Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Spammer

The Spammer


I am one of those people who absolutely detest SPAM. Spammers are unscrupulous, dishonest people too dumb to use proper Internet Marketing techniques. For me, annoyance turned to disgust when a genealogy forum I created became inundated daily with spammers, including porn. Every day, I removed the spam only to have it show up the next day. Finally, I tracked it down to a company called SEO Profiler who spread their client?s garbage wherever they could over the internet. I had to threaten them with a lawsuit before they would stop.

The laws that finally came into effect regarding spamming saw a rise in the hijacking of someone?s email address so that they could use that email address and not be subject to the law. Many of us have had to change our email address due to this.

How do spammers get our email address?

There are email address spiders that search the web and harvest a list of victim's email addresses that they find in various places. Another method is to send out ?tribute? and ?inspirational? emails. ?If you respect our troops?, ?if you love Jesus?, ?if you are my friend?, ?if you hate bullies?, etc., send this on or send it back to me to show you care.

How to prevent your email address being hijacked

I know that pretty well every one of you have friends or loved ones that are simply not very internet savvy. If you send some of these folks jokes or cool things to watch, there is a good chance that they will forward your email to others. That is fine but they often simply click on the forward and send it on to their friends, leaving your email address showing. It is just a matter of time before your email will become hijacked and thousands of people will be receiving spam emails, supposedly from you.

I try my best to prevent this in these ways.

First, I go over the email I intend to forward, making sure that any email address showing is deleted.

Secondly, I use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) method to select recipients. That creates a single address of instead of individual personal email addresses. There is nothing to harvest.

Lastly, I put the following as an automatic signature on each email.

Thank you for deleting my email address & personal history before you forward it.

Thank you for using BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) instead of "To" and "CC" when sending group e-mails. This helps prevent SPAM & hackers.

Example of a real Spammer

I received a SPAM this email morning. The creep used my friend's email address to disseminate it and it was just a single link to a "Raspberry Drops" SPAM web site. The spammer had used a copy of the Fox News website to try to fool people into thinking they had published the article. This incredibly intelligent person left the O out of the web address to pretend it is from Fox. When you go down the page and try to leave a comment, of course, it does not work and more than the raspberry drops would. Also, each of the links at the top go to a "buy my raspberry crap" page.

Not long ago, I switched to Gmail and found it to be very good at detecting and preventing SPAM. If a SPAM email does get through, click on the ?mark as SPAM? and everyone else on Gmail will be protected in the future from this same email.

There is a never ending list of trolls, thieves and unscrupulous people out there on the web. So, protect yourself and others as much as you can.


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