Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Spyware or spam?

A new one on me:

Received spammy email claiming, “Hello Rebecca,

I hope you don't mind a fellow Tushnet reaching out. I have a permit which states that WW Express did some work at [your home].

Could you tell me how it went? … I'm helping a new homeowner find a professional for her project, and I was hoping you could share your experience with me before I make any recommendations….


Brooke Tushnet
Customer Success | VetMyPro
C: 23097051
BP: 55181251”

I am fairly sure that there is no “Brooke Tushnet” in the world.  Instead, this message is creepily and misleadingly leveraging our tendency to be more helpful to people “like us.”  (On this and other tactics, Robert Cialdini’s books Influence and Pre-Suasion are very good.)  To what end, I’m not sure, but I can’t help feeling misused.  I even tried to find this potentially long-lost relative, just in case!  Also, VetMyPro lacks any internet presence beyond its own website.  Now I’m becoming concerned about spyware!

1 comment:

  1. At least there's a vague chance that another "Tushnet" might be a relative. I get messages nearly every day attesting to the difficulty barristers in Nigeria and elsewhere seem to have in finding anyone in the world named "Brown" who can inherit their client's estate...