Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sophisticated Phishing?

(Image from Wikipedia)

Phishers may be getting more sophisticated. A few days ago, I received the following email from a certain "Carmen":
I was reading "An Insightful Use of Reader-Response Literary Theory" and had a comment. Hmm, I think you might be misunderstanding Fish. His notion of interpretive communities suggests that the community creates the sole definition of a text, not a "fuller" definition.

One more thing, are you interested in getting paid to add a link on your page? Just a text link and it'd go to an education site.

I'd pay via PayPal at $100 for the link. Let me know and I can give you a call if needed.
I was somewhat taken aback by this email. While I appreciated the correction in my understanding of Stanley Fish, the offer of $100 triggered my suspicions. Nobody offers money to get a link, especially from a minor blog such as mine. But I didn't want to misjudge a helpful individual like "Carmen," so I replied:
I'm not interested in any money, but I might link to the site if I find it relevant.
In response . . . nothing, nichts, nada. "Carmen," apparently, believes that one gets what one pays for and thus wanted no free link. If it cost nothing, it meant nothing, I guess.

Was "Carmen" phishing? I can't be sure, but nobody offers to pay for a link, as I said, and she hasn't replied to my 'generous' counter offer. I therefore conducted a Google search using her full name (or the one supplied, anyway) and found only one site, a blog where she had apparently left a message in some fashion or other . . . indirectly, I take it, for the blogger herself seems to have had to post the message from "Carmen" (which strikes me as odd).

The circumstantial evidence might therefore suggest phishing, I hazard to think, but would a phisher of men like me be so knowledgeable about that Milton scholar and radical postmodernist Stanley Fish? Perhaps I should be unsurprised, however, that phishers might know about Fish . . .

Whether "Carmen," was a phisher or merely a naive, would-be letter-linker saying the darndest thing, the internet is a peculiar fishing hole . . .

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At 6:08 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Some time ago they asked me to join the Freemasonry. Looks like people are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Pisces / Fish is my sign, anyway. I enter blogs in order to steal the most valuable property: time

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Stealing?! You'll pay for that . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:17 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

It's such a pay-nful prospect.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Indeed. Pay in full.

But not in kind. If I had a nickle for every time I didn't have a nickle, I'd have a lot of nickles.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little surprised that you were asked to join the Freemasonry.
When I was young, someone suggested to me that it would be helpful for me to join the group.
But I was also told that you would never be asked to join, and that it would have to be of your own free will, without any outside invitation.
Has it now become a practice to be asked?


At 3:41 PM, Blogger ilTassista Marino said...

Dear Cran, as far as I know, Freemansonry in Italy is quite different than in the Anglo-Saxon countries (and in central Italy is different than in northern Italy, for that).
Anyway, it was not about an official "invitation", rather a "conjecture" proposed during a conversation.
But even a friend of mine, a dentist, was asked to join the F. by the customer he was drilling at that very moment :-D

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Jeff,

Notice anything unusual about the letters within Carmen and Cran?

I mean, it could just be me - but I find this "offer" mighty suspicious.

You might want to check your accounts in the offchance you've deposited any dimes recently.


At 4:35 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good point, JK. The name "Carmen" could be an anagram for "me Cran"! Thanks.

Jeffery Hodges

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