Recently I put up a couple of ads on Craigslist for items I had for sale. Almost instantly, some responses hit my inbox with one-liners such as this gem:
So I’m excited, someone is interested. It would only be momentary though:
Bummer. Rather verbose email sans a single mention of the couch I had for sale. Thankfully, Craigslist (and past experience) had warned me about this. To find out where this email originated, one would typically look at the email headers (in Gmail you can do this by clicking on the drop-down next to “Reply” and selecting “Show original”. It opens in a new window/tab with something like this:
Parsing the output, the email was sent at 4:48a from some place on the West Coast.
There’s an easier way to filter out potential spam that’s available for most emails by using Gmail lab’s “sender time zone” feature. If the message headers contain time zone information, it can be displayed right within the email by clicking on “show details” at the top of the email:
Clearly, the sender is not in any timezone that covers the US, let alone in my local area on the East Coast. So just where could this have been sent from? I looked it up and alas:
So in such cases, I safely ignore and delete the message. Much better than heading down a rabbit hole and getting bilked for cash. Go to Labs in Gmail to enable this feature for your sanity.