Accidentally in Code

Spammers Getting Creative

Posted on: August 12, 2009

This morning I found a spammer who I actually have a grudging admiration for. They’ve been a little more creative than posting a headless picture of a young (hot) girl or mass following anyone who mentions whatever they’re pushing in the hope they follow them back.

Check them out: http://twitter.com/SkiClubs

At the moment of writing they have 491 followers (to the 640 they are following). Twanalyst, a service I find very useful tells me:

Tweets per day: 8.5
Readability index: (?) 18
% conversations: 3
% links: 96
% hashtags: 1

Personality: popular obsessive cautious
Style: garrulous academic
ROBOT

So there’s actually a website about skiing linked to from their profile, which doesn’t try to sell anything and has some content. Not a huge amount, but enough to appear legitimate from a casual glance – maybe it is, even. A nice background and a profile picture.

But let’s take a look at their ten most recent tweets…

Tweet 1

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

Tweet 3

Tweet 4

Tweet 4

Tweet 5

Tweet 5

Tweet 6

Tweet 6

Tweet 7

Tweet 7

Tweet 8

Tweet 8

Tweet 9

Tweet 9

Tweet 10

Tweet 10

So here’s what I think is impressive (for a spammer):

  1. There’s content that looks legitimate.
  2. 357 Tweets so this is someone who has some history.
  3. Some of the content is actually interesting, I would love to know what “Skwittering” is!
  4. It’s targeted. (They likely added me because in my profile it lists “ski instructor”)

Here’s what makes me say it’s spam:

  1. Anything which contains anything about “making money”
  2. Same “money making tweet repeated twice (tweets 2 and 8 )
  3. Almost all content links link to the homepage of the website. It suggests there’s content, an article or a blogpost – but there isn’t. So I still don’t know what “Skwittering” is…
  4. The content links as well are recycled. If you go back further through their tweets, there are multiple of the same of those as well.

Here’s what I would love to know:

  1. Did they make the ski website themselves or is it one they found? How much effort are they actually going to here?
  2. What’s the click-through rate?
  3. Are there multiple areas which are targeted? I.e. are they running a “rock climbing” twitter and website as well.
  4. Do they actually ski?
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