Native Language Spam

Today I received a spam email from "Sicherheits-Center" ("security center") with subject "Vorsicht! Ihr Paypal-Konto wurde begrenzt!" ("Attention! Your paypal account has been restricted!"). Not only the subject but the whole message was in really bad German - I am sure everybody had the chance to delete similar spams and you know what they look like. The advertised link was already down and also already included in Google's "Safe Browsing" list of malicious URLs. But the message contained a piece of interesting information which I think is interesting.

The salutation was "Mit besten Grüßen" which is fairly correct German, but it's quite unusual. Then, at the very bottom of the email, the following lines were included:

rechercher
<http://translate.google.fr/translate_s?hl=fr&sl=fr&tl=de&q=Cordialement%2C&source=translation_link>

The link leads to a "Google Traduction" page, which is the French version of Google's translation service. As you can see, it searches for the German translation of "Cordialement". The explanation is probably that it was accidentally included in the spam mail. So spammers seem to use Google's translation service to produce spam in the native language for the recipient address's top level domain. OK, we all knew that before... :)

Tillmann