Spammers have a lot of tricks up their sleeves lately, and I almost fell for one of them a few weeks ago. I got this German email that looked like I was being sued for something. Now I don’t master the German language, but it’s close enough to Dutch to get the general idea that someone thought that I was some vile spamming bastard, and they where going to get my ass for it too.
This is kinda scary really, because the text itself seemed to be legit. Not that funny Ingrish style stuff you know is spam, but that typical lawyers style incomprehensible lecture.
What triggered a little alarmbell in my head however was that there where some odd looking email addresses in there, and none of them where from the same domain.
First of all it was sent to the info@ address of my domain, which I don’t use or publicise, but since emails are automatically forwarded to my general account I get them anyway. The domain the email came from was also not the domain who had been receiving the spam, which doesn’t make much sense. Last, the lawyer to contact concerning the matter had an odd looking address as well.
So instead of replying to the email telling them they probably made a mistake, which was my initial intention, I forwarded it to someone who actually speaks German and could help figure out if this was for real or not.
He got suspicious as well about the email addresses, and he also knew that the domain the email was coming from was known for it’s free email accounts, which where frequently used by spammers to spread their junk. That, together with some Google searches on phrases from the email made it clear this was just a bait email.
It turns out the content of the email was actually put online by a real lawyer, to be used as a template for anyone who had been targeted by a spammer. But now spammers are baiting domain admins with this, by randomly mailing general email addresses hoping they will reply anything, which will give the spammers yet another active email address.
Here’s the full email in cause you’re interested.
Don’t let these bastards fool you!