My IRS Data Require Immediate Action? This must be BAD!

IRSLogoDoes anyone know a good tax lawyer? I am clearly in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service, because the email I received this morning MUST be real. After all, it came from IRS.online.services@irs.gov, complete with the eloquent subject line, “Your IRS Data Require Immediate Action.”

Dear IRS User,

This is an Important Message regarding your IRS Filing, from previous year and current year.

Our system indicates you have some changes in your record and We will like you to Kindly follow the given instructions in order to comply with our new sytem requirements. To avoid future difficulty with IRS services.

By filling out the Taypayer’s information that only you and IRS know, you can feel even more secure with your yearly Tax payout, knowing all information is Up to date.

To Proceed, Please find attached HTML Web Page.

Download and Save it to your Device Desktop

Go to Device Desktop to open the HTML Web Page

Continue by Filling your Information

Failure to comply, IRS will leave your Information Flagged on the system which will lead to taking other actions toward your next Tax Filing..

Sincerely,

IRS Online Services

IRS user?

Way to randomly sprinkle uppercase words throughout the email.

What is a “sytem requirement?”

What is a “taypayer?”

I believe I will engage in “failure to comply” and take my chances.

The cats’ litter box contains more useful nuggets than my work email lately

AxComputer

I have been tempted …

I don’t dislike public-relations people. PR on the whole isn’t that different from journalism and blogging, and I understand that trying to get the word out about companies, products and services is their job. For those who don’t know, I work on a blog about Facebook. The percentage of emails I receive that have nothing whatsoever to do with Facebook has been on a steady upswing, despite my efforts to alert senders that they’re barking up the wrong tree, unsubscribe (when applicable) and pound away at the spam button in Gmail.

No matter how much I try to clean up my email box, I can’t even begin to tell you how much of my time this process wastes on a daily basis.

First off, as I have said in the past, 99.99% of emails with “STORY IDEA” in the subject line are completely mistargeted and useless.

Second, when your email begins with a greeting to my former boss (who has not been a part of my blog since April 2012), the blog’s founder (whose byline last appeared that same month, after very limited involvement over the year prior to that), or a person I’ve never heard of (common mistake when sending mass emails, but still a mistake), you are already starting off down one strike. One strike becomes two strikes when you claim to be a regular reader of the blog, yet you address your email to someone who has not been a part of it for almost three years.

Third and most important, if you are emailing the editor of a blog that writes about Facebook, how about, oh, I don’t know, actually pitching a story that is related to Facebook? When I skim through an entire pitch or press release and don’t see the word “Facebook” once, smoke comes out of my ears.

Finally, in the cases when I take the time to reply to flaks and remind them that I am interested in Facebook and only Facebook, writing back to try to push a completely unrelated story is beyond foolhardy. I actually had one person who pitched a story with no Facebook angle whatsoever write back to try to sell me on the story with this gem: “Well, the company does have a Facebook page.” Really? So does my softball league. You don’t see me writing about that, do you?

Oh, yes, and one more pet peeve of mine is the misuse and abuse of the word “expert.” I have been writing about Facebook since 2011, yet I don’t consider myself an expert. Working for a company that runs Facebook ad campaigns or helps businesses create pages on Facebook doesn’t really make you an expert, either. So the fact that you are available for comment tells me you are just trying to get your name out there, which is fine, but I’m not biting.

If I want to waste time during the work day (and who doesn’t?), I will waste time pondering fantasy sports moves, playing Words with Friends or checking Facebook, like just about everyone else does. I should not be wasting so much time on emails that are as useful as tits on a bull.

Absolutely brutal Facebook Lottery spam email

If you fell for this, YES, I AM TALKING TO YOU!

Wow, I mean, are spammers even trying anymore? I don’t expect spam emails to follow the Chicago Manual of Style to the letter, but how about at least trying to at least slightly resemble English? This gem below, clearly unedited, was of the “Facebook Lottery” variety (for the love of God, people, there is NO SUCH THING as a Facebook Lottery):

From: info@aim.com
Reply-to: facebookwoldwide.lnc@gmail.com
Sent: 3/30/2014 4:15:55 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: FACEBOOK ONLINE LOTTERY PROGRAMME 2014, CONTACT E-mail: (facebooklottoworldwide.lnc@gmail.com)

FACEBOOK ONLINE LOTTERY PROGRAMME 2014

FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.

INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.

BATCH NUMBER: 2551236002/244

SERIAL NUMBER. 55643451907

TICKET NUMBER: 5647600545189

CATEGORY: 2nd

Dear Winner ,

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual Final draws held on the (25th Of March 2014.) by Face book group in cash Promotion to encourage the usage of Face book world state dollars) each on the Face book group promotion Award Attached to ticket number (5647600545189) and Ref No (2551256002/244) Serial Number (55643451907).

The online draws was Conducted by a random selection of email you where picked by an Advanced automated random computer search from the Face book in other To claim your $600,000.00USD the lottery program which is a new innovation by Face book, is aimed at saying A BIG THANK YOU to all our users for making Face book their number one means to connect, communicate,relate and hook up with their families and friends over the years.

This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants and Scam artists All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 20,000 companies’ and 30,000,000 individuals’ email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place every three years.You have to be Rest assured that this is Real and Legal..and there are Some Scam artists around…Thanks to the FBI…216 of them have been arrested… The software corporation to encourage some few individuals with web site and email addresses promoted this lottery.

Your name was selected in a raffle that was made on the 28th Of March 2014. so we need your fast response so that we can proceed with the delivery of your fund .You are required to contact our payment dept via e-mail:

E-mail: facebooklottoworldwide.lnc@gmail.com

Phone: +1 (301) 678-9083

With information below in order for us to complete your winning certificate and for further information regarding the disbursement of your lottery win.

FULL NAME:

FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:

MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:

OCCUPATION:

MARITAL STATUS AND AGE :

NATIONALITY / COUNTRY:

TICKET NUMBER:

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:

REF NUMBER:

SERIAL NUMBER:

you can also contact the FBI Agent in person for more information and advise and give him your number so he can call or text you.

Email: investigation.onlineoffice@gmail.com

Remember all winnings must be claimed not later than 20 of April 2014. After this date, all unclaimed funds will be included in the next stake. To avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your

reference and batch numbers in all correspondences. Furthermore, if there is any change in email address please contact us on time To enable him issue you certificate of winning Accept my hearty congratulations once again.

CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN FROM FACE BOOK!!!!

APPROVED AND SIGNED

I mean, where do I start with the mistakes, obvious red flags, and blatant stupidity in this one?

  • The reply to email is facebookwoldwide.lnc@gmail.com. What does “woldwide” mean?
  • From the desk of the president? Facebook doesn’t HAVE a president. The two top executives in the company are Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) and Sheryl Sandberg (COO).
  • It’s Facebook, not Face book.
  • “You have to be Rest assured that this is Real and Legal..and there are Some Scam artists around…Thanks to the FBI…216 of them have been arrested…” I hope this asshole is No. 217. Is that sentence even English?
  • Why are you asking for an email address? You obviously HAVE the fucking email address. I got an email, didn’t I?
  • “you can also contact the FBI Agent in person for more information and advise and give him your number so he can call or text you.” Even if a Facebook Lottery DID exist, what role, exactly, would the FBI play in it?

If anyone fell for this, they should never be allowed to use a computer, cell phone, tablet, or oxygen again.

Apple announces new iPhone models; I get Apple-related spam

One of the many clever, resourceful spammers out there decided to take advantage of Apple’s announcement of its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C by sending the awful attempt at an Apple email forgery below.

But it must be official, since the sending of this email applies when the expiration date of your account happens to term.

What in the fuck?

But it’s from “The Apple Customer Assistance,” so it’s clearly legit.

I hate people.

AppleSpam

Ordering me to do something via email? Nice try, dick!

I received an incredibly irritating email on my work account this afternoon, and, unlike most of the bonehead ones I’ve written about, this one was actually written in perfect English.

CC your boss on this, jackass!

Let’s start with the subject line, as I was already pissed off before I even opened the email:

Review & edit the content attribution:

Excuse me, but the last time I checked, you are not my fucking boss, since I have never heard of you. My boss is allowed to issue orders in email subject lines, since she has control over my paycheck. You, on the other hand, can go fuck yourself.

My name is __________ and I’m emailing you on behalf of __________. Please do an editorial review of your link(s) to us that accompany any of our infographics you’ve posted and change (or remove) the anchor text pointing back to our home page.

The names of both the person and company were redacted to protect the stupid. Do an editorial review? Sure! I’ve got nothing better to do. Perhaps I can come over and wash your car, too? Maybe help you move some furniture? WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

For the updating the anchor text, please consider:

  1. Updating the link to our home page to have the anchor text reflect our secondary brand names.
  2. Linking only to the internal page on which the infographic resides.
  3. Or removing the link entirely.

Since you are apparently new to the Internet, shithead, let me enlighten you to the fact that traffic to your homepage is a GOOD thing, and many companies expend all kinds of resources, human and financial, to INCREASE traffic to their homepages. Stupid much?

Please confirm when you’ve completed your review.

Again, tool, you are NOT my boss. The only thing I will confirm is that you are an absolutely bozo who is probably following the orders of an even bigger bozo.

