Some recent correspondence from Aunty Spam, our anti-spam investigator
working out of the UK:
People Doing Stupid Things: Spammer Makes Death Threat to Investigator
Summary: Talk about people doing stupid things! How stupid do you have
to be to make a death threat against an officer who is investigating
you? Spammer stupid!
There are all kinds of people doing stupid things all the time. But
some take the cake. Such as making a death threat against an officer
who is investigating you. You have to admit, as people doing stupid
things go, that's pretty darned stupid.
But, of course, when I explain that it was a spammer who made the
death threat, well, it begins to make more sense. Because we all know
that most -- not all, but most -- spammers are even more stupid than
the average stupid person.
In this instance, the death treat came from Peter Francis-Macrae,
alleged to be the biggest spammer in the United Kingdom, but it's
actually not at all uncommon for spammers to make death threats, and
other threats of bodily harm, to those whom they see as interfering
with their operations.
When your Aunty worked at MAPS, one of the first anti-spam
organizations around, our investigators routinely were threatened like
this, both in email and on the telephone. In fact, folks arrived at
the office one day only to find that someone's windshield had been
But back to Macrae. Macrae was involved in a scam through which he
spammed offers for cheap domain registrations in the EU. The only
thing was, the domains he was advertising, and for which he was
collecting money, weren't available for sale. So he was investigated
by the agency which deals with trading standards, and, it is said, he
threatened to slit the throat of the trading standards officer.
Not the sharpest tool in the shed, you say, so what?
But a high-flying one, in more ways than one. With the 1.5 million
British pounds that he netted from his email scams he bought himself,
among other things, designer clothing (Yves Saint Laurent) and
helicopter lessons. You'd think that his father, with whom the
23-year-old Macrae still lived (in fact, his center of operations was
his bedroom in his father's house), might have caught on that his son
had a bit too much spare cash for the average 23-year-old.
Said the attorney for the government, Rupert Mayo, "He resorted to
using violent verbal abuse and deadly threats to quite innocent people
when challenged about his fraudulent activity. Of course we had to
shut him down entirely; no more computers, no more internet."
Is anyone surprised?
Internet Patrol gives you up-to-the minute reporting on Internet
goings on, along with a healthy dose of editorial commentary and
pithy, witty remarks. If it happens on the Internet, the Internet
Patrol is there.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at
http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new
*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance, Aunty Spam.com
For more information go to: