Spotting SPAM

Do you know that SPAM in your email box is a never ending battle?   SPAM can trick a lot of people who are not careful and refuse to use their skills of discernment.

Below is an example of a bogus e-mail that I received the other day.  It almost fooled me for a minute.  I had actually signed up with the US Treasury a few years ago because I was possibly considering a purchase of Treasury Notes as a form of investment.   I decided to Google that program and realized that the real website was

Below is the junk message that I received.   I have put my comments in BOLD so that this example can teach you some of the key points why this message must be SPAM.

Be Careful Out There

— Example of SPAM —

From:  (A real US government website would end in .gov)
Subject:     Important!

Date:     January 28, 2009 11:47:52 AM EST

To:     Email recipient
Reply-To:     nicole_23(at)somedomain(dot)com   (You know this is bogus, a real e-mail from the US Treasury would never ask you to reply to an address like this.)


You’re getting this letter in connection with new directions issued by U.S. Treasury Department. The directions concern U.S. Federal Wire online payments.

On January 21, 2009 a large-scaled phishing attack started and has been still lasting. A great number of banks and credit unions is affected by this attack and quantity of illegal wire transfers has reached an extremely high level.

U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in common worked out a complex of immediate actions for the highest possible reduction of fraudulent operations. We regret to inform you that definite restrictions will be applied to all Federal Wire transfers from January 28 till February 9.

Here you can get more detailed information regarding the affected banks and U.S. Treasury Department restrictions:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (I’ve hidden the actual website, because it was a fraudulent address ending in .net.   Three strikes and YOU’RE OUT spammers.)

Federal Reserve Bank System Administration