This stock is da bomb!

So while researching the stock tout scam noted in another post, I came across a blog which discussed a similar mechanism, but one using text messages. An obvious variant, but the part I absolutely adored was when they linked to this August 31, 2007 article from (emphases added to save your time):

An abbreviated text message on a state mail-delivery truck driver’s official unlisted cell phone had police scrambling for several hours this morning.
Maine Capitol Security Chief Russell Gauvin said the driver received a text message that read “Stcks poised to explode, ticker FDKE, Fred.”
Gauvin said the driver brought the phone to his Capitol Security office in the state’s Cross Office Building just west of the Statehouse.
Gauvin alerted the state Computer Crimes Task Force, which determined after several hours and a subpoena to U.S. Cellular that the message was an advertising message referring to stock trading, not an explosive.
Gauvin said he seized the phone from the driver and kept it for investigation, but he said when the driver returned to his office at the Muskie Federal Building, postal officials there decided to isolate the truck and have it searched with the assistance of an Augusta Police Department bomb-sniffing dog and State Police.
A portion of the Muskie building’s parking was closed off as a precaution until the search was completed.

What is it with New England and this stuff? I thought they were all stoic realists up there. If the guy’s phone had an LED, they’d have probably called in NASA to shoot it into the sun.

Open Letter to Chris Dodd

Dear Chris:

I think you’re a smart person who cares about honesty and the rule of law.

I also think your e-mail fundraising campaign is undermining that message by sending what I believe to be deliberately deceptive emails. To be clear, I am not referring to deception in the political message — spinning words, being loose with the facts, telling only half the story, etc. — I am referring to emails which show every sign of lying about the intent of the sender and contain a false and misleading message body, in an attempt to deceive the recipient into thinking he has inadvertently been copied on a private message from your campaign manager to Tim Tagaris. The idea, I suppose, is to enhance the perceived veracity of the email’s message by depicting it as private. A campaign might lie to the public, but within the family, so to speak, it would be much more honest.

This is a clever hack, and one which might work on some people. In fact, something very similar was done as part of a stock tout scheme. A woman left voicemail messages seeming to be intended for a close friend, explaining that she just got inside info on a company, and that the friend should invest. You don’t need to be a United States senator to see that this is both illegal and unethical. In the case of your analogous email, sir, it is certainly the latter. We will see if it is the former when the Federal Election Commission receives the registered letter I will be sending them.

By the way, if you have an honest IT staffer, feel free to have them contact me about getting the actual email. Here is a text rendering of the full header (with my email addresses altered to foil address-harvesting bots), and the misleading and untruthful portion of the message body:

Return-Path: <>
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.6 (2006-10-03) on
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-0.7 required=5.0 tests=ADVANCE_FEE_1,ALL_TRUSTED,
MISSING_SUBJECT autolearn=no version=3.1.6
X-Original-To: resident[-@-]
Delivered-To: cwalsh[-@-]
X-policyd-weight: using cached result; rate: -8.5
Received: from ( [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id D4CCCA1341
for <resident[-@-]>; Fri, 30 Nov 2007 11:38:30 -0600 (CST)
Received: from [] ([]
by (envelope-from <>)
(ecelerity r(19176)) with ESMTP
id C8/F2-01963-29A40574; Fri, 30 Nov 2007 12:38:26 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 12:38:26 -0500 (EST)
From: Sheryl Cohen <>
To: resident[-@-]
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
Envelope-From: <>
X_email_KEY: 133294684
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
I made a few small changes to your email draft -- you'll see them in bold below.
Would have sent to the entire list, but I could only figure out how to send this test.

Update: I am not the only one who noticed.