Those Pesky Spammers

Do you ever wonder if spammers make money on the products they hawk? Does the huge volume of annoying emails and links they put out into the world result in hits and sales? I can’t imagine how.

I’m no expert at selling (and maybe I’ll tell you that story of woe in a future post), but it seems to me that when you barge into someone’s world uninvited, scream “I’m here,” and then start unpacking your bag of goods, you’re not going to make friends or influence people.

Spam filters are pretty good these days. I give a quick glance at my Junk Mail folder and delete most of the contents unread. But with blogging, a bit more care is required. You don’t want to delete a legitimate comment.

The other morning it was easy. My post “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth” got a cheery “Hi, all!” followed by a link to some site, which went unchecked by me. Delete.

I’ll admit it left me scratching my head. Knowing that many people subscribe to comments, why would someone who wanted to lure potential customers to their wares pick a post with 5 comments rather than one with, say, 41 (Typical Day in the Life of a Writer)?

Sometimes, it’s more difficult to determine whether the spam software overreacted.

Your ideas profound and enjoy me much.

There wasn’t a link in the body of that comment. Could my spam filter be discriminating on the basis of English proficiency? I copied the link that identified the commenter and pasted it into Google. Judging by the long list of hits, other people’s profound ideas enjoy my commenter much, too. Isn’t that special? Delete.

By far, the oddest spam I’ve received is this recent email:

Hi Margaret,

I think I have a great feature for your website that is free and will enhance your site with an interactive element. It takes a minute to implement and it is 100% free. You just put a link on your site like, “Live Wrestling Chat” and we host the chats. You will also earn money while your visitors are talking. There is really no downside. Also, if you think you do not have enough visitors to keep a chat busy we are working with other wrestling sites so users from each site can talk to each other.

Say what? Wrestling? Have you seen my website? I guess I didn’t make it clear that The Benefactor is the name of my novel and not my wrestling nickname.

The crowd goes wild as Margaret “The Benefactor” Dempsey takes the ring.

In an attempt to write as general a message as possible to appeal to the largest audience, you pick wrestling as the type of website most people are likely to have? What was this guy thinking?

I have no more words. Just a great big sigh.



  1. February 16, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Oh no! I wish you hadn’t made such a hasty decision. I’ve been searching high and low for a chat room where I could discuss and debate subjects such as the art of chair throwing and the “whens and wheres” a feather boa might be an appropriate accessory. The Benefactor would be a great wrestler name. Your secret weapon could be wrist shooters that blast your opponent with words. I really think you need to rethink this, Margaret. There could be a whole lot of undiscovered opportunity there for you. 🙂

    • February 16, 2011 at 8:16 am

      I like the idea of the wrist shooters. Reminds me of Spider-man. I was always flexing my wrists as a kid and making a pffft sound to shoot my webs. That’s when I wasn’t swinging my wrists in front of my body, deflecting bullets, like Wonder Woman.

  2. Jackie said,

    February 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

    It is really amazing what comes through at work in the quaratine summary. It stems from jewelry of all sorts to the infamous enlargement tools, I think spammers need to get more creative and create a cartoon man in a closed trench coat and when you open your e-mail, he could open the trench coat and all his wares could be hanging on the inside of the trench coat! Then you can click on the beautiful watch or big blue pill (or big blue other device) to launch the site. Maybe this is the route we need to go with USANA.

  3. February 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Jessica, you so cracked me up!! I’m unpacking my feather boa from the kid’s dress-up chest just for this occasion. Wrestling chat rooms with Margaret and Jessica. Maybe there could be some paint involved, Jackson Pollack style splattered across the room. We could make art and wrestling come together. I just know we could. And then settle in for a womanly chat with coffee. See? this spammer was expanding your horizons.

    • February 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

      You’re in charge of props, Rebecca. I love the paint idea.

      • February 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

        I’ll wear my belly dancing costume. I’m a disaster with the swinging veil as I always tangle myself up in it, but maybe the patterns my stretch marks make with the motions can “hip-notize” my opponent.

      • February 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

        Oooo, psychedelic.

  4. Val Erde said,

    February 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

    This stuff is fodder for my ‘oinky meatbot’ posts (I won’t spam you with a link to them, you can easily find them on my blog if interested). So far, I’ve got art out of them and found poetry out of them.
    The wording is very strange, isn’t it? It’s even funnier if you put it through google translator and then back again… get some lovely word forms.

