Extremely bizarre spam/phishing email

I got an email yesterday that seems to have been designed to look like it was from some kind of state judge. The way the email reads it’s a forward from somebody that details a way to scam you. I don’t know any judges so I figured it was a wierd phishing scam or something. Today I got a second email that says “oh you can disregard the first email, that scam was debunked at snopes.com” with a link to snopes.

Has anybody ever seen anything like this? It seems like it’s a wierd scam or something but I’ve never gotten a spam mail like this before.

[EDIT] Well it seems like this is some kind of hoax.

http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/hoaxes/hoaxDetails.asp?HName=VIN+Car+Theft+Hoax

But the thing I don’t understand is what purpose it serves. the email contains all these email addresses of judges but none of those judges are actually on the send to list of the email.

I guess the thing that freaks me out about this (I tend to be extremely paranoid) is the idea that this is simply somebody that I don’t know that has me in their address book and is sending me emails for some reason.

Sometimes I don’t like the internet.

These scams often don’t target YOU at all. They generate random addresses. In fact, if you check the properties, there is probably another name next to your email address (random…may or may not sound similar to your email name). Also, you can often see that it was sent to a lot of people with addresses ‘near’ yours. In any case, it’s unlikely that you were a specific target or are in anyone’s address book. (and I mean anyone! I would never allow you into mine!)

Heh…thanks for the reassurance/insult.

:D

The addresses don’t necessarily seem random as there are only about 4 others and I’m not familiar with them.

At the moment my best guess is that this is a spoofed email that is designed to put an advertisment in front of you…the original email had a banner at the bottom with an ad for some email website. Maybe the list of judges is supposed to make it look highly official and the way that it’s limited to a few email addresses is designed to get it past the spam filters.

I’ve had a couple of bizarre ones of late to my website’s contact address - they seem to be genuine reader questions at first glance (I think I fired off an answer to one without noticing the smell; it was late at night and I was sleepy - nothing interesting though) but with a different address in the reply-to, and fairly cheap, obvious mail-merge entries in the actual question.

At a guess, it’s a BCC with a dictionary attack in the BCC. We (The webhost I work for) get umpty hundred thousand of these daily, so every now and again they’ll luck into your address. Also possible is an infected computer with your account in the address book, also adding to the BCC.