Nancy Davis, whoever she is, has been trying to sell me Viagra for at least 5 years now. She recently found me at my Copeland address, after years of hounding me exclusively on Yahoo. I hear from her every day. She changes her name, but her saucy pitch is always the same: I am an abject failure in certain departments, but she can help me, baby.
She – or he, or it – is one of the senders of billions of spam emails worldwide everyday (as many as 100 billion a day according to this source), many peddling online pharmacy products. She can solve everything from impotency to hair loss to depression. Man, she really knows me.
Online pharmacies popped up in Canada and overseas in the mid 90’s to service underinsured American customers, many of them seniors, who couldn’t afford prescription drugs in the States. Then it exploded.
Spam filters catch some, but the online marketers employ constantly evolving evasive practices, using everything from literary quotations in the subject line (Oh my offence is rank) to random nonsense (Sloppiest U. Epiglottis) to spam poetry, or spoetry (Look our your window, make a child happy).
Legitimate advertisers – the ones targeting their opt-in databases, of which Copeland has many – are constantly scrambling to skirt the spam filters.
Unbelievable stat: According to Microsoft security, 97% of all emails sent over the Internet are spam.
It’s great that Canadian Government is on the case. How’s the ECPA working out for you?