Sunday, November 25, 2012

Living with SPAM

I am so embarrassed. I knew it was wrong but it felt so good, I didn’t even think about protection. It’s like everyone says, I didn’t think it would happen to me. But now I have to live with the results.
There is no cure. Only maintanence. But even with constant vigilance, there still are flare-ups.
My email address has been spammed.
And I know the exact moment it happened. And I blame Facebook.
On Facebook one of my Facebook friends had ‘claimed’ an offer from Southwest airlines for two free tickets. “Only 100 available”
And because my Facebook cohort had done it (and I like to have fantasies of constantly needing to fly around the country), I clicked on the ad. Then the ad asked me to fill out my contact information ( in order to redeem by free tickets), which I did using my favorite email address (instead of my dummy account that I used for garbage such as this). RED FLAG, HEATHER! But it was for free airline tickets, I whined back to myself. Once I had told the internet all my contact info  and clicked the “Claim your free tickets” button, I was taken to another page that said “Almost there, not claim three of these offers and the tickets will be yours!” What? I had to claim other offers for things like “Free trial subscriptions to Blockbuster” or “Take four surveys about your credit history” in order to get my free airline tickets on an airline that doesn’t even do assigned seating. (Or at least didn’t do that when I last few on Southwest a two summers ago, the do this whole single service seating thing.) It was on this page when I realized that this was a bad idea (finally!), so I left the page abandoning my free tickets.
I silently patted myself on the back for exiting the clear scam. But then I remembered:
And within 30 minutes of my false victory, I was spammed. From every angle and every stripe but mainly emails, texts and phone calls. Phone calls! Who calls on the phone anymore? My number has been on the Do Not Call List since 2005 (Truth, I checked). Now, I am scrambling to mark all these emails about home loans and dating seniors as spam and send them to the spam government thing. (, that’s the address they are the spam stoppers! Report stuff to them!). Why do these spammers think that I am both a single senior, puny muscle seeking wimp, looking to secure a home loan, get out of foreclose and meet playful marrieds in my area? And let’s not forget all the ways I can enlarge my penis!
I am creating new filters by the dozens, but spammers are infinite. I can’t make enough filters to get my head above the spam infested waters.
I know there is a solution. A cure.
Switch email accounts.
I have been with this email address for over ten years and have been able to keep it squeaky clean for that long. Until, one moment of stupid passion for a deal that I didn’t even get!
And now I have to abandon it.
My email has an STD. The only cure is to cut it off.

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