for shipment include electronics, clothing, auto parts and sporting goods. (In other words, easily-stolen and easily re-sold items)

To apply, please complete and send us back the application, which is attached to this email. Please also review and to get acquainted with the draft employment contract. In the application form you will find the link to our company’s website.

Ann Harper,
HR assistant,
Recruitment department,
Global Logistics Plus, Inc.
212 Industrial Loop South, Ste 139
Orange Park, FL 32073-2964

Attached were an employment application and “contract.” They both look entirely legitimate, and unfortunately they are likely to fool many people.
8 pages of this, all looking very legitimate. Very legal.
Long, detailed, multi-page employment app. It looks very real. You will be giving up all sorts of information about yourself to people you know nothing about.
Be careful out there. Lowlifes are becoming more and more creative in order to steal your money and your identity.
The Old Wolf has spoken.

Lost and Found

I love old science fiction. I recall stories that I’ve read and loved, and enjoy going back to them again on occasion to refresh my memory. Now and then, however, one of them gets lost.

A recent example was “The Coppersmith,” by Lester Del Rey, published in “Unknown” in 1939. I first read it in 1968, if I’m not mistaken, in the collection of a housemaster during my senior year in prep school. Then I moved on and time moved on; until the advent of the Internet, I had no way of tracking this lovely story down again, but a few years ago I was able to find it in a collection of Del Rey stories and rejoiced to renew my acquaintance with an old friend.

Another story was more elusive. I have no idea when I first read it, but all I remembered was that it was about aliens who came to earth looking for refuge, and they needed salt to reproduce. The word for salt was “shreeprill,” and the ones who broke the communication barriers down were the wives (and children) of the negotiators. I hunted high and low, wide and deep, without result – for decades, until yesterday.

Finally a hit. The story was called “Subcommittee” by Zenna Henderson, and was collected in an anthology called “The Everything Box.” I looked online, and found a number of copies, but they are fairly rare: most of them are selling for around $25.00.


Zenna Henderson in 1953

I had told my wife about my hunt for this story, and she also remembered having read it. When I reported to her the results of my successful find, she replied, “Oh, Zenna! I love her writing.” She asked me what book it was in. I told her. She dug into her collection and in 10 seconds pulled out the very edition that I was looking for. And I sat down astonied… for years, the story was sitting on our bookshelves, right under my nose.

How pleasant it was to re-read this delightful tale, along with the other ones in the collection. I must have had it at one point in my life, because all of them seemed mightiliy familiar.

Only one or two left that I can think of which I still need to locate. I’m not sure if I ever will, because I think they were in French, in a collection I found at a flea market in Austria in 1975¹. But even if I can never find those, I’m well content. The Internet has triumphed again.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ One of the stories I’m still hunting for is similar to “The Conqueror” by Mark Clifton. It deals with a peculiar strain of coffee which had the odd result of making people think rationally. When some of it gets introduced into congress or parliament or somewhere, the first “victim” stands up and shouts “It’s all balls!”, whereupon in short order the entire body proceeds to stop bickering and pass a raft of laws designed to raise the living conditions of everyone. Wish I could find that one again.

Beware the re-scam

To: <>
Subject: Re: Hello!!!

Top of the day greetings to you. Are you a scam victim?
Have you lost money, property to Internet fruadsters in the past?
This message is only for those that has been scammed in one way or the other.
HM-Treasury UK wishes to compensate all scam victims  beneficiary with the sum of One Million British Pound Sterling, as part of the ongoing promotion.
Contact the chancellor of the HM-Treasury for claim, and further details about this compensation.

Jon Thompson

Emails like this are patently transparent to anyone who is even slightly aware of the Nigerian advance-fee fraud, but sadly there are a lot of people out there who are not. Hence this post, which might just turn up for someone who receives the same kind of rubbish and searches around to see if it’s legitimate.

It’s not. it’s a scam. These people want to steal your money.

The British treasury has much better things to do with its funds than give out millions of pounds to scam victims. These slime-covered drones are playing on the hopes and fears of anyone who has already been taken for a ride, thus proving themselves to be gullible pigeons. Sadly, there are some out there who would take this bait.


Delete emails like this immediately. Do not respond. Save your money and your sanity.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Beware the mail-forwarding scam


Just got this same email in both of my accounts today, from “”

A reputable online service is searching for Mail/Fulfillment Clerks. This opening requires no professional knowledge beyond entry-level computer literacy and capability to handle mailings and shipments.

Absolutely right for stay at home moms, retirees and also business owners who reside in the personal workplace during 10am to 5pm.

Job details:

– Receive letters and parcels from major carriers at your location
– Repackage mail
– Inspect the packages
– Deliver mail to the nearest USPS locations
– Communicate with your supervisor via computer, and telephone
– Timely upload information via online account


– A resident of the United States with postal address
– Be able to show self motivation and take initiative
– Be able to move up to 23 pounds

This is a permanent opening with a compensation of up to $2,000 net payable monthly.

Should you become interested in the opportunity, please reply to this email, and we will email back to you as soon as possible.

Easy work if you can get it. Of course, anyone who responds will be qualified, because this is an unmitigated scam. An extract from a Post Office PDF file:

These complex scams usually involve several crimes. Some criminals purchase merchandise with stolen credit cards and need your help to smuggle the goods out of the country. Others send you counterfeit money orders or checks and ask you to
reship them to another address. You’ll be given counterfeit postage to reship the illegal items.


