We know what you are

September 17, 2015

Recently, one of our administrative aliases got email from 'no-reply@researchgate.net' that looked like this:

Dewayne Perry invited you to join their network on ResearchGate and confirm authorship of your publications.


Software Engineering
3 Publications - 3 Citations


While the department does do research and publications in software engineering (among other fields, of course), our administrative alias does not publish anything and as a result its nonexistent publications do not have citations.

People and organizations who send this sort of email are not fooling anyone. They might have fooled people a decade or two ago, when the Internet was young and spam was new and not something everyone has a great deal of exposure to, but not today. Today everyone who gets this sort of bogus email citing a random name they have never heard of knows exactly what this is. As a result, they know exactly what the organization sending the email is. So do bystanders who simply hear about this.

(Of course I did not use the 'unsubscribe' link that had been helpfully primed in the email. We use much more definite and final methods of ceasing to receive email from people like this. Neither did I bother to waste my time by attempting to send in any sort of complaint.)

I wish all of these sorts of people would stop pretending, but I suppose that's the naive part of this entry. As long as it fools a few people a little bit of the time, this sort of people will keep banging away. Heck, I expect them to keep banging away even after that point, should it ever arrive.

(See also why you can no longer have an 'invite-your-friends' feature.)

Written on 17 September 2015.
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Last modified: Thu Sep 17 01:32:22 2015
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