Calumny: ˈka-ləm-nē noun
– a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation
I checked my email this morning and was more than a bit surprised to find that I had received 300 new messages in the space of a few minutes. Surprise quickly gave way to dismay as it became clear that these were bounced spam messages, many offering what purported to be the finest in male enhancement and weight loss opportunities.
I called The Boy. The Boy is possessed of a variety of very useful skills, among them strong email-fu. I whimpered in dismay. He said “Joe Job” in an authoritative tone and strode off to do some skillful typing. According to the all knowing Wikipedia, Joe Job is “a spam attack using spoofed sender data and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the apparent sender and/or induce the recipients to take action against him.”
I think I’ve figured out what happened. First, allow me to introduce our villain. Somewhere out there is a very sad lonely man, we’ll call him Leroy. Leroy seems to be unhappy with his sex life and to have very poor body image. In a misguided attempt to make himself feel better, Leroy has decided to try and make others feel as bad about themselves as he clearly does about himself. He also wants to make a few bucks. He’s decided to do this by attempting to sell us all a variety of pills and potions meant to remedy our perceived faults.
Leroy started out using his own email address, but people quickly realized what he was up to, and politely declined to receive email from him. Not easily foiled, Leroy decided to make his emails appear to be from someone else. Leroy is a shifty little toad. Today, I was the lucky someone. Leroy lovingly crafted his most recent round of spam, and sneakily said they were from Violently Domestic, instead of from him. That way, all the people who had declined to receive mail from Leroy would still get his messages.
Lots of folks are clever enough to decline to receive the sort of email that Leroy writes, and have cleverly set up their email to reject messages containing his brand of drek. When those messages were refused, they came to me. Lots of them came to me. Hundreds in the space of a few minutes. This triggered the whimpering mentioned above.
Alas, there is little if anything I can do to chastise Leroy. He just picked the name Violently Domestic out of the ether. I had nothing to do with it, and there is no way for me to keep him or others of his ilk from doing it in the future. We must just cherish the knowledge that people like Leroy have a way of getting what they deserve in the end (and try not to be too gleeful when he gets accidentally locked in a truck full of rabid wombats overnight).
In short, if you got an email purporting to be from Violently Domestic, and you hadn’t asked me to email you (and if it wasn’t in some way about knitting), it wasn’t from me. It was from Leroy. Don’t worry though, the wombats are coming for him.