“The idea is to make the email seem personal, which is what makes the deception so pernicious. The greasy-smocked minion who cooks up these things tries to slip them past not just your spam filters, but your internal filters. The Obama campaign’s online fundraising team spent hours crafting subject lines to make sure you clicked on them. They ruined our lives by coming up with one that simply reads ‘Hey,’ which was tremendously successful. ‘Hey’ tricks unsuspecting and dimwitted people like me into thinking the note is from a person I actually want to hear from. Email is still a private space where you sometimes get a notice from your kid’s teacher or an encouraging word from your wife. You’re susceptible to a play on that weakness in your defenses. When you discover you’ve been duped, the anger burns with no prospect of cooling ointment. . . .
“Of course it’s hard to know where to register your complaint. You can try to respond to the sender of these emails, but you’ll only get a note saying that account doesn’t take incoming messages. They’re not listening, another way in which these emails mirror our politicians.