Do I Look Stupid To You?

This morning my PayPal account has been blocked three times, I have had four different gorgeous young women propose to me to contact them while they have been sending – out of the blue – naked pictures of themselves, my bank needs me to log in again because they want to cancel my account AND – to top all of this – both a dictator from some Polynesian island and a wealthy Swiss family I seem to be related too want to give me millions of dollars.

And it is only 6.30am.

You know what, it sometimes bother me the lousy ways of phishing so many people try to use to get my private information. I mean, where is the creativity? Like the first ‘I Love You’ virus. It was not a sophisticated way of getting me to open an email attachment, but a very effective one. It was smart at the time.

Now, it’s just like that almost half of the online population sends out phishing emails. And it bothers me. This morning, for example, the so manieth ‘PayPal Account Block’ trick. Just in a plain text email – because the culprit did not have even the know-how how to send out automatically an HTML email – mentioning that my PayPal account has been blocked and I needed to Click ‘Here’ to resolve the problem. And it was close by a ‘Thank You’. Not even a ‘The PayPal Account Team’ or something like that. It was not even a serious attempt.

I am bothered by this, but I was thinking… how should a real con-artist feel about all this crap going on. I mean, I am a designer and developer, and I cannot stand people who just built their very first web site by using Wix or a WYSIWYG editor and call them a professional and succesful developer. And that is still legit. But, in some way, even being a good con-artist should be a real job. What would their opinion be?

Another thought, how many con-artists would accidentally open malicious attachments in emails they receive? That would be something. Or panic when they think their Craigslist account is blocked when they receive an email about it.

I don’t even care about the amount of phishing an con-emails that I get each day anymore. I care about they quality of them. Am I looking that stupid to you? I mean – don’t answer that – I don’t want to know. But honestly – really – THAT’s the best you can do? If I am being tricked, try to do it wisely. When my credit cards are maxed out without my knowledge, let me at least have a ‘Well Done’ feeling in my gut.

When I am being tricked, please let me appreciate the time, effort and the effect that has gone into it. Because, let’s face it, I promote creativity in the IT world here… so let me push that also towards the shadowy part of town. Let’s call it Creative Malpractice. I will still hate the emails, but it might then feel like a guilty pleasure 😉


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