May 8th, 2020

Recruiter spam

Recruitment spam, like conference spam, is a boring part of life. However, it raises an eyebrow sometimes.

A few days ago, a Facebook recruiter, John-Paul "JP" Fenn, sent me a form e-mail to an address that I do not give to anyone. It is only visible as a contact for one of my domains, because the registrar does not believe in privacy. I was pondering if I should propose to give him a consideration in exchange for the explanation of just where he obtained the address. Purely out of curiosity.

Today, an Amazon recruiter, Jonte, sent a message to an appropriate address. But he did it with addresses in the To: header, not just the envelope. He used a hosted Exchange of all things, and there were 294 addresses in total. That should give you an idea just how hard these people work to spam and at what level of being disposable I am in their eyes.

It really is pure spam. I think it's likely that JP bought a spam database. He didn't write a Python script that scraped whois information.

I remember a viral story a few years ago how one guy got a message from Google recruiter that combined his LinkedIn interests in amusing ways. It went like this: "We seek people whose strength is Talking Like A Pirate. As for Telling Strangers On The Internet They Were Wrong, that's one of my favorite pastimes as well." You know you made it when you receive that kind of attention. Maybe one day!

UPDATE 2020-03-02: JP let me go, but 3 more Facebook recruiters attacked me: Faith, Sara, Sandy. I really didn't want to validate their spam database, but I asked their system to unsubscribe. They didn't make it simple though. First, I had to follow a link in recruiter's spam. It didn't have a cookie though, but pointed to a stock URL with a form to enter the e-mail address. Then, Facebook sent a message to the given address (thus fully validating the address they harvested). That e-mail contained a link with the desired cookie. When I followed that, I was asked to confirm the unsubscription. Only then, they promised to unsubcribe me.