While most people simply ignore spam ( unsolicited e-mail ), others
take an active role in shutting it down through both blocking techniques
and reporting it to both authorities and the underlying service
providers who can effectively close down the spammers' accounts.
Even I had a complaint lodged against me for sending out my newsletter
to someone who didn't remember subscribing.
List brokers and individuals who send spam use many tools and
techniques to gather e-mail addresses wherever they appear online.
Here are some suggestions to help you reduce the amount of spam
that you receive.
|| Remove yourself from any
unprotected member directory.
|| Open another e-mail account
that you can use as an address for newsgroup and listserve
publications or for posting on bulletin boards.
|| Use the "Block Sender" option
in Hotmail to block the delivery of e-mail from a specific
|| Use the Junk Mail Filter
feature of Hotmail to filter spam into your Junk Mail folder.
|| Use your primary account
to post to an online service or any Internet bulletin board.
|| Use your primary account
to post in a Usenet newsgroup or mailing list.
|| Spend time in chat rooms
or an online service that displays your address of your primary
|| Include yourself in an unprotected
member directory of an online service (the Hotmail Member Directory
is protected because we do not display member addresses).
|| Reply to unsolicited e-mail
messages with a "remove" request because this only
validates to the sender that your address is current.
||It is advisable not to open the
Spam mail because the sender can still validate your email
address even if you don’t reply to it.
You can keep up to date with the fight against spam at: http://www.cauce.org/
Spammers rarely use their regular e-mail addresses for the following
reasons, among others:
- Their Internet Service Providers will realize they are spamming,
and will take steps to prevent future spam (for example, by deleting
their e-mail accounts)
- Spammers could become the victims of mail-bombing, as thousands
of irate recipients strike back with messages of their own
Spammers therefore rely on anonymous e-mail addresses such as
those available from free e-mail providers. Sometimes the addresses
you see on spam messages are invalid (faked).
It is important to realize where the responsibility for spam lies.
Spammers are often reasonably skilled frauds and thieves as well
as highly annoying. Many have developed specific strategies in
order to avoid responsibility for their actions, or to avoid mail
blocking and filtering:
- They relay Spam messages off the mail server of an innocent
third party. This technique requires an "open relay".
- They use the "drop box" strategy. This consists of
sending mail out from an account that allows Spam, but putting
another address in the "Reply to:" message header,
so that anyone replying to the message is actually sending mail
to an account that did not originate the Spam. Many spammers
want to send out ads or sales info and do not expect a reply.
By drop boxing they are forging their e-mail addresses and relieving
themselves of accountability. Recipients should always check
the full message headers to determine the origin.
- Spoofing. This fairly complex technique makes a message appear
as if it is coming from an address that did not originate the
- Including a paragraph claiming that the law sanctions Spam
as long as there is a "remove from list" address in
the Spam message. Do not fall for this trick,
as the "remove from list" address is almost always
a sham. Not only do you generate useless traffic if you try to
remove yourself from a large number of "lists", but
in some cases they will be delighted to put an "active";
mark next to your name on their address databases upon receipt
of your complaint. Spammers are dishonest people employing dishonest
tactics. Don't trust them, report them.
SpamCop - report violators
to their service provider.
HushMail - secure mail has
a free option but lots of spam gets through even without using
the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email.
Spam and the damage it causes
Rex Tincher's AntiSpam --
Comprehensive links and information on Spam
a program for hiding email addresses on your website from extractors.
www.junkfax.org/ - Info
and resources on stopping junk faxes.
Determining the origin of Spam
It is extremely important to identify the origin of a message. A useful
technique in doing this is the correct analysis of the message headers
contained in every e-mail message, which provide useful information on
the message's origin and path. A little training is required to read
message headers, but the links below should furnish the necessary information
in a matter of minutes:
reading message headers.
several useful tools available here
Dedicated to those with little or no experience in fighting against
Reporting Spam Directly to E-mail Service Providers
Sometimes you can tell which service provider is being abused
by looking at the ending of an email address such as email@example.com or
By contacting the provider and having them close the scammers
account ( which they are happy to do for abusing the conditions
of service ) you can deprive the con of the numerous potential
victims contacted using that address, provided they have yet to
be lured into giving up their own contact location. Please send
along appropriate contact addresses if you know them for this list.
