View Full Version : S P A M
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 3:20am
Aaargh, my email box is full of Spam every day. My questions are:
1) Why is spam mail always for the same stupid things like 'free cable', 'cheap prescriptions drugs', 'great investment opportunities', 'free diplomas'?
2) Who in their right mind would ever reply to these offers?
3) If nobody replies, then why do they keep sending them?
4) How can I reduce the amount of spam I get, without getting a new email address?
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 4:56am
Well, being not very knowledgeable about many computer-related things, my suggestions may not be worth much when compared to the knowledge that abounds here but here goes anyway:
1) Why is spam mail always for the same stupid things like 'free cable', 'cheap prescriptions drugs', 'great investment opportunities', 'free diplomas'? Probably because if it was for useful stuff, it wouldn't be spam I guess.
2) Who in their right mind would ever reply to these offers? Only those that give in easily to pressure sales most likely, hence:
3) If nobody replies, then why do they keep sending them? To harass those who give in to pressure sales?
4) How can I reduce the amount of spam I get, without getting a new email address? The only suggestion I've ever had, besides checking the settings of your equivalent of Spamguard, is to not use an e-mail address that contains two names (or something to that effect).
Hope that helps.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 8:08am
1.a. 'free cable', 'free diplomas' - no, or porn (see 1.c).
1.b. 'cheap prescriptions drugs', 'great investment opportunities' - those sell.
1.c. porn sells.
2. Statistically, the average is one in a thousand people, but depends on the content-to-client relevance of the source list. Hotmail spam converts poorly, and punishes badly, not sure why anyone still does it...
3. See above 1.b and 2.
4. Don't ever type your address in signup forms for anything near-questionable of course. Do not open spam mail - it's usually tracked. And god forbid, never reply to spam with "Please, don't spam me." - big brother doesn't want you.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 9:15am
In addition to what Catbert said in his number four, don't even bother clicking on that link in the email that says, "remove me from your mailing list"
Its actually a tracker that the spammer uses to verify your e-mail address is currently being used.
I'm not sure what email program you use, but even just opening the email is enough. Some emails will request a reciept when the email is read. Some email programs will automatically send that reciept without notifying you.
I use the newest version of Outlook (not express) to check my email and it does a pretty good job. If I keep getting an email from a certain domain and continuilly do not open it and delete it, Outlook learns and puts it immediately into my junk mail box. After awhile, my actually email server will just delete the email before even sending it to my mail box.
Another thing that may help prevent you from getting spam and junk mail in the first place is to get a router or something that will constantly change your IP address (I think that's it) so websites that track can't get your email address. I have broadband from my cable company and it does that.
Bahir the Red
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 9:47am
I read an article in Illustrated Science about this before (search for it; its realy good(Im too lazy))
It seems as these spammers have a program which generates email adresses, these email adresses might not exist, but because it generates ALOT, some of the adresses WILL exist. The program detects if the email was recieved succesfully (meaning that the email adress exists) and then sends that email adress to other spam sites.
So because there are so many spam sites, and so many email generators working toghether, getting just one spam mail one day could result in thousands after a week.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 1:00pm
Nonsense. Spammers use crawlers, just like genuine search engines. Only theirs harvest all the mail addresses they find on pages, and compile them into a big list they then send spam to. There are other ways, but this one is most common, and easiest. Why would anyone generate random e-mails, to get one in a million right, when they can easily get valid mails by scanning websites?
That's the reason why no mails are listed on SP any more. You have a contact form, and my mail address you have to type in manually, so a spambot can't pick it up. I just wish I'd done this 5 years ago. It'd save me having to sift through hundreds of spams every day. Once your mail gets on one spam list, it'll quickly spread to dozens of others, since spammers also sell their lists to other spammers. :nolike:
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 1:32pm
1) Why is spam mail always for the same stupid things like 'free cable', 'cheap prescriptions drugs', 'great investment opportunities', 'free diplomas'?Because some buggers think you will buy if they bother you for long enough. Some other buggers get paid for sheer amount of junk they send, meaning the effect is irrelevant. Free diplomas and other fake degrees appeal to people with low self esteem who need to stroke their ego with academic titles no matter how fake they are. In real life, they would buy academic dissertations. Great investment oppurtunities work on some naive greedy folk. Cheap prescriptions might work on naive people in unpleasant economical circumstances. And there goes penile enlargement. Those are the worst. They use the lowest of low tricks. They're simply sorry buggers that had better be shot.
2) Who in their right mind would ever reply to these offers?Not everyone is in right mind. Well, maybe not to spam, but I write short and personal e-mails to intrusive search bar distributors. You know, some dumb searchbar simply installs in your system without asking you anything. E-mails typically end with "best wishes of prompt bankruptcy" and my full name.
3) If nobody replies, then why do they keep sending them?Someone gets paid for the sheer amount of junk sent. And other idiots hope someone will reply at some point. And there are idiots who actually buy stuff that spammers advertise.
