Wednesday, July 05, 2006


One of our highest priorities is to ensure your privacy and peace of mind by employing some of the most advanced online security measures in the industry. As part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website, we are undertaking a period review of our member accounts

Due to this recent upgrade, you are requested to update your NetBank information by following the link below:

Click here

This is required for us to continue to offer you a safe and risk free environment to send and receive money online and maintain the experience. You have 3 days to enter required information your NetBank account will temporary suspended.

Thank for your Co-operation
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Please do not reply to this confirmation email as your response will not be received.
Commonwealth Email ID 06EIW24


Dear "Commonwealth Bank",

Well, it's nice to see that you phishers are putting a bit more effort into your product. In the past I've been disappointed by some of your more amateurish emails, but you seem to have been honing your skills, and this current one shows a marked improvement.

You've certainly captured the bureaucratic style... or at least, you've convincingly cut and paste some real bureaucratese from a genuine Commonwealth Bank document. The reference to a 'confirmation email', which your email clearly isn't, suggests that this is the case, but hey, the best forgeries are always based on genuine articles. Kudos to you for your initiative!

I'm also pleased to see that your English is improving. I know it's not your first language, and I'm touched that you're trying to learn its intricacies. Your spelling, in particular, is almost perfect... it looks like someone's learnt how to use their spellchecker! Congratulations.

So, the big questions is, are you ready to fool anyone? And the answer is, good heavens, no! Well, perhaps a few particularly dim-witted Commonwealth Bank clients will fall for it, if they are more than usually gullible and naive. But you still fall short of the necessary attention to detail to really clean up.

For a start, there's grammar. We Westerners don't really learn grammar any more, but we still subconsciously pick up the basics in everyday communication. The missing period at the end of the first paragraph, the nonsensical phrase "maintain the experience", the missing 'you' on 'Thank you', the misplaced capital on 'co-operation'... they're forgivable on their own, but they all add up to give the reader a nagging sense of suspicion. And then, as if to drive your true black-hearted intent home, you completely butcher your final sentence, leaving out, as far as I can tell, a 'the', an 'or' and a 'be', not to mention the use of an adjective when you really wanted an adverb. This is simply not good enough! Even the dullest SMS-reared alliterate vassal of the Commonwealth Bank would not make such mistakes in an official document. Perhaps in five years standards will have dropped that far, but not yet!

And the fact that this email came to my computer while addressed to someone else on our server is something of a dead giveaway. You might want to look into that.

Still, you're on the right track. You've captured the official style, you've worked on your spelling, and you've left out any specific details that would allow a mark to double-check a name or a phone number with the real Commonwealth Bank. I salute you... you're a credit to your vile, greedy, Hell-bound profession.




Blogger Arthur_Vandelay said...

LOL. This is your brain on management-speak!

10:48 PM  

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