Um, no

Dear non-English-as-a-first-language-speaking phishing attackers, let me point out all the ways that I know that this is not actually from PayPal. (Oddly enough gmail did not flag this as phishing, despite having a PayPal logo embedded in it and a link to what is obviously a phishing site.)

Dear Costumer, [A costumer is someone who makes clothing for actors. You meant “customer”.]

We need more information from you [missing period]

We need your help resoving [resolving] an issue with your account. To give us to work together on this, [this phrase doesn’t make any sense] we’ve temporarily limited what you can do with your account untill [until] the issue is resolved.

We need a little bit [of] information about you to help confirm you [your] identity [missing period]

Note: Please note that in 50% of cases you will receive this e-mail in the spam box, [comma splice] it is because of the increased security emailing services you use. [No, it’s because you’re criminals.]

UPDATE: This is deliberate! How astonishingly devious. See this transcript of On The Media and this Microsoft Research paper.

22 thoughts on “Um, no

    • See link I provided…makes sense in a way…they don’t want people who have intelligence since they won’t likely fall for their scams…they don’t want to waste time with that

  1. Dear Customer,

    We need more information from you.

    We need your help resolving an issue with your account. To work together on your account, we’ve temporarily limited what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved.

    We need a little bit of information about you to help confirm your identity.

    Note: Please note that in 50% of cases you will receive this e-mail in the spam box. It is because of the increased security emailing services you use.

    Thanks for the grammar help, now about your cash…

    Soon to be rich guy and prince.

    Soon to

  2. English isn’t my mother tongue either, but come on – if your livelihood depends on being able to craft a believable mail is it really too much to ask for to at least run it through Word’s spelling check?

    While Denis’ link makes sense to some degree, I’d think there are enough gullible people out there that are not complete idiots whom you’re missing with this strategy.

    PS: Is “in 50% of cases” correct? As I said not a native speaker myself, but that looks strange to me. I would use “In 50% of all cases”.

  3. I wouldn’t be too harsh on them. That bot has better English than majority of the internet for the past decade. Sad part is that it’s people that speak English natively making the most mistakes.

  4. I’ve always wondered why guys on online dating sites send me messages like “Your so pretty! Im gonna diiieeeee!!!!!! Call 911 b4 I pass out…..”.

    What kind of idiot would fall for that? Apparently, exactly the kind of idiot they are looking for.

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  6. I can see how a gullibility filter would be effective in ‘Nigerian scam’-type scenarios that require a lot of interaction and with a high chance of the costumer wising up before they part with any money, but does it really apply to Paypal account phishing, where both probability and cost of false positives seems quite low?

  7. Well, bad English grammar may not be a problem with the victims who are themselves not native speakers: it’s just that English is the de-facto international language nowadays and anyone who wishes to speak to the world uses it (to the best of his/her ability, of course). There are lots of fairly rich (and gullible) people out there who themselves cannot tell good English from bad one.
    What I don’t quite get is how any intelligent person, regardless of his/her mother tongue, can fail to realise the simple truth that when something sounds too good to be true (a Nigerian prince has left me a fortune), then it’s probably not true? As people of my country say, free cheese can only be in a mousetrap (assuming you’re a mouse, of course). Not to mention the ridiculous, as far as I’m concerned, idea of dishing out a not-insignificant amount of money to someone Out There whom you’ve never met, Nigerian prince or no.

  8. What you composed made a bunch of sense. But, consider this,
    what if you typed a catchier post title? I ain’t suggesting your information isn’t solid,
    but what if you added a title that grabbed folk’s attention?
    I mean Um, no | Fabulous Adventures In Coding is kinda plain.
    You might peek at Yahoo’s front page and see how they write post titles to grab people to open the links.
    You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get readers excited about what
    you’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it might bring your website a little bit more interesting.

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