Please be sure to forward the entire body and subject of the spammed
email with the headers, subject, any URL, and the content to:
1) Original subject line. Please forward the email with a subject
identical to the original subject.
2) Complete headers. Email programs often display abbreviated
To learn how to display the full headers in a Yahoo!
If you are using a different client to read your email,
please consult your email program's help system for more
information on viewing full headers.
3) Complete message body. Please include the complete, unedited
content of the email message in question. Please do not change
or edit the message in any way.
Major Reputable Opt-in, Opt out List Providers
You may have inadvertently signed up for offers and information
and found yourself on a master list which is then resold
over and over. Relatively few honor your request but I will
try to list them here.
Spam complaint boilerplates
Offers boilerplates for categories of Spam, so you don't
have to write a whole new message every time you report abuse
to an ISP or Web site.
Wham, Bam, No Thank You Spam
NEW YORK, 05/14/03 (Reuters) - The man known as the "Buffalo
Spammer," who has allegedly sent 825 million unwanted
e-mails, has been arrested and arraigned, said New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer.
Howard Carmack, a 36-year-old resident of Buffalo, New York, entered
not guilty pleas before a Buffalo City Court judge and bail was set at
"We believe Carmack is one of the largest (spammers)
and believe there are a significant number of them," Spitzer
said in a conference call. "Spammers who forge documentation
and steal identities of others to create their e-mail traffic
will be prosecuted."
Spam, or unwanted e-mail hawking everything from herbal sexual stimulants
to mortgages, has become a growing issue as it now comprises as much
as 75 percent of online messages.
About two-thirds of the spam that jams up in-boxes contains deceptive
information such as false return addresses or pitches for miracle cures
and work-at-home schemes, according to a recent analysis by the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission.
The Attorney General's office said in a statement its Internet bureau
receives more complaints about spam than about any other Internet-related
"Spam itself is not -- of itself -- a crime," Spitzer said. "What
makes this criminal conduct is the intersection of spamming with forgery and
Carmack was charged with: stealing the identity of two residents to open
Internet access accounts with EarthLink Inc.; falsifying the business
records of EarthLink; forging the headers of e-mail sent from the EarthLink
accounts; and possessing a software program designed to create the forged
e-mails, the Attorney General's office said in a statement.
Spitzer said his office worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
and EarthLink, the nation's No. 3 Internet service provider. Last week
EarthLink won a $16 million settlement and injunctive relief against
Carmack in U.S. district court in Atlanta after a year-long investigation.
"He cost EarthLink more than $1 million," Spitzer charged. "And
he opened in excess of 343 e-mail accounts using stolen identities."
The prosecution is the first by Spitzer under New York's identity theft
statute, which was enacted in November.
The arrest comes as Louisiana Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin plans to introduce
an anti-spam bill this week that is expected to move quickly through
Power to the Peephole
06/11/03 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
asked Congress on Wednesday for additional authority to fight
the unwanted Internet "spam" that now accounts
for up to half of all e-mail traffic.
In testimony before the House of Representatives consumer
protection subcommittee, FTC commissioners said they need
the ability to secretly investigate those who send deceptive
e-mail and more leeway to go after spammers who send their
messages across international borders.
Though several anti-spam bills have been introduced in Congress,
the request seemed to catch lawmakers off guard. House Commerce
Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican,
said he was "surprised" by the FTC's proposal but
was willing to "refine and improve" an anti-spam
bill he had developed.
