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Monday, 8 November 2010

theciosummits.org / CIO Summits spam

theciosummits.org / CIO Summits is the same outfit as BizSummits  who have a particular spamming technique that has been seen before.

The technique appears to be that they search a website for strings that look like names, and then they try and guess the email address for that person at that domain. Email addresses tend to follow a limited number of formats, so it probably gets a reasonable success rate, but even so.. the name is still scraped and the recipient emailed without opting in to anything.

From: Jason Williams <jwilliams@theciosummits.org>
To: James Studer [redacted]
Date: 8 November 2010 15:06
subject: James, just following-up.
Hi James, is now a better time to reach out to you in regards to the CIO
Summit? You received a request on behalf of our Board due to your key
role in the technology field and I'm curious to know if a decision has
been made.

The CIO Summit is an invitation-only group comprised of the very best
executives and visionaries in technology. We meet monthly by
teleconference to exchange what is working, what is not, strategies and
ideas. It is a confidential forum with dedicated groups of other
successful VPs and key executives whose only agenda is to help each other
outperform. Our site is at www.theciosummits.org

I am certain you will find the experience both enjoyable and useful in
your efforts. Please take a look and let me know of your decision. Thanks,

Jason Williams
CIO Summits
Tel. (803) 712-3027

The information contained in this message is confidential and intended
only for James Studer. If you have received this message in error, please
delete it or mail us back if you no longer wish to receive further
invites. For my records, I show your contact information as: James Studer,
 Dynamoocom, [redacted]  800-688-6115 If needed, you can reach
us at 201 17th St, #1200, Atlanta, GA 30363. Thank you.

Who is James Studer exactly? It turns out that he was a contributor to the Orange Book, which I have a section about on my website.. and as with the BizSummits spam I've seen before, the pattern is exactly the same.

CIO Summit's pitch looks fairly deceptive. They have guessed an email address, apparently to make it look like we have a prior relationship. It's worth noting as well that the BBB give parent BizSummits a very poor "F" rating which definitely makes it look like one to avoid.


Michael said...

From: Jaime in BizSummits Customer Service, 800-600-3389 x.1

Sorry if you thought this was spam, the CIO Summit and the other Summits we run are enjoyed by a number of executives, the meetings are held monthly, and there are detailed scheduled and speakers on our site. I will check into the BBB citation, not even sure if they have our address, and we have never been called by them. We can also provide recordings of past speakers listed on our site if there are any concerns that the groups are not actively meeting because they certainly are (just let me know which speaker and I can send the recording and his/her powerpoint to you). Please call me with any questions, thank you.

Jerry Kindall said...

Protestations to the contrary, it clearly IS spam. I have a domain on which I used to run a blog. I am the only person who receives e-mail at this domain. I have received many summit "invitations" at made-up addresses at my domain, clearly scraped from the blog. One was addressed to science fiction writer Connie Willis (I reviewed one of her books on the blog once). Needless to say, I do not know Ms. Willis and she certainly does not have an address at my domain. Nor is she a CIO, so I doubt this solicitation would be of any interest to her.

GTN said...

Yes, it is ABSOLUTELY spam. At this point, I have received over one hundred unwanted spam notices from this group. This "invitation only event" is addressed to all combinations of names at my domain. Of course, there is no option in the email to opt out. Thanks for posting the letter you received, Michael. I will be calling them (not that that will help) and complaining.

Slayer6 said...

They are still doing this. CIO summit 3 and counting. How does spamming IT folks do any thing for this event. Have to assume that there is no event at all and a response just validates the email. Good lord. We should just go ahead and turn off the Internet to your entire country.