Spotting Spoofs

You’re kicking around in cyberspace and come across this link to get a free website. The place you are on doesn’t seem seedy or tacky so – whilst in the background there’s a murmer of “it’s too good to be true init?” – you click on the link just to have a look (and know you’re safe because your browser’s got web protection, right? ).

The page quickly loads and you read:

Yes you so lucky! We have FREE websites for everyone, but there’s a limit of just 3 per customer as they’re going quick and we’ve got limited space.  All you need do is:
» Sign up with just your email address; and
 » Be one of the first 900 customers to respond to this is a limited, time-sensitive offer

You must act now to get this FILLER CUZI CAN’T CODE [ GIVE ME MY FREE SITE ]

As it sounds quite reasonable, you go right ahead and click [ GIVE ME MY FREE SITE ]

Yeah, about that….

  • If you read all through that and couldn’t wait to go clickety-click, unplug your modem right now and go right out and get some threapy
  • If you read all through that and just felt something might be a bit off, read it again
  • If you read that, felt it looked odd and googled some of the text to check if it was legit, great!
  • If you read all through that and spotted at least ten (yes, 10!) out of at least 18 oddities then you’re either a professional editor or just have some plain, old common sense (yay!)

Read on (spoiler alert!)

  1. Yes you so lucky!
    • Well, it looks like the copy was’t proofed and that bad grammar got right past the editor! 
  2. We have FREE websites for everyone, but there’s…
    • Over-use of trashy font formats often indicates trashy intentions!
  3. We have FREE websites for everyone, but there’s a limit of just 3 per customer
    • Doesn’t that sound a bit contradictory?
  4. …there’s a limit of just 
    • 1st ‘limit’ mention
  5. as they’re going quick and we’ve got limited space.
    • Emotional blackmail #1
  6. we’ve got limited space.
    • Emotional blackmail #2
  7. we’ve got limited space.
    • They’re providing free websites – that will likely take up less than half a megabyte (a terabyte hard drive costs $60 or 25c a month cloud rental), so each site would cost less than $3 to store – a very small loss leader against sales generated due to the traffic across thier site)
  8. got limited space
    • 2nd ‘limit’ mention (yeah, noted that ealier!)
  9. All you need do is:
    • I hate it when someone says that. Sheesh, how condescending!
  10. » Sign up with just your email address; and
    • OK, one does espect that nowadays, but still…
  11. » Be one of the first
    • Yuk, the underscore crosses font formats, it just, well, Ugh! But moving on…
  12. » Be one of the first 900 customers
    • Emotional blackmail #3
  13. » …to this is a limited, time-sensitive offer
    • … “to this” … and …”is a” … just don’t hand together. Just what sort of English does the writer speak?
  14. …is a limited, time-sensitive offer
    • 3rd ‘limit’ mention (sheesh, you think I didn’t get that already?)
  15. »… limited, time-sensitive offer
    • Emotional blackmail #4 (double-whammy)
  16. …offer
    • so it’s not really a gift then?
  17. You must act now to
    • I must, huh?
  18.  act now to get this 
    • Emotional blackmail #5
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