So we have established, by now, that I don’t like Spam, but what’s the harm in it? Surely nobody falls for these scams and gives their account information to crooks who barely have enough command of the English language to piece together a poorly written customer service email, right?
Scamming is big business. Raiding someone’s account for gold and fungible items can yield 20 dollars (US) for every 10,000 gold taken. (These are approximate figures taken in a quick survey of popular gold selling sites. Don’t say I didn’t do anything for you people…) That doesn’t sound like much, but multiply that by the thousands of accounts that get stolen each year and it can add up in a hurry.
The bigger question is “What kind of moron falls for these emails?”
In the interest of cheap entertainment, I have combed my spam filters yet again for examples of the finest in MMO scam emails. As promised, this one is from World of Warcraft.
Here’s your first gimme. The name of the sender is “[email protected]” and the email address is “[email protected]”. Don’t you think it might be worth asking yourself “Why would Blizzard send me email through Yahoo? Don’t they have their own email servers? Bobby Kotick insulates his house with 100 dollar bills, is he too cheap to pop for a Linux box running sendmail?” Moving on.
We have already noted that you are trying to sell your personal World of Warcraft Diablo III account (s).
Another dead giveaway is when the sender does not use your name in an email. They have that information, why wouldn’t they use it? Also, not to be picky, it’s a Battle.net account, not a “World of Warcraft Diablo III” account. (Does Starcraft 2 get NO respect? I ask you…) We’re one full sentence into this email and it’s already starting to stink worse than a sewage worker getting a permanent while eating Gorgonzola cheese inside the septic tank of a slaughterhouse while petting a skunk.
If you wish to not get your account suspended you should immediately verify your account ownership. You must complete the steps below to secure the account and your computer.
I should sue this guy. Bad grammar and punctuation are MY gimmick, dammit! Shouldn’t it strike you as odd that Blizzard can translate video games into literally dozens of languages, but basic English seems to have them stumped? Just saying…
STEP 1: ACCOUNT INVESTIGATION
We now provide a secure website for you to verify that you have taken the appropriate steps to secure the account, your computer, and your email address. Please go to this site and follow the instructions:
What a surprise, a fake link. Quick question. What does securing your “account, your computer, and your email address” have to do with selling my account? Note the conspicuous lack of “your account may have been compromised” elsewhere in this email.
STEP 2: VERIFY YOUR SUBMISSION WAS RECEIVED
We will contact you with further instructions once we have received and processed your submission. If you do not receive a reply within 48 hours of submitting this form, please resend it from the address listed above.
Further instructions? If I’m selling my account, why would I care if it was suspended? The lack of logic chain in this email reminds me of my 4-year-old trying to explain why she shouldn’t have to go to bed. Seriously, who falls for these?
Please be aware that if unauthorized access to this account, it may lead to further action against the account.
Such as? At least these guys didn’t pull a “Jagex” mistake and threaten to have me prosecuted for importing goods manufactured by slave labor overseas. That’s mighty nice of them.
Fare Thee Well,
Game Master Dunarthra
Fare Thee Well? My god, we’re getting scammed by a Renaissance Festival! But just to be sure, why don’t you try a Google search for “Dunarthra” and see what comes up? Here’s a hint, you’re going to see a lot of reports about scam emails and pretty much nothing from Blizzard’s forums or any other site from anyone using the name Dunarthra. (…and since when is “Customer Service” plural?)
You may think that this kind of analysis is overkill, and you’d be right. However, I’d like for you to consider this one last thought…
Scammers wouldn’t bother doing this if it didn’t work.