4) How can I reduce the amount of spam I get, without getting a new email address?Have an address for registering for stuff like message boards, online services, discussion lists, sites you won't admit browsing and the like. Give your professional address only to your business partners and workmates. Give your personal address only to friends. Don't put your address in any signatures on posts or anything.
In XHTML, document.write won't work, but you should be still able to change labels, captions, text field values and the like.
There are server-side tricks as well, but those are hard on your bandwidth. You can place a link on your page to lead to a random collection of unworking e-mails with a self-link followed by some random ?56563 or whatever call. As it's server-side, the crawler will accept it like just another site. When it gets sucked in a loop sucks in too much fake addresses, it will make its whole database useless.
Fortunately, there are people who run such pages and you can use their bandwidth for the purpose. Here's a link: http://www.auditmypc.com/freescan/antispam.html.
May spambots die. Spammers should be castrated.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 3:26pm
4. Don't ever type your address in signup forms for anything near-questionable of course. Do not open spam mail - it's usually tracked.At times this is quite impossible, as the title can be something like "Hey! I forgot to mention...", or anything that makes you open it. However, this is also a browser problem, so guess what? ;)
Keep option "Do not open images in Newsgroups" enabled. In Mozilla. :grin:
It's actually pretty amusing where they sell emails. Ever given address to a porn site then ended up receiving ads from a medical store? :shake:
Taluntain, why not change it then? If you ask me, it's pretty stupid to battle with spam from day to day when you can just create a new email and avoid making the same mistake again. Easily saves hours in a year. ;)
As to why they spend spam. Well, there are two ways to get customers, in general. One: so called "magnet-marketing", which is used by all big companies by making their products look attractive . Two: "funnel-marketing", or; advertising the product to as many people as possible. Since emailing costs nothing to them, and even if the sales-ratio is only 1 to 10.000, they make profit (1 million spams means 100 customers, and make that million spams per month. 12x100=1200 customers, which is more than enough to keep going.)
Sadly, I can easily imagine emailing becoming commercial in the future; call it "Bandwidth Tax" or "eStamp", or anything (the latter suggested by MS).
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 5:01pm
My ISP recently added a feature that's really sweet. It has some kind of spam detection, and gives you the choice to do nothing, change the Subject line to include -- Spam -- at the front, or automatically delete it.
So, what I do is have them mark all the Spam with -- Spam -- and then have Outlook Express automatically forward all of them to a Spam folder, where I can quickly look them over and delete them.
It's worked very well so far; it hasn't sent any non-spam mail to my Spam folder, and only a couple Spams (out of maybe 100 a day) get through the detector.
I love it!
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 5:26pm
Well, it would be bad if people were forced to pay for bandwidth they use receiving e-mails they didn't want. However, there could be a nice advantage to that: bandwidth stealth would get closer to casual theft from a legal standpoint. It would be easier to do something nasty do identified spammers than now - because they wouldn't be merely bothering you. They would be stealing your bandwidth. Due to the manner in which they distribute their unwanted advertising, a mere bandwidth cost vindication wouldn't suffice and claims for damages could enter the stage.
Personally, I believe all detected spammers should be ordered to pay considerable sums to anti-spam institutions approved by some government cell. The damages should multiply each subsequent time the spammer would be caught. It should also be possible for the court to order the business closed down on that account.
Those who send sex-related ads should receive additional punishment as they can in no way make sure that minors won't receive those e-mails. The manner in which penile enlargement ads are worded merits a very special treatment - it shouldn't be legal for businesses to send you messages along the lines of "hello, you small dicky, wanna get bigger and finally be able to satisfy your woman?". It's so miserable it's beyond offence, but this shouldn't warrant impunity. Idiots sometimes need more drastic methods of learning.
To make the process further easier, it should be criminal to include dots in the middle of a word in message subjects, numerical 0s instead of o, and other such leet to deceive spam detectors. If someone doesn't want messages that have a given subject, he doesn't want them for a reason. Deceiving his spam protection by such lowly tricks is nothing else than trespass and should be treated accordingly.
Yeah, and make any such trespass equal to traditional trespass on property. My computer is no less my property than my house is.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 6:13pm
Personally, I believe all detected spammers should be ordered to pay considerable sums to anti-spam institutions approved by some government cell.The funny thing is that I believe it to be the same persons producing both spam and anti-spam software. :D Logical, isn't it? If you know how to block spam, you know how to pass those filters, thus create effective spam-programs. Selling both means that the market will grow, and you will make twice as much money. :evil:
Spam market, here I come. :lol:
Bahir the Red
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 8:41pm
Thank god I havent recieved any spam, ever. Is it because I have hotmail instead of email?
