Tiny, Attempted Scam Story

Sometimes, when I think I’m getting too cynical, something happens to both give me a laugh and affirm that a healthy dose of skepticism is an important part life on the Web. One of those “somethings” began last Sunday.

I received an email from someone at polimedia.us that started with this:

We have reviewed your

blog on behalf of one of our clients that

would be interested in placing advertising with you.

Immediately, my scam detector went off: the email did not mention the name of my blog and it looked amateurish, sure signs that things aren’t right.

As I read on, I felt my suspicions confirmed:

we will require a one time, one day (24 hours) free placement in order
to test the quality and quantity of traffic your website can actually
provide

This, of course, is not the way legitimate advertisers work. So I snorted, was about to hit delete… but decided to play with this a bit.

I used to follow cases where people played the various advance-fee scam artists, pretending to be interested but trying to twist the potential scammers instead. I didn’t really want to do that, but wanted to see if I could get an actual response rather than the mass-mailed spam before me.

So, I emailed back, asking that I be removed from their “bulk-mail lists.”

To my surprise, I got a response!:

While you’re not on such a “bulk list”, we take it you’re not interested in
our offer either. Not much else to be said.

All the best,
Polimedia Advertising Team

I couldn’t resist. My email in response simply reiterated my request, in one sentence.

Now, I wasn’t quite sure if the first email had come from the Polimedia concern claimed. Perhaps, I thought, it was a legitimate company being phished. A look at the Polimedia website, however, made me think not… but I wasn’t sure until today, when someone in Bucharest, Romania (the “home” of Polimedia!) visited my blog moments before I received this:

No, actually, I happen to think you’re a very amusing fellow, not to mention
a grandiose Assistant Professor of English, which I must say I’ve regarded
all my life as the uttermost pinnacle of human achievement, and while a
meager Associate Marketing Executive myself, I’ve always pined to do what
you do.

Will you tell me more, oh Great One?

Obviously, I’d gotten someone’s goat.

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