Are you overwhelmed with spam these days? An article in the New York Times reports: “Worldwide spam volumes have doubled from last year, according to Ironport, a spam filtering firm, and unsolicited junk mail now accounts for more than 9 of every 10 e-mail messages sent over the Internet.”

And spam in blog comments is just as bad. I waste a lot of time every day deleting e-mail spam and moderating  comments on several blogs. Dozens of the messages repeat the same message with different subject lines and different senders.

And now someone is spoofing e-mail addresses from, so I’m getting dozens more e-mails every day saying the messages I sent couldn’t be delivered. Of course, I didn’t send the messages with subjects like “Hector advice,” “it’s me elise,” “relative benevolent” … from addresses such as xqzm@….com.

It’s hard to believe anyone actually reads this junk, much less falls for it. But ABC’s Brian Ross & The Investigative Team Web site has videos showing how churches, a former Congressman, prominent doctors and lawyers, and other have been victimized in the billion-dollar Nigerian e-mail scams. If you receive an e-mail addressed to “undisclosed recipients” saying you’ve inherited millions from an unknown relative … hit the delete key! Greed – the possibility of getting something for nothing … or tens of millions for only a “small” fee … makes people gullible. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The only people getting rich from these e-mails are the scammers/spammers. Another site for information specifically on the Nigerian and related scams is Nigeria – The 419 Coalition.

At least the scams have a somewhat coherent story, though usually the messages are filled with grammar and spelling errors. The ones I wonder about are the messages that don’t make any sense whatsoever. Words and phrases are randomly strung together. Paragraphs stop in mid-sentence, and the sentences or phrases don’t have anything to do with what the spammers are trying to sell. I figure they have files of words, phrases, and sentences, and they just pull a word from one file, a phrase from another, a few sentences from the next …

You’re probably wondering how I know so much about what these nonsensical messages say. Why don’t I just delete them en masse? Well, I always find a few legitimate messages among the junk mail, as well as lots of junk mail that gets through the spam filters. I have to read enough to sort them out – that is, if the subject is something other than “Milligan advice,” “it’s me helena,” “amidst displeasure,” and the like.

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