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 9:46pm
Taluntain, why not change it then? If you ask me, it's pretty stupid to battle with spam from day to day when you can just create a new email and avoid making the same mistake again. Easily saves hours in a year.SP has been around since 1999, and I have hundreds of things tied to this e-mail, many I don't even remember, but I still get mails from occasionally that I need. Everyone who's anyone online for a few years has the same problem. Not to mention that even if I change my mail and protect it as much as I can, someone could mail me a legitimate question, and as soon as I replied, they'd get my mail again, and could manually enter it into a spam list. So changing mails, even if it were an option, would be a temporary solution at best. My ISP automatically strips infected files from mails I receive, but as I never open any mails before look at their source, it's not really an issue. I haven't opened a spam mail in years. I still get hundreds daily, however. And I don't trust automatic spam weeders, since no matter how good they are, there's still a certain percentage of mails falsely marked as spam. And once you get used to deleting spam on a daily basis, it doesn't really take much time, since spam is quite obvious from the title in most cases. Still, it's annoying and a waste of time, but until someone reinvents the whole concept of e-mail to eliminate spam, there's not really much anyone can do.
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 10:48pm
@Bahir the Red, hotmail is an email domain (that the right term?) same as yahoo and various others. Hotmail is a free email service (with a limited storage capacity) and some spam filtering integrated into it (the junk mail folder).
That you have got no spam ever though is impressive unless:
1. The address is very new
2. You have never signed up to anything with the address.
3. You have only given the address to (real) people you know.
Bahir the Red
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 11:06pm
That you have got no spam ever though is impressive unless:
1. The address is very new
2. You have never signed up to anything with the address.
3. You have only given the address to (real) people you know. 1. its old
2. I have (for example, this place)
3. given it to people i dont know
I guess im lucky
Wed, 28th Jul '04, 11:42pm
SP is one of a very few websites which will never sell your private information to anyone, so you don't have to worry about that.
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 1:40am
Actually, more or less every forum has that policy -excluding the obvious pr0n forums, maintained by the spammers themselves. ;)
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 1:55am
Dream on. Try signing up on any GameSpy or IGN forums with a blank e-mail account and watch spam start flying in over a few months. I have an account I created which was never used for anything else but to sign up for those forums, and it's flooded with spam every day. Saying you won't sell mails is one thing, actually not doing it is something completely different.
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 2:41am
Wirhe, what is the meaning of the word "Pr0n"?
I have never heard it before...
Heh, I frequently get spam from African people that are actually my brother and my mother at the same time and would like me to cheat them out of usually USD 30.000.000 but other then that hardly anything.
I don't usually sign up to stuff though, I am member only to SP and I never give my E-mail adress out - 'cept in the FAI at times, which I suppose is very stupid, but nothing bad has happened so far - gotta love the SP attitude :thumb:
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 9:36am
The funny thing is that I believe it to be the same persons producing both spam and anti-spam software.Then castration is really the only way to limit the ranks of spammers :evil:
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 12:53pm
Well, actually i use Hotmail as my "spammail" adress, and the odd point is that it does _not_ receive any spam. No matter where i register it.
Also note that some spam viruses or anything like that will not send mail to any hotmail.com adress... so, for some odd reason, Hotmail adresses are quite spam-free.
Thu, 29th Jul '04, 2:54pm
Try signing up on any GameSpy or IGN forums with a blank e-mail account and watch spam start flying in over a few monthsDid that with GameSpy twice: once a year back, to try FilePlanet downloads (yack), and again a few weeks back to get a CD-key for Tribes 2 (another yack). "No newsletters", and thus far I haven't received a single one. ;)
Must be a change in their policy, them being a *commercial* site. Generally speaking those fan-forums and similars are pretty spam-free, IMO.
Fri, 30th Jul '04, 12:37am
I have a long unused e-mail address registered for fake data. I'm some farmer aged over sixty IIRC.
We used it with my friend and sometimes I for registering for some stuff for my brother or other people, but rarely. Sometimes there are 500 items of spam there.
Fri, 30th Jul '04, 3:30am
Flip around the letters, Big Bald Ranger. Especially the middle ones. Kids go to bed now...
Fri, 30th Jul '04, 11:06pm
@Maertyn: :doh: - I must have been asleep while I was reading that - bloody LAN parties... | anyway, thanks for pointing that out.
Mon, 2nd Aug '04, 10:42pm
And another thing, why do the spam messages I receive always have a line of crazy random words at the bottom? The latest one I received has these words at the bottom:
bellboy cramp abeyance transmitter adult dockside atreus
polarogram controversial sulfa monstrous stairwell approximate coalition
Mon, 2nd Aug '04, 11:01pm
Those programs do not spam only emails, but also boards, "top-sites", and link-pages. Since Google rates sites by the amount of links and the match of searched words, the more they spam the higher they are rated. Ironic, isn't it? :rolleyes:
Already some seaches in Google are made almost impossible due of this fact (like torrents and, of course, pr0n :D ). Sadly, no one in their end has done anything to prevent this abuse, and it needs only a few spammers adding EVERY kind of words to their links to make Google completely useless... :toofar: