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They purchased a whole bunch of mined data and are spamming the known universe. Except they're not checking their purchase for accuracy.

We used to have one landline. When we went to cell phones, my younger son got the landline number. He texted me today wanting to know if I was working with a "hybrid publisher in Delaware." It's been awhile since he heard me quote Yog's Law, so I'll give him a pass.

He said they left me an "urgent" voice mail. I told him to ignore it. Then I checked my own phone. Lo and behold, I too had a voice mail! Here's the transcript:

"Hi. Good morning. This is [name] from The Stratton Press the hybrid publishing company down in Delaware. I am leaving this message for Miss [me]. I really need to talk to you. It's very important and it's urgent. So if you have a spare time ma'am could you please give me a call back as soon as you get this at [number]. And hey, listen, I already sent you an email, so if you want to receive it please take time to read the email, okay? And that is all and I really hope that we can talk soon. Bye for now and take care."

Call center noise in the background. The caller's accent and emphasis on odd words = non-native English speaker--and guess what? Stratton has an office in the Philippines! Also, if one stretches belief, NYC and Wilmington (Delaware).

When did the Philippines become the hot place for publishing scams? Writer Beware has been pointing this out for awhile. I'll be forwarding the message to them, of course.

I used to work in direct marketing. I omitted from the above the multiple uses of my first name. Classic marketing trick--make the target think the offer is personalized just for them. Any good mail merge program does the same.

And, aww, they called me "Miss." I feel 40 years younger already!