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The last three days I've been getting email spam to my Gmail account with some variation of the following body content:

Hey [my name], are you from [my city]?

And then there will be some random key strokes/gibberish below it, maybe 10 to 20 characters with spacing. Are others receiving similar messages or familiar with the method/goal of this kind of spam?

One weird note is that one of these emails was somehow nested as part of a completely different past conversation from a different sender (it was just a newsletter for an app company). I don't know if there is any relation or if the header info for the email confused Gmail into grouping the messages somehow.

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One goal of modern spammers is to identify individuals who will likely be easy victims. Responding to such a random, unexpected message may indicate a certain naivety which can be lucrative when nefariously exploited. The random letters may be an attempt to throw off spam filters.

In regards to the email being added to an existing conversation, did that particular message appear to come from an email in the chain? It's possible the sender's address was spoofed. Perhaps the spammer gained access to email addresses from that company's address book and was attempting to appear more legitimate.

  • Thanks for all the replies. The subject lines and the displayed email addresses for the two grouped emails (the app newsletter email and the spam email) were different. There were no visible connections, such as quoted body text/elements or similar emails with the same domain, etc. I haven't gotten any more of these spam emails thankfully since posting my question here. – spamQ Jul 11 '16 at 17:22

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