Surreal Estate! My Home Is Worth More Than It’s Worth!
A cornucopia of re-fi offers floods my spam folder
By Ed Goldman
For the past few months, I’ve received from 20-30 messages in my Spam folder each day urging me to refinance my mortgage, which I already did more than a year ago.
The senders are anonymous even though there’s an algorithmic guessing game afoot to see if I’ll be more likely to respond to an Amy, a Rose, Paula, Denise, an Allison, a Monica, Kourtney, Brooke, Rachel, or Selena.
I also hear from the occasional Ken or David or Tom. But whoever or whatever search engine optimized me—or possibly scanned my fettle on a day I was in a fine one—it must have decided I’d rather respond to a nonexistent female than a nonexistent fella.
Because I never reply to the emails, I also don’t know if the companies Amy, Rose, et al claim to work for actually exist or are parts of an automatically rotated list of mortgage-y, finance-ish sounding names—like dailydime.org, dailyspender.org, dailygeneral.org (where “Monica” hails from), truehomeguide.com (Hello, “Allison!”), rateyourloan.com (“Kourtney”‘s place), or mortgageinfo.email.
My personal fave is ezhomeadvice.com—which sounds as dubious as Acme, the place Wile E. Coyote purchases all his would-be Roadrunner-kill weaponry.
Coming in at a close second, however, is HomeLight, whose online address is email@example.com. And no, I didn’t type that after imbibing a plethora of martinis.
Now, “Brooke” ( firstname.lastname@example.org) writes that “a payment modification may be possible” at my address—though I’m guessing it would be similar to that offered at grealestateproperties.com.
On the other hand, “Lori Boone” at truehomeguide.com offers a consumer warning as she writes, “Good Afternoon Ed! We have a unique refi opportunity available to you and we think you’ll like it. Simply follow the prompts if you are interested in lowering your monthly payment or dropping your term down to a 15 or 10-year. The time to do this is NOW because rates are headed back up.”
Since my Spam filter verges on the nuclear, none of these pitches interrupt my action-packed life, which sometimes can include reading, writing and grocery shopping all on the same day. (I may have worked up a sweat just recounting all of that but will attempt to continue and not betray my exhaustion. You deserve this consideration, beloved readers, and I only wish I could do more for you—but if I did, I’d have to lie down for a bit and hire someone to complete today’s column.)
Even though these missives are easily ignored, I often give them a quick read as I search my Spam folder for legitimate emails which were unable to breach my cyber security. Occasionally, some of the non-existent spielers fill out the unblock-me form they should be receiving to request entry via the protected portal of my subliterate lair. But they give it away in the subject line: “Cissy would like to tell you how much your home may be worth!”
This, I should mention, was the only communique in today’s column that I made up—and further, that the only part I did make up was Cissy’s name. I’m just trying to make Amy, Rose, Paula, Denise, Allison, Monica, Kourtney, Brooke, Rachel, and Selena jealous.