American Greetings' War on Nigerian Princes

Yes, thats exactly how it works.
  • Yes, that's exactly how it works.

Cleveland’s own American Greetings has more worries than simply helping Grandma get you that birthday card with the $5 check in it. The advent of e-cards, which AG launched back in 1996, gave rise to a host of new woes: all the spam and phishing that comes along with the convenience of not having to leave your house to tell your niece that yes, you vaguely remember that she exists.

And if the recent proliferation of “BUY V1AGRA, MAKE your PEn1s bIGGEr!” e-mails in our inbox are any indication, the situation has not improved.

So last month, American Greetings joined 14 other companies to launch, a collaboration between folks like Gmail, Yahoo!, Bank of America, Facebook, and Paypal to develop “internet standards to reduce the threat of e-mail phishing and to improve coordination between e-mail providers and mail sender domain owners.” Translated to Americanese, that means: When somebody registers an account, DMARC is gonna try to make sure they’re a real person.

“As part of its anti-abuse efforts, [American Greetings Interactive] has maintained strong relationships with major mailbox providers and has been active in introducing solutions through private channels for several years with great success,” says Frank Cirillo, American Greetings spokesman.

Cirillo cheerfully continued his explanation, complete with terms like “draft specification,” “authentication technologies,” and “e-mail viability,” all of which started to sound a lot like spam to us. How the new system will affect the solvency of Nigerian princes in need of immediate cash from you remains to be seen.