They’re Watching Me

My last illusion of privacy has been shattered. I knew government agencies watch us online and our phone companies track our whereabouts and aliens (or possibly my friends) are monitoring my bathroom habits… but I could always depend on the utter cluelessness of spammers.

Back in the good old days, I could count on getting all sorts of random and irrelevant spam promising to enlarge body parts I don’t even possess or to deposit vast sums of money in my bank account. (Who knew there were that many dead millionaires in Nigeria?)

But no more. Lately the spammers have been getting so uncannily accurate, I can’t help thinking they’re watching me.

Case in point: A few years ago I posted A Dave By Any Other Name, in which I noted that I spent several years of my office life christened Dave. Imagine my surprise when I received this email a while ago:

They got my name right in the subject line… and then they addressed me as “Mr. Dave”.

At the time, I dismissed it as a bizarre coincidence. What are the chances, right? But lately I’ve been receiving spam that makes me think the spammers are actually paying attention… and they have a twisted sense of humour.

For example, they send me ads for food and recipes and then follow up with ads for the ‘20-Minute Flat Belly Workout’.

And a few days after I researched insanely expensive women’s shoes for my fashion-conscious character Nichele, I received an email kindly offering me ‘red arses’. That may seem completely unrelated, but wait:  The designer brand I researched was Louboutin. Their signature design feature is red soles… or red ‘bottoms’. Obviously my creative spammer was using a slightly less refined translation program to produce ‘red arses’.

(Or maybe I’m completely off-base with the Louboutin theory and the spammer in question actually has a baboon fetish, in which case I don’t really want to know.)

Anyway, they’ve apparently figured out that I’m a writer, because I get popup ads like this one:

Ummm… Isn’t that a spelling correction?

Ummm… Isn’t that a spelling correction?

Last time I checked, misspelling ‘grammar’ wasn’t a grammatical error, but I’m willing to overlook that technicality. After all, there are larger issues at stake: the fact that the spammers are now collaborating.

The ones who know I’m a writer must be sharing information with the ones who know I love to eat. The result was this email gem:

“Imagine losing pound after pound by doing literary nothing!”

I’m not quite sure how to do literary nothing. I guess as a literary-type person, theoretically any ‘nothing’ I do would be literary nothing; but I can’t help thinking there must be more to it than that.

Maybe I have to sit staring at a blank page and steadfastly resist the urge to write. Or perhaps ‘literary nothing’ is the act of spewing pages of pointless drivel, in which case I should be losing pound after pound just from writing this blog.

But at least they’re onboard with my sense of humour, and they’re generous with their jokes. They gave me this one with no strings attached, not even a spammy link:

“Have you heard about the Scottish drag queen? He wore pants.”

I guess I’ll get used to the idea that they’re watching me.  And (unlike the government and the phone company) at least the spammers give me some laughs. 😀

40 thoughts on “They’re Watching Me

  1. Fun stuff! Well…from over here. Actually, I’m pretty lucky with span. I think it’s because I don’t do much surfing, or looking at sites, or purchasing online. Still I get the odd one from the guy who has 3 million dollars and is willing to give me a share and all I have to do is give him my bank account info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post came at a time when I was very much in need of some Spam-related humor given that I’ve just spent the last three days as a spammer! I didn’t actually know I was a spammer, but WordPress or Akismet concluded I was and took almost every comment I wrote on someone else’s site and sent it straight to their spam folder. It was frustrating beyond belief! The problems seems to have sorted itself out now, thank goodness, although I should probably wait and see where this comment ends up.

    Incidentally, I do nothing literary, but I seem to be gaining weight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still get proposals from Russian women regularly. If I could take any of them up on it I would have to buy into some of the spam that guarantees a mile long erection for life. I haven’t got any from Nigerian royalty heirs for a while and I kind of miss it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m just now getting back to catching up with your blog. I have seriously missed the laughs but with this one now I feel all “fuzzy and comfy” again. 🙂 I got blindsided with a case of viral pneumonia and spent a few days of mind numbing discomfort in the hospital. The hospital itself was worse than the illness. Staff was great but the food and the bed was from a clearance sale at Gitmo I believe.
    I’ve gone through the Nigerian millionaire relatives too, just couldn’t bring myself to take advantage of the windfall tho’. Probably relatives I’d rather not know anyway.
    I’m loving the progress on book 11. I’m hoping you get some new converts soon, as much as I could I pushed the Spy series to everyone that came in. LOL Of course I had my Kindle and when my vision was clear enough I was engrossed in the series again. The nurses and staff would ask and I kept them there while I went through the adventures of Ayden et al. Pretty sure it took with some of them.
    Off again now, I need socks. Our temps are falling again. I tend to go barefoot a lot and at my age I really should change that. Eh, maybe not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome back! I’m sorry you were feeling so crappy, but I’m glad you’re on the mend now – viral pneumonia is pretty scary stuff. Sounds like the food and beds were just as scary though – hospitals are no place for sick people!

