A grammatical analysis of Russian email spam

As part of my recent migration from Gmail to FastMail, I’ve been going through my Gmail Spam folder to check for any non-spam emails that were mistakenly filtered away. In doing so I noticed the following set of emails:

Here is an example of what one of these emails looks like:

These emails are all slightly different, but follow a very similar format:

  • All but one comes from — what I imagine to be real — Yahoo! accounts, that have probably been hacked.
  • They all ask me to reply to a variety of Russian-based email addresses.
  • They all use a series of similar phrases to try to engage with me

It is the last point that amuses me. The ‘little girlie’ who sent these emails uses the following variations to tempt me to reply to her:

“I love your page”
“I enjoy your user profile”
“I like your user profile”
“I like your page”
“I enjoy your profile”
“I love your profile”

And it almost worked. I was just about ready to reply — and hand over my credit card information for good measure — when I noticed this email:

“Most”?!? You only enjoyed most of my user profile? If you are trying to tempt me (and scam me in the process), you’d better work on your flattery skills.

A new type of email annoyance, it's not quite spam or bacn, but what is it?

I understand that companies want to keep in contact with their customers. But the volume of email a company sends should hopefully be proportional to how often you purchase, or use services, from that company. An email every few months is one thing. When you start emailing every few weeks, it becomes bacn, and when you email me every week it is spam and I will delete it, ignore it, or unsubscribe from your emails.

Recently, I've been getting a lot of emails that look like this one:

Ever since Google rolled out their new inbox for Gmail, some companies have started to worry that we might not giving their emails the amount of attention that they would prefer. If I were in charge of a company's email strategy, I would let the customer make their own mind up as to whether the email was important or not. I would not send the customer even more emails to tell them how to prioritize the emails that the company sends.

A name is needed for this annoyance. How about 'facn' for fake bacn?