The history books are full of pictures of rows of men, women and children in the early Twentieth Century sewing clothes together or making something. Well, the Twenty-First Century version may be the Spam Sweat Shop.

Imagine rows and rows of individuals sitting in a big room churning out emails that whomever is paying them believes that the recipient is dumb enough to first open and then two, respond. The reason I think this is that the spam emails just keep coming. It can’t just be individuals sitting in a room in an apartment thinking all this stuff up.

At least once a week, an email arrives in my junk folder and in the subject line, it says – “Business proposal.” Really!!!

Did I ask for a proposal? No. Does this individual know anything about my business? No. Can this firm offer something to me as a writer? Don’t know because the emails are never read?

Another type has something like “be number one the internet” in the subject line. These are more sophisticated because somehow they’ve gotten my email address from some source, usually public or those who sell lists of people’s emails. These have a short blurb on their firm and are signed by someone with an American sounding name even though the syntax strongly suggests it wasn’t written by someone educated in the U.S. or Canada.

Or, it says “reduce website development costs.” Do they know I have a website? None ever give a reason why I should contact them.

Then there are ones promising low cost drugs from Canada from Viagra to Cialis to “any prescription.” As if I would put pills in my body from an online firm purchasing drugs with potentially unknown efficacy or side effects because they were manufactured in a country with little regard for patent laws.

The ones I hate the most are those who hack/steal people’s contact lists and send out emails with attachments with the person’s name. The email address is often right and the sender copies several people from the contact list in the hopes it will be opened and expose the host computer to some type of malware.

I laugh when in the subject line it says, “you are qualified for a $250,000 business loan. What reasonable financial institution send out emails to people telling them they will make a loan proper due diligence?

Another are those that tell you a sob story about some poor soul in some far away. As a writer, I have to admire their creativity, but give me a break.

Do you wonder why people do this? The easy answer is money because the senders think that scamming people is easier than working. If the senders put as much effort into legitimate work, they might even make a living. There has to be a different reason and I think it is really simple. It is because they can and there is little or no risk. Do they care if they piss off the recipient, no! There’s always hope that someone else will be fooled.

The answer is “block sender and delete.” One can only hope that they’ll get the message, but I am not betting on it.

Marc Liebman

June 2018