      Many thanks for spreading the word about Aydan and her friends – I really appreciate that! There’s no nicer compliment than a glowing recommendation. 🙂

      And nah, barefoot is appropriate at any age. As long as you’re comfortable and happy, it’s all good! Stay well now – no more messing around with bugs or viruses, okay?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I find my spammers so supportive, to wit:

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    Every weekend i used to go to see this web site,
    because i want enjoyment, since this this web page conations truly fastidious funny data too.

    What i do not understood is in truth how you’re not actually a lot more well-appreciated than you may be now. You are so intelligent.

    This design is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.

    Relieved of shemale porn.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I had to shutdown one of my email addresses for my blog as I had more spam than I could handle. Besides how many thousand pills of enhancement products does one guy need. I am getting a little spooked out by all the pop up ads I’m getting for NAS servers after doing some research on them. Even from places I didn’t look at. You’re right, they are watching ALL of us. I’m going to hide under my bed now…shhh, don’t tell anyone. But then again, they probably already know.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think I made my email address obscure although it’s kinda my name so its not, coz I never get that much spam.

    I wanna know if you took the lovely firemen cookies last week????

    I’ve spent the day out with my mum it was her birthday yesterday, plenty of chatting, shopping, coffee and food.

    It’s nearly next year!!! How soon do we get book 11?????

    Well I hear the pizza fairy whispering and calling so I guess I should get one in the over

    Hugs to all
    Karen xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just read your releasing the first book as an audio book who is reading it???? Are you doing it that would be so cool!!!!!

      Oh can’t remember if I said last week or if I was waiting til it was confirmed by the nurse I’m all healed and don’t have to see them any more

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to say I chickened out and the firemen didn’t get any cookies. And if I did it now, it would just seem awkward… 😉

      Yes indeed, Book 1 will be released as an audiobook in early 2016! I tried to do it myself, but I’m a lousy narrator – I can’t keep a straight face, and in the action parts I just keep reading faster-and-faster-until-I-sound-like-a-deranged-auctioneer-on-speed. So for once in my life I wised up and hired a professional! I’ll post a sample of Chapter 1 sometime in the next few weeks.

      I don’t know exactly when the Never Say Spy audiobook will be released, and I haven’t got a firm date for Book 11 yet, either. Sorry about that – I’m hard at work on it and I’ll have a better idea by the end of December.

      P.S. I’m glad to hear you’re healed up! And a very happy belated birthday to your mum. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I opened a Yahoo email account years ago so I could participate in some hobby-related newsgroups that required me to do so. A temporary throw-away account, I thought. We’ve moved a few times since then, and every move required a different internet provider, and that always necessitated a change in email addresses with the attendant endless hassles.

    But the Yahoo account kept plugging along. I noticed that it was the most stable thing I had, so now it’s my primary means of communication. I have a work address that my employer requires that I have, and I use it for work-related stuff all the time, but my only personal account anymore is the Yahoo one.

    And I get at least 200 spams a day. I dumped the spam box yesterday about this time, and right now there are 256 spam emails in it. No, make that 259. Okay, now it’s 261. You get the idea.

    I’m offered free samples of products that will enlarge this or that, some that will reduce this or that, some that will completely eliminate some other stuff whether I want it eliminated or not.

    I’m offered escort services at very reasonable prices. Alas, no free samples there, but that’s probably just as well, too, come to think of it. The same could be said for the offers of companionship from some distractingly lovely young women from, say, the Ukraine. Or perhaps Asia.

    I’m offered new, current-generation smart phones for free…and all I have to do is fill out endless surveys and sign up for stuff that I’ve never followed the trail long enough to actually see what it was.

    And fifty or so emails every day begin with, “You may already have won…!!!” And then I may not have, either.

    I look at it this way. Every free offer I pass up makes me the winner.

    I saw a bumper sticker on the back of the car driven by one of the IT guys at a place I used to work. It said…


    I wouldn’t take it quite that far. Well, not for a first offense.


  9. Just watched an item on the news last night about the myriad of data collectors that pick up your likes when you do a search on the Internet. Apparently their spelling might be a bit off even if they have technology smarts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. And I get some very bizarre stuff as a result of those data collectors – when I’m doing research for my novels I sometimes end up in some very sketchy internet locations! Let’s just say it’s… ‘educational’. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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