You’re committing several felonies when you help these criminals. And even if you don’t get caught, it’s likely you’ll lose a lot

of money.

Be careful out there. The bigger the world gets, the more unsavory, disreputable and heartless individuals there are who will stop at nothing and stoop to anything to get your money by illegal means. A more complete list of mail fraud schemes can be found in this USPS publication.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

A gift from God


I consider all food a gift from God, but when you go into your garden and pick things you’ve grown yourself, it seems an occasion for extra gratitude: free food from the ground.




Those of my friends and family who are of the atheist/agnostic tradition look at such things as an outgrowth of evolution, which is fine; on one level, that’s correct. But seeing such bounty merely in such terms leaves me with a sense of emptiness, of incompleteness. If there’s nothing but random chance and selective breeding and survival of the fittest, then there’s no one to thank for these gifts.

One take on gratitude was famously given by “Charlie Anderson” in the movie Shenandoah, played by James Stewart:

“Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we’re about to eat, amen.”

It is certain, we wouldn’t have food in the stores if it weren’t for the backbreaking and often poorly-compensated work of farmers and laborers, but if it weren’t for the sun and the rain and the soil and the seeds and the wind and the pollinators, there would be nothing at all. So I often remember to thank the Lord for the work of everyone along the supply chain that brought dinner to my table, but recognize Him as the ultimate source of all goodness.

That’s just how I roll.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Times Square Smoker, 1943


Photo found at /r/HistoryPorn, posted by /u/DaHitcha. Text along with the image:

In 1941 a billboard was installed that marked one of the most well knows advertising campaigns in history; Camel cigarettes. This billboard was apart of Times Square’s history for 26 long years. The billboard displayed a man blowing smoke toward his audience with “Camel” gleaming in bright lights.

For two and a half decades the Camel Cigarette was advertised with two novel billboards that were so clever they easily caught the attention of the passing public. Known as spectaculars, these billboards blew the illusion of a giant smoke ring every four seconds. Steam from a piston-driven diaphragm was forced out of a hole, and this mimicked a person smoking. The spectacular most often photographed was located in New York City’s Times Square at 44th Street and Broadway. Some consider this Camel billboard the most famous of all outdoor advertising signs.

I grew up in New York, and I remember this sign well, as will my friends of that era. As a kid I remember standing for as long as I could watching the smoke rings… on calm days they would travel halfway across Times Square. I was sorry to see it go.

Over at Facebook, Marie-Lou Chatel created a colorized version of this photo which gives you a better feel for how it looked:

color camel

Cigarettes and alcohol were a huge percent of advertising back in the day. My own mother was a commercial actress, and Camel selected her as their spokesperson for a time. I remember she’d get a carton a week in the mail as part of her residual compensation.

Cigarette use in the US has been declining steadily since the tobacco heydays:

cigarette use

I’m sure the tobacco industry is unhappy about this, but they have more than made up for their domestic losses by exporting their products of death to foreign economies; while both consumption and exports are on a gradually declining trend, it’s interesting to note that foreign exports still more than double domestic consumption.


It is to be hoped that at some point in the future, tobacco will be once again considered a useless weed with no commercial value, thus saving countless lives and healthcare costs in the process.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Religion to go.

By way of reddtor /u/Typicaldrugdealer, we now have pre-packaged communion. Grape juice and a wafer for the sinner on the go.




The top comment from /u/TAU_equals_2PI was… wait for it…

“Christables™ from Oscar Mayer”

Denomination has not been specified.

It may just be me, but this seems to be reducing the core sacrament of the Christian faith to something terribly banal and mundane.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

To lose weight, take these drops (oh, and eat a 1200 calorie diet…)


It’s not good medicine for a representative of one nutritional product to bash those who rep for another. In my world of ethics, it’s just not done. As a result, I won’t mention any product names in this post, but I want to make a general comment about the way many weight-loss products are advertised and hyped.

Below you’ll find an example, using a homeopathic product as the teacher in the moment, which claims to flush fat and toxins out of your body.

The product concerned contains a panoply of things like Nux Vomica, Ignatia Amara, and about 8 others at 6x and 12x dilutions; the instructions call for placing 10-15 drops under the tongue three times a day.

Oh, yes… and also to eat a 125o-calorie diet while using the products (which cost $150.00 for a bottle of each).

The science behind homeopathic dilutions guarantees that at dilutions of 6X and 12X, there is virtually *no* active ingredient whatsoever in this product – no molecules are left. The physics of Avogadro’s number is incontrovertible.

If you consider the instructions for use of this product, and completely eliminate any reference to the product being referenced, any patient who faithfully complies with these guidelines will have success with weight loss.

Given the average caloric intake of 2,000 KCal for a female, a 1250 calorie diet will result in consistent weight loss, especially when combined with water intake and regular exercise. This weight loss will occur whether or not the patient

* takes homeopathic drops
* sings an aria from “Aida”
* stands on her head and spits nickels, or
* eats a spoonful of portland cement with each meal.

If you are a person of science and reason, you owe it to yourself to take a hard look at the scientific reality of what is going on with homeopathic or other similar weight-loss products, instead of being dazzled by all the marketing weasel words.

The Old Wolf has spoken.