Cracked Columnists

Email Spamming 101: The A-Z Guide To Becoming Human Garbage

So you're considering a lucrative, rewarding career in the exciting world of email spamming! Good for you! Being an email spammer can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge. What nonexistent celebrity sex tapes should you offer fake links to, and how do you use those fake links to install malware on peoples' computers? What types of products and services should you offer to people, and if they're interested, what's the easiest way to steal those peoples' personal financial information?

You probably have a lot of questions, but as luck would have it, I just so happen to have some answers for you. With a little patience and some good ol' fashioned elbow grease, you'll be scamming senior citizens and mental defectives before you know it... and pulling down a seven-figure salary to boot! Let's get started!A is for Asshole

This is what you'll immediately become when you start sending out email spam. You might volunteer at a soup kitchen and help old ladies cross the street on a regular basis, but the moment you start jamming inboxes all around the world with spam, as soon as that very first email goes out with the subject "BRITNEY PEES WITH PARIS HILTON'S DOG VIDEO," guess what? Now you're an asshole. Congratulations. Speaking of which...

B is for Britney Spears

People are looking for all kinds of things when they go to check their inboxes, but more often than not, most people are hoping to receive pictures and videos of Britney Spears engaging in some sort of sex act. If you want to be a successful email spammer, offer people access to these sorts of materials. Don't worry about the fact that Britney's fame has already collapsed on itself like a white-trash dwarf star made of fried chicken and hate, or the fact that nobody has really wanted to see Britney Spears naked for the better part of a decade now. Send everybody on Earth fake links to pictures and videos of Britney Spears naked anyway. We'll all thank you for it later.

C is for C1alis

Millions of men are unable to achieve an erection without help from the pharmaceutical industry. Many of those men have email. Therefore, it's probably a good idea to send out unsolicited Cialis offers to everyone on Earth. This is what we in the industry call "targeted marketing." Unfortunately, many spam filters block out the word "Cialis," depriving millions of desperate, flaccid men of easy access to unsolicited, bogus offers for the drug. Try changing the first "i" to a "1" and see if that works. Don't do it for yourself - do it for all the millions of boners out there that never had a chance.

D is for Delete

This is what I (the average email user) do to all the garbage that you (the average spammer) send me. Most people do the same thing (because most people are smart enough to know a rip-off when they see one), but there's this one mouth-breather in Florida who keeps falling for it time and time again, making it profitable for you spammers to keep doing your thing. Keep taking his money until he doesn't have any left, then mail him a handgun, a bullet, and a thank-you letter from Charles Darwin.

E is for EBay Passwords

There are an estimated 6.684 billion on this planet, but only about 15,000 of them work at eBay. Assume all of the rest of them know nothing about eBay's password recovery options, and try to trick them into giving you their account information. Furthermore, assume they won't think twice about the fact that no legitimate website on the entire internet would ever ask for your personal information via email. Why can you make this assumption? Skip to "H" to find out.

F is for Famous People

Now that I really think about it, when you're offering people free naked pictures of celebrities, why stop at Britney Spears? Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton; the public has an infinite appetite for fake links to naked pictures of famous people, so expand your horizons and cast as wide a net as possible.

G is for Giveaways

Everyone loves a good celebrity sex tape, but everyone knows they're even better when they're free. Don't just offer us unsolicited hardcore pornography - offer us FREE unsolicited hardcore pornography. Then instead of actually giving us the porn, give us a link to some website that asks for our credit card numbers. Which reminds me...

H is for Human Beings Are Morons

If someone started an Email Spamming College, they would probably teach you this unfortunate but incontrovertible fact in Spam 101. This is the guiding principle of email spamming, and all the real-deal spammers have it tattooed in Latin on their chests. Not ALL human beings are morons, of course, but as long as there's the Home Shopping Network, Truck Nuts, and people living in Florida, you better believe that spam will continue to be profitable.

I is for Insane Costs To Businesses

Smile! You're costing businesses worldwide $100 billion this year!J is for Junk Folder

If spamming was a hurdling race, then the Junk folder would be the hurdles you need to jump over. If spamming was a murder trial and you were the defendant, then the Junk folder would be the jury you'd need to convince of your innocence. If spamming was a labored metaphor, then the Junk folder would be very difficult to explain. Forget it - all you really need to know is that the Junk folder sucks.

K is for Killing An Alien

If you fired a gun in outer space, couldn't it hypothetically keep going pretty much forever since there's no atmosphere? And if the bullet could hypothetically keep going forever, isn't there a pretty good chance that it would eventually hit an alien in the head? This doesn't really have anything to do with email spam - just something I've been thinking about lately.

L is for Love

If you choose to become an email spammer, nobody will ever love you again. Nobody. Ever. Your family, your friends, even your pets will realize that you are a despicable human being and will want nothing to do with you. If you have a wife, she'll leave you. If you have children and you try to pick them up, they'll scream and bite you. Your pets will pee on all the nice things you bought with your dirty spam money. You'll look at the stains and think to yourself, "If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Formica was doing this on purpose," but the truth is, you don't know better. Formica is doing it on purpose. Then you'll think to yourself, "Why did I name my dog Formica? That's not even a name."

