Truth in spamming

“Fraudulent spam” cries the title of a recent unsolicited email message, pushing the limits of CAN-SPAM act. At least the FTC could not accuse this sender of false representation. The finally-out-of-beta Gmail had no problems delegating it to the junk mail folder correctly, but this one deserves points for creativity. With the exception of the unique title, there is nothing unusual about the rest of the message: same generic announcement about a mortgage preapproval, fantastically low rates, not contingent on credit history etc. (Quote: “[…] your credit is in no way a factor”– apparently these folks have not heard about the crisis in subprime lending sector.)

This is not the first time that subject has appeared in spam either. You have to wonder if it is a bug in the software, stamped on by an over-zealous intermediate gateway (in which case why is it not dropping the message completely?) or intentional attempt to exploit the relative simplicity of filters, a demonstration of how unintelligent AI can get. A person looking at a message with subject line “Fraudulent spam” is not going to get fooled. But for all their sophistication at detecting variations and creative spellings of m0r1gag3, the average antispam solution could easily get tricked by a novel approach.


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