Classic Spam: A legitimate offer

I remember once dining at a chain restaurant (since folded) that served Tex-Mex food. Posters on the premises proudly proclaimed that "...we serve REAL cheese." I suddently felt uncomfortable about an establishment that considered the offering of real cheese something to boast about. Could they make the same claim about the meat?

This mortgage spam engendered a similar reaction; again, I've emphasized the interesting bits with color.

From: "Sally Travis" <mortg387d@swissmail.org>
Subject: Your lucky day!5257
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 16:38:38 -1900
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<html><body><pre>


LOWEST RATES IN 45 YEARS -
FILL OUT OUR SHORT APPLICATION FOR AN UNBELIEVABLE 3.50 - 5.0 % MORTGAGE
(APR)

() HOME REFINANCING
() HOME IMPROVEMENT
() DEBT-CONSOLIDATION
() CASH-OUT

Please Click <a href=3D"http://210.192.106.2/mg/index.html">HERE</a>
for our short application.

The following are NO problem and will not stop you from getting the
financing you need:

*** Can't show income
*** Self-Employed
*** Credit Problems
*** Recent Bankruptcy
*** Unconventional Loan

We are a direct lender and we have hundreds of loan programs available.
If we don't have a program that works for you, we have hundreds of wholesa=
le
relationships with other lenders. So no matter which of our
50 states you live in, we likely have a program that could meet your
needs.

Please Click <a href=3D"http://210.192.106.2/mg/index.html">HERE</a>
for our short application.

* We DO NOT resell or disseminate your email address. You are NOT
required to enter your SSN.
This is a legitimate offer from legitimate
mortgage companies
.

=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
Note: We are licensed in all 50 U.S. States.
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D

To be REMOVED from future mailings click <a href=3D"http://210.192.106.2/m=
g/remove/remove.html">HERE</a>.

We will NEVER intentionally email you again. Thank You.


</pre></body></html>
.........................................

</BODY>
</HTML>

It's hard for me to imagine a trustworthy, old-school mortgage company feeling the need to brag that they are a legitimate firm making legitimate offers. I think there's some "real cheese" being served here, and it ain't Queso Blanco.

The punchline to this bad joke is the guarantee they offer to those who want to remove themselves from the mailing list (see the highlight) — they'll never "intentionally" mail you again. I'm sure they'll be really, really sorry for any accidental mailings you might receive in the future.

The from-address is probably forged, but crafted to look like a "real person's" handle. Any replies to this message will probably be bounced by swissmail.org's mail hosts.

The spammer is using very minimal HTML coding; in fact the entire message is contained in <PRE> tags to make it look like plain text. By the way, the "=3D" business is nothing sinister; it's actually a string of equals signs ("====") added for the sake of appearance, and then "escaped" using MIME Quoted-Printable so they don't cause confusion for mail hosts or browsers.


(c) 2003-2006, Richard C. Conner ( )

02874 hits since March 29 2009

Updated: Sat, 06 May 2006