CIA seal

Guilty as charged!

You have to admire the creativity of the spammers and scammers and phishers out there. They keep coming up with more-interesting ways to entice and entrap unwary denizens of cyberspace.

As biological pathogens mutate and evolve, we've become resistant to promises of instant riches, cheap drugs, and prodigiously large private parts. The latest scheme to hit my Intray tries to take advantage of the generalized paranoia cultivated by the fear-mongers among us, George W Bush, Fox News, and CNN being the prime offenders.


Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

++++ Central Intelligence Agency -CIA-
++++ Office of Public Affairs
++++ Washington, D.C. 20505

++++ phone: (703) 482-0623
++++ 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., US Eastern time

Now this is something I could believe! Given the uncomplimentary things I often write about our friends in Washington, it would be no surprise to find myself on one or more watch lists, checking my subversive activities. I've told my friends, "If I turn up missing, check at Guantanamo."

The phone number — (703) 482-0623 — actually is the number for the CIA (see Google or the Federal Telephone Directories).

Thanks to a tip from Jim, I use PocketKnife Peek to inspect suspicious messages that show up in Outlook, and the final lines of the internet headers told the tale:

X-Virus-Scanned: Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine
X-Virus-Scan-Result: Repaired 4815 W32.Sober.X@mm!zip

Just another garden variety attempt to infect my system with a virus! And I was so looking forward to a trip to Cuba.