There are some sick people out there – and I’m not talking about the ones with RA!

March 25, 2014 at 10:00 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 3 Comments
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I got this in my email yesterday morning, purporting to be from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). 

 

Dear [email address removed] We have been sent a sample of your blood analysis for further research. During the complete blood count (CBC) we have revealed that white blood cells is very low, and unfortunately we have a suspicion of a cancer. Wite Blood cells 1200 Low Hemoglobin 12 Normal Platelets 19000 Low We suggest you to print out your CBC test results and interpretations in attachment below and visit your family doctor as soon as possible Sincerely,Dr. Avery Ernie National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

My first instinct was to laugh – for so many reasons. Honestly, can’t these spammers do their research properly? NICE doesn’t stand for that at all – and your average doctor can probably spell ‘white’ too. Then there’s the fact that NICE don’t do any research or analyse any samples. (All they are there for, as far as I can see, is to decide if drugs are too expensive for patients to benefit from!) Not to mention the fact that blood samples don’t go whizzing around the country for ‘further research’ without my permission, and when they do, since I’m part of an epidemiological study, they are anonymised. 

However, my second reaction was absolute fury – I presume the ‘attached’ was some sort of virus or other nasty, so what if this had gone to some really vulnerable person, not overly familiar with silly spamming tactics and actually awaiting the results of blood tests for possible cancer? The last thing someone in that situation needs is some moron to cause their computer to crash or steal their bank details or whatever other nasty things these people do these days!

I was reading this morning about medieval punishment practices;  a seller of off wine for instance would be hauled to the pillory, forced to drink a draft of his off wine and have the rest poured over his head before being locked in to the pillory  - most unpleasant – but too good for these people, I can’t help thinking! I shall be daydreaming of suitable ways to punish these people if they’re ever caught! <evil grin>

 

The joys (or otherwise) of spam comments

October 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 11 Comments
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I’ve now been privileged to receive my first two Spanish spam comments, after posting about Barcelona so much recently! Multilingual spam – cool.

On a serious note though, I’d personally recommend that everyone moderates all their comments on blogs because spamming via comments is a popular pastime. Why? Because the spammer gets a link to their site at the same time, and the more links from outside sites to a website, the higher it’s ranked on Googe and other search engines. It’s known as black hat SEO and it’s not funny and it’s not clever.

Some spam is more targetted – for instance a certain mattress is being subtly and perhaps unethically advertised on various R.A. blogs at the moment. Odd that I had an identical comment saying how great the mattress was to one on one of the blogs I follow, and yet purporting to be a different person posting. These guys are taking it to a new level though. Instead of posting a general comment like ‘great blog man. Cool info! So glad I found it’ which can apply to any blog in the known universe, the mattress folk are responding to actual blog posts – must be time consuming but probably pays better dividends as they look like ‘real posts from real people’.

Interestingly I recent saw some information that suggested this was now illegal in America – you have to actually state a material link to the thing being advertised, if one exists. It may simply be that you were sent a free one to review – you still have to make it clear that you received it for free.

So … watch out mattress folk – gut subtler, get out or get your fingers burned.

On the bright side – I kinda get a kick out of spotting them and going ha ha, didn’t fool me … this time!

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