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Speaking of spam...
I'm scratching my head at this email, which I just got from a random but not obviously illicit Gmail address:
Good day,

We are looking cotton roll, and it is emergency, if you have this product in stock please let us know about it. I'm ordering this product to my new shop, and i need to know the price of this product. I would also like to know if you ship international and also want to know if you accept credit card as a method of payment. Hope to hear back from you soon

Thank You,
My initial reaction is that it must be spam or phishing or *something*, but WTF? I can't even tell which email address it was sent to -- it appears to be a totally blinded Bcc, with no To address at all -- and it's random in a way that I associate with spam, but I have no clue what they're trying to get from this. Anyone hear about this particular scam before?

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(Deleted comment)
Gmail default, so it would be the HTML section. (And looking at the raw email, it seems to be the same both ways.)

I get a fair number of "we want to buy X from you" but I assumed it was due to my website. I expect it's financial chicanery like the "I will send you a check" and then they cancel it after you've sent withdrawn money.

I have been seeing variations of this over the past several weeks, although in my case they're usually trying to buy nails.

For fifteen years some intrepid spammer in China has been trying to sell me large quantities of steel cable, every few months. At this point I have stopped asking why.

One thought is that it's just a gullibility detector, a spearhead for a longer con.

Could be. And certainly when someone is trying to *sell* me something inappropriate I just assume that it's especially poorly targeted spam. I'm just unaccustomed to someone trying to *buy* something from me, and this is the third time I've gotten a variant of this in the past couple of weeks. As you say, there's probably some more complex con at work...

Theory A) "You can't cheat an honest man." Essentially all of the people receiving the spam won't be able to sell X. But some small percentage of them may think -- "Hey, they sound desperate, maybe I can scam them." Thus, opening themselves up to be scammed.

Theory B) The spambots continue to mutate towards a strange sort of AI. See Charles Stross' _Accelerando_ for a fictional treatment of this.

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