FTC commissioner Orson Swindle told the lawmakers that spam "has
become the weapon of choice for those engaged in fraud and
deception" and is "about to kill the killer (application)
of the Internet, specifically consumer use of e-mail and
"Dealing with the emotional reaction of spam by millions
of users requires our immediate attention before it gets
out of hand," Swindle said.
E-mail marketers should be required to describe their products
honestly and honor consumer requests to be taken off their
contact lists, the commissioners said, while criminal penalties
should be explored for those who falsify their return addresses.
The proposals "would provide more effective investigative
and enforcement tools and would enhance the FTC's continuing
law enforcement efforts," the five commissioners said
in a joint statement.
Unsolicited, unwanted e-mail has skyrocketed in volume over
the past several years, flooding users' in-boxes and costing
businesses billions of dollars in wasted bandwidth. Internet
providers and filtering companies say spam now makes up between
40 percent and 80 percent of all e-mail.
The FTC has used anti-fraud laws and a database of millions
of spams to prosecute some 53 spammers over the past few
years, but FTC commissioners said they need additional powers
to go after the worst offenders.
Because many spammers close up shop and hide their assets
once they realize they are being targeted, FTC agents should
be allowed to investigate them in secret for a limited period
of time, commissioners said, or at least delay notification.
FTC agents should be able to review spam complaints amassed
by Internet providers and given greater latitude to go after
spammers who hijack others' accounts, they said.
The new authority to go after spam should be modeled after
the laws that give the FTC jurisdiction over telemarketers,
the commissioners said.
That means requiring spammers to honestly reveal who they
are and what they are selling. And a greater authority to
cooperate with other countries would make it easier to track
spammers and other scam artists who operate internationally,
The commissioners also are seeking changes in the law that
would allow them to cooperate more closely with overseas
authorities to investigate cases of cross-border fraud, many
of which are carried out via e-mail.
"Cross border fraud legislation is a necessary element
to make spam legislation effective," FTC Commissioner
Mozelle Thompson said.
The FTC also said Congress should revoke an exemption in
the law that restricts its authority over telecommunications
firms and other "common carriers."
Spam Nazi Makes Millions on Manly Measurements
Check out this article on Davis Hawke aka Dave Bridger,
he's been recruiting evil hordes of spammers to sell his
penis enlargement pills, and these X*&/%X are making
WAY too much money:
Oh, and there's more. It gets weirder ...
Jeffrey Mathews 09/03
Conspiracy to Commit Spam Not AOK
06/24/04 - PA-UK - An America Online employee stole a list
of 92 million customer screen names that was eventually used
to send massive amounts of e-mail spam, prosecutors said
in New York.
Jason Smathers, 24, was fired from his job as a software engineer for
the internet service provider after being arrested at his home in Harpers
Ferry, West Virginia, company officials said. He was charged with conspiracy.
Smathers, who worked at AOL’s offices in Dulles, Virginia, sold
the list to Sean Dunaway, 21, of Las Vegas, according to a criminal complaint.
Dunaway, also charged with conspiracy, then used it to promote an internet
gambling operation and sold it to spammers.
Dunaway made an initial appearance in federal court in Las Vegas. He
was released and ordered to appear on July 23 before a US magistrate
judge in New York. Smathers was to appear in court in Virginia.
Kevin Kelly, Dunaway’s lawyer, said Secret Service agents confiscated
his client’s computer equipment after they took him into custody
David Kelley, US attorney for Manhattan, said the arrests were two of
the first prosecutions under federal legislation that cracks down on
spamming. AOL is a division of New York-based Time Warner.
Each man could face up to five years in prison and at least £150,000
in fines if convicted.
Prosecutors did not say how much they believe Dunaway paid Smathers for
the list but said Dunaway later paid him £60,000 for an updated
Dunaway offered the list to spammers, charging them £1,200 for
lists with names beginning with a single letter, or £30,000 for
the entire list, the complaint said.
Spam Report 2003 - article
spoofing virus notifications - article