Hed Lines: Spammers test intelligence of recipients of unsolicited e-mail

Junk e-mail, known as spam, keeps coming to one of my e-mail accounts.

What galls me is that the spammers challenge the intelligence of the recipients.

How stupid or gullible do they think we are?

I am reprinting, in part, a long-worded spam from supposed "energy experts" who may have assumed that I have ignored press accounts about the embattled energy giant Enron.

I have deleted the name of the company and its Web site.

It appears as follows:

Build Your Assets and More Wealth

STOP Investing The Same Old Ways!!!

Unlock the doors to STAGGERING PROFITS!

Tired of Stock Market Ups and Downs?

Mutual Funds Still on a Roller Coaster?

NOW is the Time to Embrace The ENERGY Markets!

Commodity Trading Makes Millions Every Day!

Powerful Profits Await YOU In The ENERGY Markets!!!

Fortunes will literally be made in the next few

months!

Get Your FREE Energy Investment Information Packet at (the Web site address)

*We all NEED ENERGY...every day!

*We all USE Energy...every day!

*Your Life Resolves around ENERGY!

*Every Major Country in the world consumes ENERGY

daily! …

We can show you how many of our clients have turned a small investment of only $10,000 into $50,000 or MORE in a very short period of time! Isn't everyone looking for YIELDS like that?

($5,000 Minimum Investment)

HOW? Because WE ARE "The Energy Experts" and we are truly Energy Market Specialists.

We KNOW the Energy

Markets!

We are an experienced, professional firm with over 25 years of experience.

Learn how our clients get the best results, and receive the most professional care in the investment world today! …

When I get questionable spam such as the above, I try to contact the abuse departments of the companies that provide the e-mail services, usually to limited success.

After all, many spammers forge e-mail addresses.

However, I recently found out that at least two federal agencies investigate claims against spammers if they believe that the offenders have violated federal laws: the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

I strongly urge readers who receive questionable spam to log onto their Web sites and report the spammers.

The Web site addresses are http://www.fda.gov and http://www.ftc.gov.

*

One of the lessons from the Enron debacle is the need for better accounting procedures.

They can start at the local level.

A few weeks ago, a neighborhood girl knocked on my door to solicit a pledge for a children's charity as a classroom project.

I generally pay cash for Boy or Girl Scout cookies, but I prefer to make out checks for anything exceeding $4 or $5.

I told the girl that I would make out a check once she provided me the proper name of the charity.

She did not provide that information when she returned in a week.

She said I could make out a check to her.

No way! In any case, I made out a check to her cause, and told her friend to come back if I made out the check to the wrong party.

I don't blame the girl.

I fault her teacher for not providing clear-cut instructions, and called the teacher.

She returned my call and answered my questions but was curt.

I hope she learns a lesson from the above example.

*

Last week, I commented on receiving a Clean Elections donation solicitation from Secretary of State Betsey Bayless, a Republican candidate for governor.

I could not reach her or anyone from her campaign before filing my column the morning before publication.

Bayless called me back at about 4 p.m.

Feb.

26, too late to get her comments in my column.

She informed me that she sends Christmas cards to a list of about 7,000 people.

"Everyone on the list is somebody I interacted with in Arizona," she said.

The recipients of the Christmas cards automatically receive mail from her gubernatorial campaign, Bayless said.

In any case, that explains why I received the solicitation.

I mentioned the names of two Phoenix columnists known for their caustic commentaries, and she assured me that she does not send them Christmas cards.

I guess that I am in good company.

Ken Hedler is the county government and political reporter for the Daily Miner.