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January 30th, 2006

girls just want to send me spam

Today I received two messages on Friendster, purportedly from different women, each of whom was purportedly looking to meet someone. Let's look over the second message.
From: Nicole
Date: January 30, 2006 6:56:00 PM PST
Subject: Howdy Philip!
Well, it's addressed to me directly by name, not just "hi"!
Message: Hey there, just browsing around trying to meet some people from around here. I just moved to Seattle a few weeks back and I hardly a soul. I figured I'd give friendster a shot and see if I have any luck.
Sounds plausible...
I'll keep this short until I know you're interested. Just looking for someone to hang out and have a good time with....not looking for anything serious. Anyway, I just made this account tonight looking for other lonely people,
Sounds pretty good...
and 'cause I'm so bored. Not sure if I'll be back here or not.
Uh-oh...
If you'd like to get to know me, my regular email address is cutenicki351@[email service provider].
Flag. It's against Friendster policy to give out your real email address - obviously to keep people using their service, so it's understandable that people would try to circumvent that, but also for personal security and safety reasons. If you sign up, you should know this is grounds for having your account deleted. (I've just done some looking, and that might be buried in the legalese now instead of being a clear upfront policy.)
Look me up and I might just send you some more pics. See ya soon.. maybe!
Nicki
BIG FLAG. I thought you were just looking for someone to hang out and have a good time with. Why are you offering to send me more pics? Well, despite the flags, this still could have been someone legitimately trying to make a connection, so I didn't flag it as spam. Nonetheless, two hours later I've logged back in and discovered her profile has already been deleted. Huh, there's a surprise.

Earlier today I received a message from "Ola", who said (presented exactly as typed, including the lack of punctuation after commas):
My name is ola i used to live in texas but now i live in london uk with my mum,am a 30 yr old lady,light skin,5.8 feet tall,single lady looking for a responsible,honest man to fall in love with and raise a family.I work in a shopping mall here as a sales rep.,i want a close relationship cos i dont find chatting and sending mails intresting,i want to get close to you,talk while holding hands,looking into one another eyes to see what the future holds for us,you can contact me on skullface012000@[email service provider]
She's quite attractive - that is, the person whose photo they used for the user icon is, whether or not it's really "Ola". However, she certainly doesn't look like someone who'd have an email address of "skullface". And her profile's gone too - though I did actually flag this message as spam, so that could even be my doing.

The best messages are from the lonely Russian chicks, like this one I got while on Christmas vacation:
Hi,
Now i see your profile and want to write to you. You is a very interesting man. So what can i say about myself........
My name is Tatyana. I am from Russia and live there all my life. To me is 28 y.o. If you want to correspond with me please write to me back on my letter box which I shall specify below. May be we become friends or moreeeeeee. I wait for your letter and I hope that you will write to me very soon.. In my new letter i can send you my photos. Please send me yours, if you can.
My E-Mail: tatyanya007@[email service provider with a .ru location]
Thanks,
Tatyana.
The one that made me a little sad was one I received the day before I left on Christmas vacation. I can't quote the message, because the body of the message disappeared, apparently deleted by Friendster when they shut down the account. However, it was more believable than the message from "Nicole" above. The person - I also can't tell you her name, because I've forgotten and the message now just says it's from "2" - seemed to have actually read my profile; if I recall correctly, she mentioned liking to go hear live music. She suggested we meet for coffee, and I don't believe she offered to send more photos of herself. However, she too said to email her back. Because I was about to leave on vacation, and was very busy that day, I didn't respond to her message, which I would have done through Friendster, not through email as she asked. But when Tatyana's message arrived after Christmas, I checked back on Friendster, and that's when I discovered this other person's message and account had been deleted. Oh well.

I don't really have anywhere to go with this, I just wanted to share the funny messages. Either spammers are desperate enough to try fishing for addresses through Friendster, or people are stupid enough to fall for that, maybe both. I've had at least eight other messages since August along these lines - another lonely Russian, three or four people wanting me to check out the photos on their web page, and one who said, "You got lucky that I happened to be checking this account. I don't come here that often anymore, so if you decide to email me again (...)" Um, right, and when did I email you the first time? Oh yeah, I didn't.

Oh wait, stop the presses!! Nicole's profile is visible again! That's weird. Well, I'll just leave that message in my Inbox and check on her profile again in a day or two. If she's still around, perhaps I'll send her a message - not an email.

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