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      That's right. "Damnit"

      The Desk was talking to an old acquaintance and they said the following in exactly these words....

"I click on them just to see what they've got" yes, that's a direct quote.

      The subject of the conversation was spam emails and "spim" the instant message version of the same thing. Emailed ads for fake watches, fake medications, fake sunglasses.... non-existent vacations, unapproved energy drinks, rip off loan deals.... "diets and credit cards and off lease cars- oh my".
      And the title to this article was the Desk's reply.
      Then the Desk continued:
      "They don't have anything you want. And if you did give up your credit card to them, even to 'verify your age' to enter a contest or something, you'll probably find your bank account raped or your identity stolen."
      They replied: "Yeah, I know. I don't do that, I just go look."
      The Desk then explained to them that by clicking the link they were verifying their email address to the spammer (who would then send them more and sell their address to other spammers for fun and profit), and they were risking opening up their computer to every brand of spyware and exploitation program known to man.
      They replied: "Oh. I thought about that because my virus program keeps popping up with stuff."
      Also, some spammers make more money selling the mailing lists of working addresses that they have confirmed by people clicking on the links in their messages than they ever do selling their counterfeit Rolexes and herbal Viagra.
      They just stood there and shrugged.
      The Desk could only sigh. And continue its battle to educate Internet users.

For the eighty-third time....

      SPAMMERS have nothing you want. Do NOT click on the link in a spam or spim message to 'see what they've got'.

      And as the CAN SPAM law is absolutely worthless, nevermind a few high profile court cases, the amount of spam in your inbox has actually increased since the law was passed- Do not click on the REMOVE ME button (this too only confirms your address and results in more spam).

      Do NOT forward blessing poems and friendships tests as these simply collect what may be otherwise unpublished email addresses which are worth their weight in electrons to spammers. On one such recent 'this is really cute' item the Desk picked out over a hundred working addresses, but it didn't sell them.... yet.

      And NEVER, never ever, Never Ever Ever post personal information on a social web site (MyFaceSpaceBook and kindred). These are Public, again, nevermind your account settings, those who know how to do these things can see everything posted regardless of your privacy choices. If you want to tell everybody your birthday, say "Second Week of April" that's close enough.
      Also, we don't need to know things like your choice for cellular phone, where you were born, and other information that could be useful to a criminal who's looking to open a charge account in your name.

      If you are as anti-spam as the Desk....
      Open the message headers, then forward the entire message as inline text to the spammers ISP if it is not a spoofed address, and to
      See for more info.
      Most ISPs and email services have an abuse@ address that will at least look into the matter if they get enough reports about a spammer operating out of their stable.
      As to whether or not reporting spam to the FTC does any good is an open question, but you might feel better for awhile.

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