Received this interesting E-mail in the account I normally use to receive messages from Yahoo! Personals (etc.):
Well, I got your message yesterday afternoon but just now had a chance to get back to you as I’m just taking off for an afternoon appt & I just wanted to say thanks for taking interest in me on Yahoo. I’m so happy you responded to my “icebreaker”
So, have you met anyone off the internet yet? The one guy I started talking to was too shy for me and he was from Yahoo, too. I hope I don’t make you timid. I’m really fun and outgoing (At least I think I am, hehehe.)
Anyway, here are some pictures a girlfriend and I put together last month http://personal.fnpsites.com/lisa/ She is a riot and got me to do some pretty silly stuff… I hope you like!!!!
I will be leaving town tommorrow for work though (I work at Proctor & Gamble & I’m always getting sent to the tiniest towns). I guess it isn’t all that bad since I had no plans for the week anyway But anyway I’ll be really bored sitting in the hotel room tIll next Tuesday in Madison, WI. So, I hope we can make time to chat and get to know each other better and maybe see if we can make some plans!! I’ll check my email when I get to the hotel! I hope to hear from you! I’ll be online tommorrow morning. Maybe we can hook up there and chat. If not let me know when you might have a moment.
Hmm! Well this certainly caught my attention. Still, there were a couple of suspicious things about the message. Firstly, as far as I could recall, I had never received any “Icebreaker” (which are basically canned one-line messages you can send to people on Yahoo! Personals) from anyone named Lisa—as far as I could tell (since people often will use nicknames and pseudonyms on those kinds of sites).
What was more suspicious was the website indicated in the E-mail. I went to it and it was the front page leading to another page of more revealing pictures of “Lisa”—which I would have to sign up to some “adult verification service” for in order to access, for $35. Now I’ve received this kind of message before, but there was something a bit different about this one: in order for “Lisa” to have E-mailed me directly at my vtluu.net E-mail address, I would have had to send her a message with said address, and Yahoo! is pretty good at weeding out “fake” ads of people who are looking to advertise adult websites.
So I decided to play along, and replied with a short message politely thanking “Lisa” for her E-mail (and saying that I wasn’t interested in paying to see nude photos of her). I was rather surprised to receive a reply about half an hour later:
How nice You got back to me!!! I’m just got back from the gym & noticed you responded to my email. I love it when “I Have Mail.”
So, what do you think about a cup of Joe to get up to speed with everything? I’m pretty open this Saturday and would love to meet up. Well, let me know what your schedule looks like if you want to get together sometime soon. Ohh I almost forgot, did you like the pictures? If you couldn’t get the link to work you can find them at: http://personal.fnpsites.com/lisa/ I thought they were kinda funny but I don’t know how someone else would take them so let me know your thoughts.
I’ll talk to you soon.
Again, another message that sounded genuine, except for one glaring problem: what “Lisa” said in the second message totally contradicted what she said in the first: “I’m pretty open this Saturday” versus “I will be leaving town tommorrow … tIll next Tuesday” (sic). And again, trying to push the website! That was when I realized that I’d encountered a somewhat more intelligent “spamming agent”.
I say “somewhat” because by the second message the agent had failed the Turing Test. Roughly speaking, the Turing Test (Alan Turing, one of the principal “founders” of computer science) refers to the ability of a computer to mimic a human being to the point where someone conversing with it could not be certain if it were a computer or a real person. While there have been programs devised that have “passed” the test in some limited form (notably for the Loebner Prize contest), it seems that online smut vendors don’t yet have software that sophisticated… for now. All for the better, I suppose.
I’ve attempted to engage the agent in further conversation, but alas it has gone silent.