Each week, we’ll distill a new piece of Direct Marketing that we have actually received and break it down for you!

THE BREAKDOWN

This time around, we’re moving from the mailbox to the inbox! E-mail marketing is a great way to communicate offers and news to current and potential customers. It’s also a great way for scammers to get your information, take control of your computer, and destroy your life.

Good times!

THE MEDIUM

This showed up in my “SPAM Folder” in my yahoo e-mail account. A message from “Internet Security”! Oh no! Internet Security! It’s gotta be serious.

Subject – “Your Protection may EXPIRE!” coupled with a “Hello,”

My protection “may EXPIRE!”. Yes, yes it may. Srsly? This is the best we could do to get attention?

THE GUTS

It get’s better once you open it. Luckily, Yahoo understands that their platform is basically a massive SPAM transaction platform, so they protect us with a three step process.

First, this message was quarantined in my SPAM folder.

Second, I had to agree to view it as an image only, protecting me from the live links.

Third, they let me know repeatedly that clicking links from sources I don’t know would be bad.

I agreed, here’s the message that was contained in this e-mail:

THE OFFER

As you can see, these guys want to help me update my “Anti-Virus protection”, which (again) “may expire”. They are offering to be an intermediary between me and McAfee AND I can save 40%! Wow! This is great! No, it’s not.

There are a few things that don’t, well, smell right.

First, the e-mail address. Masked in my inbox as “Internet Security” the domain is something called “faithful-friends”.com. Hmm?

Second, there are two physical addresses I can reach them at. First, a P.O. Box in California, and the other at a giant high-rise in Beijing. Seems, well, phishy.

Lastly, the links. While I didn’t click the links, reading them, I could tell there was some shady destinations here.

Final Grade – F

If I hadn’t been protected by Yahoo, believed that my protection “may EXPIRE”, and had clicked on the links, surely I’d be typing this from a new computer as this one would have been compromised. But I didn’t. I could definitely see how some less savvy users (i.e. Boomers) might fall prey to this, but come on! Bad bad bad.