Tuesday, January 13, 2004

"Please fax us your Web site"

The morning spam included a very strange one:

Subject: To Secetarial Staff - Please Print Your Website Pages For Us
Sender: ""<>

Dear Secetarial Staff

We have been trying to print your promotional literature from the
pages on your website.
But unfortunately for us, we have lost our connection to the internet
for the next 48 hours because of a computer network crash in our offices.

Now no one in our office has access to the internet or your web pages.
Even worse still - although we can send e-mail, we are unable to recieve e-mail.

Please help us by simply printing any 20 pages or more, from your
website, and then fax them to us on 0871 7811 411.
Thankyou very much.

Yours Sincerely
Leslie Goodman, Managing Director
Goodman Mathews & Associates.
Direct Lines: 07963 550 253 or 07906 861 547
Switch Board: +44(0)7817 865 117 or +44(0)7903 058 821
Facsimile: 0871 7811 411

A little Googling reveals that 0871 numbers are national non-geographic (but not toll-free) phone numbers in the UK. It's not clear to me if the called party can somehow gain revenue through this scam (e.g. by forwarding the call to another number that works like a 900 number in the U.S.). Maybe they just want people to waste money making a long fax call.

In any event it's pretty funny receiving an electronic mail message that says they lost their Internet connection, and it's pretty dumb for them to waste time mailing UK phone numbers to a US mailbox -- even unwary Americans who try to call are likely to fail, not knowing international direct dial procedures.

And for the record, the relevant header:

Received: from dsl-80-46-0-15.access.tiscali-business.co.uk ([]