  5. Richard said,

    February 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I am most sweet with glancing postings above your words. Never guide very information with humour stuff is fine. Please view after this.

    • February 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      You nut! You should have at least linked to Celluloid Zombie. Here, I will:

      I loved that Top Ten Movie Couples post.

      People, people, people, I do not consider my blogging buddies spammers. You can post links to your blogs in my comments. It saves me time searching. You can also hijack my blog and take the comments off on a tangent. Pure bliss to me. 😀

      • Richard said,

        February 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        Awww, thanks for that. 🙂

  6. jesswords10 said,

    February 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I want to laugh at these spam postings, but right now I’m in the middle of de-bugging my computer, closing my account, and starting over because of a google image I clicked on for Jane Austen!!! These people are really annoying. Thankfully, none of the links in my post will send anything spammy to you. Sadness, off to run another scan on my computer. Then again, your wrestling match might be the perfect place to take out a little aggression, my name can be “Pain Austen” and don’t f**k with me!

    • February 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Oh no! That stinks. I hope you get everything working again. It used to be that April 15th was the worst day of the year (in the U.S., anyway). Now it’s any day that your computer gets infected.

      • February 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm

        Jess, I just have one question. Did you click on Rich’s crazy link above??? I see in my Stats page that someone did, and I think it would be hysterically funny if it were you, right after you got infected somewhere else. 😀

      • Richard said,

        February 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

        Actually, that was me checking to make sure the url I made up wasn’t an actual one. 😉

  7. jesswords10 said,

    February 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Very funny indeed. Prepare to meet Pain Austen in your dreams!

  8. huffygirl said,

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    What is it that the spam commentors always say – “you have some very interesting information here. I will be sure to check back again.” If that doesn’t tip you off, they give themselves away by poor grammer and syntax. When I first started blogging I actually agonized over deleting my first few spam comments – what if I guessed wrong and they really were a real reader? But I think I’m getting the hang of it now.

  9. bronxboy55 said,

    February 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I got this one yesterday:

    “Hello! I am Murthel.
    It would be my pleasure to present to you a way to make $55-$110 an HOUR starting this second. This method does NOT consist of Affiliate marketing online, MLMs, Pay-per-click, or list building! Im going to explain all you need to find out about myself, how I got here, and about our money getting script that sucked in over $357,000 last July in just a few minutes.”

    She lost me at “I am Murthel.” Although I wouldn’t mind finding out how to suck in over $357,000 in a few minutes. The last time I sucked in that much money, it took me almost an hour.

    • February 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Why would I want to earn $55-$110 an hour when she’s just told me it’s possible to suck in $357,000 in a few minutes?

      I do like that “I am Murthel” though. That could be a famous first line for a novel. “Call me Murthel.” Whaddaya think?

      • bronxboy55 said,

        February 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm

        Murthel makes me think of Ethel Mertz. If I hear from Murfred next, I’ll know I’m onto something. Although I won’t have any idea what.

        About the earnings quoted, I don’t think Murthel was suggesting that you could suck in $357,000 in a few minutes on a regular basis. That would be an occasional windfall, but the $55-$110 an hour would be more of a steady income. Although I don’t understand how you could suck in an hourly rate starting this second. Come to think of it, I don’t really know what a windfall is either. It doesn’t sound good.

  10. Melinda said,

    February 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Now what am I going to do if I drop the last Twinkie on the kitchen floor and there are 3 kids standing around ready to pounce on it? I’m going to lose it without the quality advice of a good wrestling chat room.

    Bill Gates spammed me once. The email said and he was like “Yo Waz Up. Killer site” which is funny because I don’t normally picture him talking like that. I was saving it to screenshot it and write about it and then I went on a spam deleting spree and lost it. sigh…heartbroken. I’m hoping he comes around again. Can you request specific spam.. I wonder.

  11. fordeville said,

    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Hilarious. And, by the way, *my* ideas profound and enjoyed him much as well 🙂 So perhaps he is combing between linked up sites. Amateur 🙂

  12. February 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    HAHAHAHA! You have me in stitches! I know it’s frustrating cos I’ve got a few spammers on my trail. Funny post though.
    PS. I didn’t know you were into wrestling…. :).K.

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