If Internet spammers are right about who we are and what we want to buy, then we must be a cable-stealing, day-trading, bargain-hunting, stiff-jointed, drug-popping people. Who like to watch women having sex.
It may be difficult to consider this an improvement over last year, but it certainly is a change: In 2003, we were debt-ridden "Oprah" fans, actuarial nightmares more preoccupied with sex than money.
America Online released its second annual top 10 spam terms yesterday, listing the subject lines of the most popular junk e-mails intended for its 29 million subscribers. The Dulles-based company said the number of spams sent to users -- and that AOL blocked -- was down from 2.4 billion in 2003 to 1.2 billion this year.
AOL, owned by Time Warner Inc., noted a drop-off in the amount of sexual language used by spammers this year; at the same time, it reported the rise of a relatively new spam trend -- "phishing," or luring users to fake Web sites in an effort to steal their identity data.
This year's unranked top 10 spams on AOL were:
"We carry the most popular medications" (arthritis drug Vioxx appeared often).
"You've been sent an Insta-Kiss!" (phishing).
"You Have 17 New Pictures" (phishing).
"STEAMY HOT LESBIAN ACTION LIVE ON CAMERA!"
"All orders are shipped from authorized locations" (pertains to online medications).