Somebody, somewhere, must have sold my email address. A couple of months ago, I started getting tons of spam. Most of these weren't obvious online scams, but semi-legitimate messages from people all over the Internet wanting me to buy stuff that some of them may have even actually had for sale.
If I had only taken the time to respond instead of just deleting the messages, here are some of the ways I could have enhanced my life:
I could have eliminated my credit card debt. Oh, wait, I haven't had any credit card debt for years. I could have improved my credit score—maybe by getting rid of all that debt, or maybe by applying for one of the many job opportunities that were sent to me.
Or I could have ditched work entirely and taken a vacation abroad. For some reason, an industrious email marketer somewhere had the idea that I desperately wanted to go to Italy. (Not, presumably, by charging the tickets to a credit card.)
I could have stopped snoring—whether my own or my spouse's, the email didn't specify. I could have signed up to get a monthly bag of coffee. (If you can't sleep, you can't snore, right?)
I could have kept my pets from barking. I could have helped my pets sleep better. Maybe because I stopped snoring? Too bad I don't have any pets.
My favorite piece of spam, however, came from that always-reliable source, Nigeria. I quote: "During the auditing and closing of all financial records of the Central Bank Of Nigeria it was discovered from the records of outstanding to be transfer to your account but then will had that you are dead, now that i find your email address and some personal information, i decide to mail you just to confirm if you are dead truly."
I wonder whether my failure to reply was taken as confirmation of my demise.
As a result of moving and updating my website this week, I was unable to send or receive email for one whole day. The withdrawal symptoms weren't pretty, but with the help of caffeine, chocolate, and a support group (online, of course), I was able to get through the trauma.
Like many other difficult life experiences, though, this one had a silver lining. Ever since I got the email working again, I'm not getting any spam. It's a great relief. But I do hope the nice man at the Bank of Nigeria still believes I'm dead.
This morning as I eagerly went to the website I have been getting your column on, I got an entirely new page. Interesting, Kathy, but not the column I have loved reading. I went to Google and typed in Foxcraft and here we are!!! A good friend of ours has a similar experience that you had. Some one got her e mail address and she was besieged with all kinds of junk. I hope we don’t have that trouble. Some of the e mail we get have been in dozens of computers and I guess we are just lucky we haven’t had that trouble although we have set our selectivity so high, new e mailers can’t get through. We have AVG virus protector and it runs scans for hours every once in a while and that sure slows down the computer. We better put up with it rather than have someone from Nigeria get my number.