Just how famous am I?

| | Comments (4)

I just received the following e-mail:

From: Chong Pek Kee
Subject: request an autograph

I would like to request an autographed photo of you. Hope that's not a problem for you.
Here's my address:
Peggy Chong
Perak, Malaysia.

Best wishes,

Theoretically speaking, it is entirely possible that Peggy really wants my autograph. Maybe she's a fan of Yankee Fog or The Government Manual for New Superheroes. Maybe she's a slightly obsessive fan of Dennis Miller Live. Or maybe she's a really obsessive fan of The Onion.

Still, the e-mail smells like spam to me, mainly because it's so generic. Anybody who is enough of a fan of my work to want my autograph would know that I'm about as non-famous as writers get, and would therefore begin with an explanation of why she wanted an autographed photo of me.

If this is spam, though, it's puzzling spam. Is it part of some art project, to see how many autographed photos one can collect? A sort of fame-based phishing expedition, in which somebody is sending out thousands of e-mails in the hopes that some of them will reach actual celebrities whose autographs are worth having?

Either way, I hope posting here will resolve it. If Peggy is really a big enough Jacob Sager Weinstein fan to have tracked me to my website, she'll presumably see this post, and perhaps she'll be kind enough to comment on it and explain why she wants the photo. And if this is just a spam e-mail sent out to vast numbers of people, perhaps some of the other folks who have received it can pipe up.



Mike Sager said:

Sounds like a phishing scam trying to collect signatures and addresses so as to forge your identity. Or perhaps she's an obsessive Weinstein fan who's out to collect the autographs of America's favorite comedy family. Or maybe she's even an obsessive Sager fan... People on the internet are weird.

Richard Ippolito said:

I received the exaxt same e-mail on Oct. 9th. from Chong Pek Kee (Peggy).

Since I have had a mystery novel recently published along with a web site, www.richardippolito.com,
to help promote it, I at first thought it might be on the up and up---until I read your "Just how famous am I?" story. I think you saved me a lot of grief

By the way, since my publisher does next to no advertising, how about taking a look at my web site and spreading the word. Thanks .

Jacob said:

Richard, thanks for confirming my suspicions. I wonder how many other people got that verbatim e-mail? Sounds like Mike's theory about identity theft is a good one.

By the way, I see that your book is published by Publish America. FYI, be warned that a number of authors have had bad experiences with them-- see this Washington post article for more:

I got the same email. I write historical and now also paranormal romance. She did actually visit my site, since the email came from my web site email form. At any rate, if you google her email address, it looks like she's a 16 yo from Malaysia. I think maybe she's just a poorly supervised teenager. There is someone in new jersey who sends requests to authors using about 5 variations of her name, that one reeks of scam spam far more than this one. But it's still weird. Hope you're enjoying London.

Carolyn Jewel

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on October 9, 2005 12:28 PM.

Snakes On A Plane: The Other T-Shirt was the previous entry in this blog.

Now Available for Pre-Order is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en