By the way, I clicked on the link this moron included, and the story was from January 2011. Anyone who knows the Internet (which obviously does not count this asshole) knows that a year-and-a-half on the Internet is like a century-and-a-half in the real world. No one gives a rat’s ass about this post.

I love when someone I don’t know, with no authority over me whatsoever, and no clue, tries to assign busywork to me. If this prick emails me again, I swear I will change the link to the most disgusting porn site I can find.

Email subject lines that make me cringe

I absolutely love working full-time on an established blog, but every job comes with things that make you just shake your head, no matter how content you are overall, and mine is no exception. And the thing that makes me shake my head on a regular basis, often several times daily, is my email inbox.

Me, several times a day, minus the suit and tie

I have posted repeatedly about the emails I get that are in unrecognizable languages, or that come from people who think that a blog that covers Facebook is Facebook, but plenty of contributions in perfect English and (allegedly) targeted specifically toward our blog make me wonder what people are thinking.

When I see the following subject lines, I know a migraine is sure to follow, and I’ll tell you why.

Article, article idea, story, story idea: I have pretty much stopped reading emails that come in with these subject lines. For every 1,000 I get, 999 are completely useless, and I will gladly run the risk of missing the one that isn’t. The vast majority contain stories about topics not even remotely covered by our blog. And the miniscule percentage of emails that do involve Facebook are either stories that state the obvious (This Just In: People Use Facebook To Communicate With Each Other!), ancient news (how to use Facebook’s new timeline, which debuted months ago), or babbling by someone claiming to be a “Facebook expert.” I have been working full-time on a blog about Facebook for nine months, and I still don’t consider myself a Facebook expert, so you are not a Facebook expert, either, just because you helped the flower shop down the block create their page.

Bylined article: These are even better. Instead of writing an article that nobody asked for, how about bringing me a steak and a bottle of wine that nobody asked for? It would be a lot more useful, and tasty, too. Do we run guest posts? Sure, but it makes much more sense to have some communication beforehand. Besides, most of the ones that come in have many of the same issues as the ones described in the last topic, and most have already been published elsewhere.

Is available for comment: Whenever a big Facebook story breaks, we get bombarded with “experts” who are “available for comment” on the news. And in 99.9% of the cases, I have never heard of the person or the company. I would be better off walking around the streets of Hoboken and stopping random strangers to ask their opinion. In some cases, I would be better off interviewing my cats.

These aren’t email subject lines, but since I’m on a roll, here are a couple of tactics that annoy the living hell out of me:

Trying to bullshit a bullshitter: While I already admitted that I don’t consider myself to be a Facebook expert, I do have somewhat of a clue after covering the social network for nine months. When people try tricks like tying together two things that have nothing to do with each other, it gets annoying, and I’m not falling for it. You may have updated your marginal Facebook applications, and it may have coincidentally happened the week before the company’s IPO, but the two have nothing to do with each other, so don’t even try this approach: “In conjunction with Facebook’s IPO, we added the following features to our app.” In conjunction with the Yankees losing to the Braves this afternoon, go fuck yourself.

English as a fourth language: I realize Facebook is a global company, and I am not one of those snobs who thinks every inhabitant of planet Earth should speak English or go drown themselves, but our blog is written in English, by people who speak English, so if you want us to write about your application, you need to find someone to help you describe its features in English. If I don’t understand it, I’m not going to write about it. I don’t expect a press release to read like John Steinbeck, but if it reads like Latka from “Taxi,” I will give up and move on to the next story.

The only bright spot about all of these annoying emails is that when I click open and find something useful, I appreciate it that much more. So the next time you want to send a “story idea” to a blog that covers Facebook, and your story is “How The Brady Bunch Would Have Used Twitter,” walk away from your PC, drive to the nearest store, and buy yourself a clue.

Email stupidity is back wit a bang

Apparently not …

I have been very negligent about posting, for one obvious reason and one not-so-obvious reason that I don’t feel like getting into right now, but what better way to make my monumental return than with another edition of email stupidity?

This gem came into my work blog’s tips email account:

Day before yester i got a notification to upgrade my fb since den i cant access my account except wit browser the passwords dat m usin say invalid cant i get new ones to reset

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

First of all, you use a BlackBerry, so you are clearly a moron.

Second: What the hell is yester? Are you too lazy to finish typing a word when you’re two-thirds of the way through it?

Third: Den? What sort of den? A den in a house? A fox’s den in the woods?

Fourth: Wit? I have wit, and I am using it to make fun of you, because you are a moron.

Fifth: Dat m usin? What in the fuck language is that?

Sixth, and most important: A blog that covers Facebook IS NOT FACEBOOK. You want a new password? I have one for you: Type “I am a jerkoff” 100 times and see what happens.