Friday, April 24, 2009

EPIC FAIL - Spammer messes with the wrong guy

Just now, I received the following email from

Hi,  David Merriman

We are contacting you because we have seen references about your work online.

We would like to include you in our directory of interviews with  professionals working on technology and creative fields.

We invite you to take part in this interview. It is free.
You will also be able to include any web links to samples of your work on the internet.

To start the interview just go to this web address and start responding to questions:

You can also respond to questions in any another category that seems appropriate for you.  
Here, you can find some examples from other professionals:

Elsa Wide

The following is my response to them:

No.  You may not interview me, even if you offered to pay me.  I believe you are a scam artist.  Here is why:

First, I doubt you have seen any references about my work online.  Can you cite them?  I doubt it.

Second, I have no reason to believe you are a legitimate business, as you have given me none in your email, and I have no other contact with you.

Third, your email domain is different than the web address you provided to me.  This is abnormal for legitimate businesses, but perfectly fits a scam artist.

Fourth, the whois entry for your domain ( lists an invalid phone number.  Most legitimate businesses have phones.

Fifth, the whois entry for your domain also lists an email contact at a domain separate from your link or your own email address.  Fishy, no?

Sixth, the domain listed in the email given in your whois,, is a website that consist only of a abstract icon.  Why would you waste that money on a domain name, only to put nothing there?

Seventh, the contact on whois is listed as Jerni web development.  I don't see how such a company could get any web development business if their own page is nothing more than a logo.  

Eighth, the address of Jerni web development seems to be an apartment complex in Miami Beach, zoned for residential development.  You wouldn't be illegally running a business out of an apartment, would you?

Ninth, you ask me for information about myself and my work, without indicating that there will be any benefit to me at all.  What's my incentive?  Were you just hoping I wanted my identity stolen, or spam phone calls at my work number?  Were you going to ask me to help you launder some money for Nigerian royalty next?

I could go on, but I worry that double digit numbers are beyond your capacity for reasoning.

Have a nice day,

A not-quite-gullible-enough email user

P.S.  Please take me off whatever list you have me on.  If you email me again for anything other than to apologize for your unsolicited message, I will have you investigated and prosecuted for all federal and state laws that apply.

Basically, I don't like spam, and I really don't like identity theft, so I decided to share.  Hopefully the above is useful to you, in seeing how you can easily identify fraudulent email, using the message content, the WHOIS utility at, some Google searching, and some common sense.

Has anyone else received anything from these people?  Please put your story in the comments if you have.  


Triple-Em said...

I received the email about a day ago, appropriately placed in my spam folder. Seeing as how it was an email pertaining to my interests, I was immediately suspicious.

I googled the address, and noticed that the first thing to pop up was an Italian website. Right, not suspicious at all. I found your blog entry on the subject after that.

Thank you for posting such a wonderfully detailed response to this spammer, not only is it informative, but highly amusing as well.