It is being widely reported today that The New York Times had a busy day after spammers apparently took control of the newspaper's e-mail marketing list on Wednesday and spammed its members asking them to call in to reinstate their subscription at 50 percent discount!
The e-mail looks legitimate, and contains the message: "Dear Home Delivery Subscriber, Our records indicate that you recently requested to cancel your home delivery subscription. … We do hope you’ll reconsider. … To continue your subscription call 1-877-698-0025 and mention code 38H9H."
Many users however did not fall for the spam mail however some reports suggest that the news paper received about 300 phone calls inquiring about this. Trying to call the number mentioned in the e-mail currently results in a busy signal. The Times' publicly listed customer service number is also giving out busy signals as of publication, possibly indicating the paper's phone system is overwhelmed by calls. The New York Times confirmed the spam e-mail was a fake, saying in a tweet that "If you received an email today about canceling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It's not from us".
It was also said that the message was "apparently sent by bfi0.com, a mail server that’s registered to Epsilon Data Management, division of Alliance Data Systems that manages email marketing campaigns. Similar incidents happened to Epsilon customers JP Morgan Chase, TiVo, and others earlier this year. (As we note in the update up top, in this case there was no hack of Epsilon. The Times now says the e-mail was mistakenly sent by a Times employee, not an employee of Epsilon.)