I try not to do the rant thing too often but every single day at least one of the Thai people on my MSN contact list shoots me this message:
Editor’s Note: I inserted a space so my blogging software won’t make it clickable
When you go to the website you find a page that says:
You can see who has blocked or deleted you from his/her MSN with our completely free service.
Underneath are fields to input your MSN username and password which Thais seem to do at a scary rate. It then sucks in their contact list and begins spitting out the above spam message to all the people on your contact list. I’m trying to think of the possible damage the guys running this site could do other than spam your IM contacts and/or go into people’s Hotmail accounts and possibly search around for passwords to other sites and such but I think it’s just an email address harvesting scam.
But the thing that really strikes me is how effective it is with Thai people. I have hundreds of people from all over the world on my MSN, AIM, and YIM accounts and I never get spam IMs from anybody but Thai people who have fallen for scams like the one above.
Similarly, I never have this conversation with any of my non-Thai friends either:
Me: Hey, haven’t seen you online in about a week. Everything okay?
Thai Friend: My computer get virus. Have to take to shop.
Okay, that’s a lie. I have had that conversation with non-Thais maybe 10 times in the 20 years I’ve been active in the online world but it seems like I never have that conversation with non-Thais compared to the almost weekly instance of it happening with Thais.
And I get the virus IM’s too. Maybe they’re tied to the same scam as the one above though I can’t say I’ve paid enough attention to who sends what IM spam to start making any hardcore findings. The virus IM is always of the “Hey, do I look better with my hair short or long” or “Oh my god, I can’t believe I did this. Check it out!” variety and in the IM is an *.zip attachment that you’re supposed to download. Once downloaded there are no photos but there is an executable file which I assume does something nasty to your computer.
So to the two or three people who read this blog, here’s a goldmine business tip for you:
Step 1: Write a software virus that does something extremley malicious and annoying while at the same time grabbing more contacts from them and keeping the chain growing
Step 2: Send a link to the software to every Thai person you know promising them that it will do something appealing like tell them if their current or last partner cheated on them
Step 3: Set up a sideline business fixing people’s virus infected computers
Step 4: Retire a wealthy man
You figure there are 62 million people in Thailand, even if you only charged 200 baht a repair, that’s a cool 12.4 billion baht just waiting to be made. Count in the number of people stupid enough to fall for it multiple times and the potential is mind blowing.