From Russia With Love (Again)

In which The Author receives a spam email

I was checking my emails this afternoon when I spotted one from an unfamiliar address. I opened it out of curiosity, and this is what it said:
Hallo, Im Natalya. I am looking for u and decided know more about u. I want to find a good a boyfriend for relations. I hope that you are also serious. I am a single and want to find man who will take care and understand me. If u like me also, answer me asap
Apart from the fact that it looks like it was written by a twelve-year old using a mobile phone for the first time, the content was fairly familiar. It was almost identical to the first email I had from the mysterious ‘Tatyana’, as I told you in From Russia With Love. As with that first email. a photo was attached to this one:


Now, this was an interesting variation on the previous theme. Whereas Tatyana had been blonde, Natalya (always assuming, of course, that this is actually her) is very much a brunette – and very much my type.
However, unlike Tatyana’s original email, which came to me via, I’m not going to reply to this one. It’s quite obviously a fake, which might conceivably (to judge from the style and content) have been generated by some rudimentary high school AI project. I don’t believe for one moment that ‘Natalya’ is real. For one thing, the name in the Sender line isn’t even Natalya – it’s Elena. That’s a glaring schoolboy (or possibly schoolgirl) error. Out of interest I checked out the domain name. The search engine took me to a page written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Then the trail went cold.
Let’s pretend for a minute that ‘Natalya’ does actually exist outside Cyberspace, although there are a couple of other clues that this isn’t the case. In the situation where she’d found pictures of me on my blog or elsewhere online, she certainly wouldn’t have found my email address there. Furthermore, the email came to my private email address, not the one I use for my proofreading work.
I’m far too old and far too wise (not to mention far too skint) to be taken in by this particular attempt at deception. My advice to the person/people behind ‘Natalya’ is to target someone else – maybe another teenager, who might fall for this lamentable effort at an online scam.
Sorry, kids, better luck next time!

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