View Full Version : Spam mail
22nd May 2004, 06:33
A lot of media attention recently to the problems with internet spam. Most of the focus seems to be concentrated on banning the spammers. Personally I always find it curious that spammers continue to be in business as this must mean some people actually respond to spam. :confused:
A thought occurs to me however. How do the spammers obtain your e-mail address? After all, I'm positive they don't send out to random made up addresses in the hope that one or two are real. Clearly, one's address is given to them by somebody? One of the worst is Yahoo for example. They openly admit to having the right to reveal your address to all and sundry. We recently changed our internet provider, nice fast broadband connection, spiffing new computer, etc. We have carefully avoided signing up or registering with any business that admits to hawking your e-mail around. Hey, guess what? Three months down the road and virtually no spam!! (The only ones being e-bay who we do use, but it is confined to e-bay related stuff).
My point here is, rather than debating ways of curtailing spammers activities, should we not be looking at privacy rules with internet companies? May be some legislation in this area would be more effective in preventing spammers getting access to your e-mail address? Perhaps my internet ignorance will be corrected by someone who will tell me anyone can obtain my e-mail address? :sad:
22nd May 2004, 07:38
spammers have specially dedicated machines that send out emails. they send millions per day.
they start with aaaaaaaaaaaaa@<hidden> and go right through to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz@<hidden>.
Most spam is easily identified and can be blocked. Contact your internet service provider for info on this.
If a spam email says "click here to remove me from your database", do not click there, this just confirms your email address is active.
22nd May 2004, 09:33
I changed my e-mail address because of spam (250+ per day) and the new one seems relatively immune.
I have several e-mail addresses and I have noticed that if you include an underscore in the name as a seperator (e.g. fred_bloggs) it seems to significantly reduce the spam (the name generators may not include it).
22nd May 2004, 14:20
I often wonder how may people actually respond to the spam mails regarding "bigger manhood", alternatives to Viagra and all the other crazy sex related things. Somebody once told me though that with these sorts of things, only a tiny percentage of the target group has to reply and buy to cover expenses and make a little money.
I have about 250/300 a day to a btinternet account. It all comes from one website, you click on a link that takes you to a 'site' that you can download a 'Dialer' to watch porn films. It is not even a site, just looks like a host page where they host this bloody software. I have complained so much to bt but they are doing nothing just saying they have 'improved' spam filters since their collaboration with Yahoo and that is it. I am really not happy about this and I really am thinking of dumping them for another provider simply because they wont do anything about it. Why can't they, or someone, go to the link and get the web-site and get in touch with them or something like that, surely someone, somewhere has the powers to do this to this one company.
22nd May 2004, 15:46
Mailwasher (http://www.mailwasher.net/) can be trained to 'learn' from past e-mails.
Well worth it if you have a spam problem.
22nd May 2004, 16:40
The only good Spam is in a can!
22nd May 2004, 18:39
Norton Internet Security also has a very good spam filter.
I didn't have much of a problem with spam until I joined one of the Yahoo e-groups. Immediately after I did so, the spam started. I'm forced to conclude that, despite their security claims, the spammers obtained my email address from Yahoo. You have been warned. :mad:
22nd May 2004, 19:24
Make sure you don't have the Auto-preview option enabled for your in-box if you use Outlook or similar e-mail applications. More often than not the spammers can tell that you've viewed the e-mail and will then add you to their active address list. Better to just delete the stuff you know as spam without opening it - it won't stop spam completely but it will help to reduce it.
22nd May 2004, 23:19
I think the apparent success of spam is dubious. Without doubt some people must be responding, but I suspect only in very small numbers. What keeps it going? I doubt it's the profit that an individual spammer makes, more like the profit that the spamming company makes, and the desire of entrepreneurs to try and succeed in business.
Let’s say you decide to be a herbal tablet distributor. You can get the product and make a good margin, but you need to find customers. Just how can you reach a lot of people? You aren’t going to be able to create your own spamming machine, so you buy into a spamming service, sold to you along the lines of: “Hey, I can help you reach 4 million people instantly!” So you pay £hundreds for this “service” in the hope you’ll profit. The spamming company doesn’t care whether you succeed or not, they just take your money with no guarantee to you whatsoever.
Think about it. Firstly, would you supply your personal payment details to someone emailing you and hiding their true identity? Secondly, does anybody actually know someone who has made a good living out of selling in this way?
23rd May 2004, 04:40
My ISP offers a spam filter service - for a small fee! Nevertheless, it's effective, trapping up to 150 messages per day in a separate Inbox, which I can then delete by one 'click'.
Mac the Knife
23rd May 2004, 07:38
Sending spam is essentially free, so even a minuscule response rate is enough. A response rate of 0.001% is reckoned to be enough to break even. If you have an email account and use it to any significant degree then your addy will be all over the web. 'Bots harvest email addys by trawling servers looking for xxxx@<hidden> constructs. And as MAXRATE172 points out random addy generation also works.
My ISP has an active free spam filtering service - this, combined with regexes in Mailwasher Pro cuts down my actually downloaded spam down from over 100 to zero. I never bounce or reply, just delete it from the server.
23rd May 2004, 19:44
I agree with the comments about trawling and bots etc, and I also use Mailwasher Pro to good effect.
I still feel that the minimal results people must be getting (particularly when you consider the growing anti-spam feeling nowadays) cannot be worth the spending involved. Spamming isn't free - the big spammers with the software and equipment charge for their (ineffective) services. Unfortunately there's a pretty constant supply of entrepreneurial types who think that investing a few hundred will make them a fortune. The spammers themselves of course, spam in order to find these people and take their money. That's where the big money is in spam. It isn't in the profit from the Viagra or the patches etc.