M is for Millions Of DollarsPlay your cards right and you could end up a card-carrying member of the nouveau riche. Naturally, you'll need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Pick out a massive McMansion in a satellite suburb, fill it with gaudy furniture and cold, hideous modern art, and find yourself a trophy wife with expensive habits and an icy stare. Fill your four-car garage with tasteless luxury cars and put an enormous, sexually explicit fountain on your front lawn. The neighbors might not appreciate it, but remember: You're an email spammer now. That means that the neighbors, the welcoming committee, and whoever wrote the letter kindly requesting that you remove the sexually explicit fountain from your front lawn can all go fuck themselves.

N is for Nigerians

Would you believe me if I told you I had $50 million tied up in complicated Ivory Coast business transactions? What if I told you that I'd give you 10% of that $50 million if you let me transfer my money into your bank account? No? You wouldn't believe me? Okay, fair enough. That's probably because I'm not Nigerian.

O is for Outrage

When you attend social functions, people may ask what you do for a living. Saying "I'm an email spammer" probably won't get the best response, so try to pad the blow if at all possible. Say "I'm in marketing" or "I work in digital media" and see how that goes, or maybe just say "I'm a walking pile of dog shit," drop your pants, and sit down bare-assed in the punch bowl. You might as well - as an email spammer, nobody is expecting much better out of you.

P is for Pornography

Dramas and comedies are great and all, but when it comes to movies, studies have proven time and time again that 9 out of 10 people prefer the ones that show penises going in and out of vaginas. Give the people what they want.

Q is for "Quit It!"A word to the wise: pretty much everyone hates spammers. As a result, there will always be people wishing you would "quit it." (They might also say "knock it off" or "cut it out" or something like that.) These people are idiots with zero business sense who should be ignored at all costs. Remember: If you follow their advice, it won't be long before you're right back where you started, selling Cutco knives out of the trunk of your Ford Festiva and bathing in a gas station bathroom sink. Spamming isn't a glamorous profession, but it beats bathing in a sink, doesn't it?

R is for Ridiculously Low Prices

People love these, so don't worry about making your offer sound even vaguely realistic. Remember: Whether it's 500 DVDs, 500 Rolexes, or 500 diamond-encrusted diamonds, the price is always ONE PENNY.

S is for Stealthy

This is what you'll need to be if you don't want to get caught. You don't want anything getting traced back to you, so it's probably a good idea to take some measures to protect your identity. Wear a top hat and monocle when you're out in the street so that nobody recognizes you, but change into a turban and sunglasses when you're at home to throw "them" off. Track down Matthew Lesko and steal his suit. Remember: the goal is to blend in and not call too much attention to yourself. Also, avoid sending out spam from an email address that has your full name in it.

T is for Tits

Here's a statistic: 20% of all email spam has at least one reference to tits in it somewhere. I just made that up, but it's probably true, and if it's not, it SHOULD be true, because let's face it: People love tits.

U is for Unbelievably Large Penis

There's no shortage of products that claim to increase the size of your penis, and there's no reason not to offer all of them to your victim- err... clients. Pumps, creams, pills; no matter what it is, shove it in their faces and cross your fingers. Which reminds me...

V is for V1agra

When these guys (inevitably) purchase a variety of devices and ointments to increase their penis size, they're probably going to need a little help raising the drawbridge. Why stop at C1alis? Offer everyone some V1agra, too. Oh, and while you're at it, why not give "Breast 1mplants" a shot? You know - for the ladies. Once you're operating under the assumption that everyone is unhappy with their genitalia, the rest is all simple math.

W is for WorldwidePeople around the world are different. Some of them wear funny hats, some of them wear wooden shoes, and some of them put sheets over everything but their eyes. (They walk around like that!) Some people have slanty eyes, some people have flat, wide noses, and some people have red hair. (RED! WTF?!) But despite all of these trivial differences, it's important to remember that we're all just human beings being human. Who cares if someone looks a little different than you look? It's not the color of a person's skin that matters; it's how much money they have in their bank account, and how easily you can trick them into giving it to you. Drop the racism, transcend nationalism, and try to steal from everyone.

X is for Xanax

If there's one thing people like more than boner pills, it's pills that make them really sleepy. Xanax, Soma, Percocet, Valium; people love all that stuff, but purchasing these products without a prescription can be difficult (if not impossible). As a result, more and more people in recent years have been turning to unsolicited, anonymous email offers that are jam-packed with typos and broken English. Why not help these unfortunate souls with their chronic anxiety? Think of it as a good deed... and then steal their credit card info and rob them blind.

Y is for Your Soul

This is what you give up when you choose a career in the spam industry, but think about it from a financial perspective: What is the monetary value of a soul? Last I checked it was ZERO DOLLARS.

Z is for Zebras

Give me a break - there's nothing spam-related that starts with "Z."

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Ross Wolinsky

  • Rss

More by Ross Wolinsky:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here

113 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!