Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This is me starting to share some of the shit phishing emails I get. How hard would it be to copy a real bank email? Impossible, judging by the shite that you get in your inbox. At least I know that if the work runs out in London, or if I want to retire somewhere hot, I could always hustle a few dollars, proofing copy from Nigerian scam 'artists' in Lagos.

Let me start what I hope is going to be a series on COPY IN PHISHING EMAILS. Here we go.

First off, even before I've opened the thing, I know it's bogus. How? Because THE SUBJECT LINE IS SHOUTING AT ME. And London designers/art directors beware, copy in CAPS is I how I can spot you're bogus, too.

Dear Abbey Customers Upgrade

Second, they call me Abbey Customers Upgrade. No apostrophe. Distinct lack of sense or knowledge of the English language. Amend to read 'Dear Abbey Customer'. Oh, one more thing, make sure I'm actually with Abbey in the first place.

At this point, I feel I should point out, it may be partly my fault I receive these emails. In the past, I've enquired about the millions I've won. I've entered into some dialogue with these people. My favorite question is 'how will you drain my account if all you have is my account number and sort code?' I still don't know. Do you?

Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the Abbey
account we have issued this warning message.

Put a comma after 'account'. Take it out from after 'concerns.' The rest isn't too bad. I've had worse from clients who feel qualified to change my copy.

It has come to our attention that your Abbey account information needs to be
updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account in this year 2008 and to
reduce the instance of fraud on our website. If you could please take 5-10 minutes
out of your online experience and update your personal records you will not run into
any future problems with the online service.

Hmm, really need to make that first sentence active, not passive. Then there's the 'in this year 2008' bit. What's that all about? Proving they know what year it is? Impressive. They must be for real.

Take 5-10 minutes out of my online experience. Thrown by this bit. It almost sounds really savvy, then you realise no-one would actually say this. Ideally, need a comma after 'records' and repetition of the phrase/word online is just a bit sloppy.

Once you have updated your account records your Abbey account
service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

Yeah, ok but the way you've put it makes me think you're not really English.

To update your Abbey records click on the following link:

Thank You.

Accounts Management As outlined in our User Agreement, Abbey will
periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements.

Visit our Privacy Policy and User

Weak, weak ending. OK, so there's a call to action but this phishing email is neither timely, nor relevant. One interesting thing: they've put in a real Abbey web address - a nice touch.

It doesn't really affect what's overall a pretty poor performance.

However, there are worse around (and I hope to post them in the future so check back) - I'm giving this email 5/10. I would have given it another point but they missed a trick by not slipping a steaming turd into the Abbey logo.

Had any phishing emails you'd like me to proofread? Fling them over.

No comments: