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12% of E-mail Users Have Responded To Spam

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the related-stories-are-must-reads dept.

Spam 268

Meshach writes "An article in Ars Technica claims that 12% of internet users have actually responded to spam messages and tried to buy items. Although I find this hard to believe, it does explain why my spam folder is always full." Also in spam news, wjousts links to a Technology Review article about how spammers get your e-mail address, writing "E-mail addresses in comments posted to a website had a high probability of getting spammed, while of the 70 e-mail addresses submitted during registration at various websites, only 4 got spammed."

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268 comments

That's why... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707133)

I'm posting as an anonymous coward, so they don't spam my e-mail address.

Re:That's why... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707361)

... I have an entire domain with a chatchall... that way i can post under [domainI'mRegistering]@[mydomain.com]. then i know exactly where the spam originated from. what was my most recent verified spammer? my bank X_X

Re:That's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707539)

(same AC here) It's also a really good phishing protection system. If i get an email from paypal to [notpaypal]@[mydomain.com] than i know it's phishing.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707161)

First

They got my email (2, Interesting)

Archfeld (6757) | about 5 years ago | (#28707163)

and details regarding wow from this web site. Irony abounds.

Re:They got my email (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 5 years ago | (#28707187)

Maybe if you hid your email addy it wouldn't happen. :)

I've had joe@nethead.com for over a decade so it's already on every fsckin' list there is.

Re:They got my email (2, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#28707201)

That's not irony, that's exactly what the study says:

E-mail addresses in comments posted to a website had a high probability of getting spammed

It probably doesn't help that your email address is sitting there in plain text with no obfuscation.

Myself, on the other hand, I've never received spam from having my email harvested on Slashdot. Why do you think that is?

Re:They got my email (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707363)

Your UID is too high. Nobody cares about you ;-)

Re:They got my email (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#28707913)

Your UID is too high. Nobody cares about you ;-)

Your UID is zero, but you don't get any email either.

How often do people send private emails to people's /. email addresses? I've done so about once.

Re:They got my email (2, Interesting)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | about 5 years ago | (#28707995)

Actually, Anonymous Coward's user ID is 666.

No joke. Look it up.

Re:They got my email (2, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | about 5 years ago | (#28707225)

Why did you choose to display your address publicly if you don't want the public using it to send correspondence?

Re:They got my email (1)

basementman (1475159) | about 5 years ago | (#28707411)

Because the websites promise that your email will be totally private, and people trust them.

That comment... (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | about 5 years ago | (#28707679)

...makes absolutely NO sense in-context. The GP chose to display his e-mail address publicly. That means any promise to keep his address "totally private" explicitly does not apply.

Re:They got my email (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#28707727)

I bet if you received a comparable amount of paper junk mail you'd soon change your mind.

Of course people respond... (5, Funny)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 5 years ago | (#28707171)

How else are they going to win the Nigerian lottery? You can't win if you don't enter.

no kidding? (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#28707173)

12%?

Really? I honestly thought it would be much higher...just basing that off of some of my daily interactions with people. It's a good thing breathing is an involuntary action, cause there are a lot of people out there who'd forget to.

Re:no kidding? (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#28707413)

That's what I though too, 12% seems a bit low. I've observed a lot of users who really can't tell you which stuff in their inbox they actually signed up to recieve versus which are just spam. Half the stuff they sign up to receive looks as shady as spam anyway... I just had a conversation this morning where I tried to teach a user to tell the difference between sales hype and legitimate information. He just couldn't get it, it was too much for him. He constantly forwards me things like "AMAZING NEW DISCOVERY...!!!", asking "what do you think of this, should I order it?".

Re:no kidding? (3, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | about 5 years ago | (#28707567)

The folks responding to the "enlarge your member" ads didn't want to fess up.

Re:no kidding? (1)

bitt3n (941736) | about 5 years ago | (#28707871)

It's a good thing breathing is an involuntary action, cause there are a lot of people out there who'd forget to.

that means it's a bad thing

Definition of "Spam?" (5, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | about 5 years ago | (#28707175)

The entire premise of this article depends on the definition of "spam." One could mark a legitimate business' unsolicited email as spam, but that doesn't mean that purchasing a product because of the material in one of those emails is newsworthy.

Nigerian princes in peril are another matter, though.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

Locklin (1074657) | about 5 years ago | (#28707277)

Do legitimate businesses send unsolicited email? I have never seen one.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (3, Informative)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 5 years ago | (#28707617)

Do legitimate businesses send unsolicited email? I have never seen one.

I have, very very often. It seems common in the b2b market in the UK.
And yes, I am talking about real, honest-to-god legitimate businesses, with reputations; as well as the countless spams from others with differing levels of legitimacy (all the way from slightly dodgy telecoms resellers, through SEOs all the way down to the pill peddlers we all know and 'love').

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#28708033)

When I chaired a society at university I got loads of spam (my address was listed on the university's website as the contact for the society), and so did the society's email address. Most of them would be asking me to spam everyone in the society with offers for summer "charity" work and so on. I usually replied with this, which scared them off:

This is a spam.

Quoting from http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_basics.aspx [ico.gov.uk] ,----[ Electronic mail ]
| Electronic mail is emails, SMS (text), picture, video and answer-phone
| messages. Electronic mail marketing messages should not be sent to
| individuals without their permission unless all these following criteria
| are met:
|
| 1. The marketer has obtained your details through a sale or negotiations
| for a sale.
| 2. The messages are about similar products or services offered by the
| sender.
| 3. You were given an opportunity to refuse the marketing when your details
| were collected and, if you did not refuse, you were given a simple way to
| opt out in every future communication.
`----

You have met none of these criteria. If I receive another message from you I will report your business as sending spam.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (2, Informative)

wjousts (1529427) | about 5 years ago | (#28707661)

Yes, all the time. One of the worst sites I've seen for it is this [globalspec.com] . It's actually a pretty useful site with some good information and good tools for searching for a specific part, but when you look at any of the parts from a search, they send your e-mail address to that company and that company often spams you.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#28707293)

One could mark a legitimate business' unsolicited email as spam, but that doesn't mean that purchasing a product because of the material in one of those emails is newsworthy.

Unsolicited email from a legitimate business is SPAM too. Just a less evil spam with an opt out function that works.

Though sometimes its easier to just not even do that and block those messages just in case that opt out is a trick to see if your email is alive or not.

But yeah unsolicited email, no matter who it is from, is by definition is spam.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28707463)

But yeah unsolicited email, no matter who it is from, is by definition is spam

Almost -- unsolicited COMMERCIAL email is spam. If you post your email address publically and someone mails you, that's not spam unless they try to sell you something.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707311)

Replying to unsolicited offers is pretty dumb, as you probably don't want any more 'offers', and replying just verifies that your address is real. Seriously? Buy it from
A) A respectable website (don't click the link in some spam email)
B) A store

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

azav (469988) | about 5 years ago | (#28707367)

HELLO OLD FRIEND IN JESUS! I am Dotcor Barrister Stealfromyou and it is good to hear from you again! (I could go on but you get my point.)

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 5 years ago | (#28707433)

Um... 'a legitimate business' unsolicited email' - IS SPAM.

The legitimacy of the business is irrelevant.

If the email is from a business, and unsolicited (that is, UNWANTED), then, it is, by its very nature, SPAM.

To put it even more simply: UNSOLICITED BUSINESS EMAIL = SPAM.

And in my mind, if the business is sending spam, they're not legitimate, period.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

skeeto (1138903) | about 5 years ago | (#28707521)

I guess technically I have responded to spam, as I sometimes respond to 419 scams to mess with the scammer. I respond pretending to be interested in whatever they said, then delay as much as possible in order to waste time. Maybe even reply with obviously fake documents (if they look too real, they could be used again against an innocent person in another scam). The idea is to waste as much of their time as possible, but without wasting much of your own time.

Some people are really, really good at this, called scam baiting or 419 baiting, and they'll turn the scam around and get the scammer to do elaborate, expensive activities for everyone's amusement. Things like record an ebook, or paint a painting, then mail it in to the baiter, carve a replica of the baiter's head from a block of wood. It's really great stuff.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#28707603)

> The entire premise of this article depends on the definition of "spam." One could mark a legitimate business' unsolicited email as
> spam, but that doesn't mean that purchasing a product because of the material in one of those emails is newsworthy.

From the very first piece of spam (look up the origins of the word) it's been clear what it is.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

julesh (229690) | about 5 years ago | (#28707735)

The entire premise of this article depends on the definition of "spam." One could mark a legitimate business' unsolicited email as spam, but that doesn't mean that purchasing a product because of the material in one of those emails is newsworthy.

Nigerian princes in peril are another matter, though.

If we definte spam as excluding legitimate businesses, who gets to define what's legitimate and what isn't? OK, so 419 scammers aren't legitimate, but they make up a small minority of the spam I get. And I'll grant that those "OEM" software sellers who apparently sell software cheaper than the manufacturers' OEM prices are somewhat dubious, too. But are the viagra retailers legitimate? They're (AFAICT) offering a real product that they are legally allowed to sell to you. What about the acai berry products sellers? Or the online casinos? Or the fake rolex people? All of these are real legal businesses who make their money by sending unsolicited emails. But they're still spammers, as far as I'm concerned, and should therefore be preparing themselves for whichever circle of hell is reserved for their kind.

Re:Definition of "Spam?" (1)

julesh (229690) | about 5 years ago | (#28707947)

I wrote: But they're still spammers, as far as I'm concerned, and should therefore be preparing themselves for whichever circle of hell is reserved for their kind.

Answering my own sort-of question: it is, of course, the fifth ditch of the eighth circle of hell, in which unscrupulous businessmen are forced to stand in boiling pitch.

I thought of this immediately, as well! (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 5 years ago | (#28707873)

You'd be surprised how often people get upset about junk mail they're receiving, when in reality, they receive it because when they made a legitimate purchase a year or so previous, they left some option on the form check-marked that said "Allow us to contact you about our sales and other information."

It's also VERY often the case that once a legitimate business has your email address, they proceed to "spam" you with advertising on a regular basis, until you click someplace to opt out. Unfortunately, so many spammers provide fake 'opt out" or "unsubscribe" links these days, people are afraid to even try to use them anymore. (If it's a fake, clicking "unsubscribe" only confirms that a live human is still receiving and reading the mail they're spamming out -- so they can mark it as a "good" address to resell to others and keep using themselves.)

Lastly, I actually have been spammed by companies I never contacted before, yet they were selling legitimate products. I think that practice is pretty unethical and shady, but it happens with such places as discount cellphone accessory dealers and inkjet cartridge and laser toner discounters. Sometimes, they really *do* have pretty good deals on their products, and if you buy from them, you will receive what was advertised. I can easily see how "John Q. Public" might get such a junk mail ad, discover he can get that replacement cellphone battery for his phone for only $9 instead of the $49 the local stores are asking, and takes them up on it.

Easy Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707177)

Quick somebody build a program that causes the users computer to explode when they answer yes on the survey. Plaster it all over the web and in one stroke spam becomes a thing of the past and the bell curve for the whole race improves drastically.

Dear 12% of E-mail Users, (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#28707179)

Please stop. Thanks, The Internet

Order of the day (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707181)

Terrify people into compliance!

"Hey, y'know gramma - I heard answering junk email funds the terrorists." ...

"Yep, that's right - that email you've got right there advertising cheap knob-expanders? That came straight from Osama bin Laden's laptop, uh huh."

Re:Order of the day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707349)

That strategy didn't work too well with drugs, albeit because they didn't say who the real terrorists [whatreallyhappened.com] were. [amazon.com]

Re:Order of the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707557)

That strategy didn't work too well with drugs, albeit because they didn't say who the real terrorists [whatreallyhappened.com] were. [amazon.com]

The sad thing is you probably really believe crap like that.

The really sad thing is you're probably allowed to vote in elections somewhere.

The oxygen supply to your brain is so limited I bet you'd pass out if you tried to climb the stairs out of your parent's basement.

Oh no! (0, Troll)

isolovelinux (1598555) | about 5 years ago | (#28707185)

This is so cool! I never responded to spam but I once heard about some guys who set up a spammer to call some guy at 4am. LOL! I hope no one else responds--this would damage the Open Source community's resources!

Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (5, Informative)

piojo (995934) | about 5 years ago | (#28707261)

I would have liked the article to state which sites sell e-mail addresses to spammers. They would certainly deserve it.

I use unique e-mail addresses for (almost) everything I sign up for, and I've never gotten a spam message from any of those unique accounts. I started getting a lot of spam when I first posted to LKML, which is published online.

Re:Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (2, Interesting)

skeeto (1138903) | about 5 years ago | (#28707373)

Ditto for me. I've been using that gmail plus-addressing feature for awhile now. At least a year. Since then, every site I have gone to either got a custom address, or a separate throwaway or fake address if their address validator was awful enough to reject addresses with +'s in them (probably half of them). Some occasional spot checking on my spam filter has shown no e-mail arriving to any plus addresses.

Re:Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (2, Informative)

piojo (995934) | about 5 years ago | (#28707519)

Some occasional spot checking on my spam filter has shown no e-mail arriving to any plus addresses.

This may not be completely surefire, because spammers might strip out the +stuff at the end of the address. In practice, it should work for now, because according to research like this article, spammers are lazy.

If in the future your main e-mail address starts to get spam, you could set your account up so that "address+real@gmail.com" goes to your inbox and anything addressed to just address@gmail.com is assumed to be spam. (Obviously, you only give out example+real@gmail.com to those you trust.)

Re:Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (1)

skeeto (1138903) | about 5 years ago | (#28707593)

This may not be completely surefire, because spammers might strip out the +stuff at the end of the address.

I thought of that too, but was assuming spammers didn't need to spend time doing that yet. I bet only a tiny fraction of gmail users use plus-addressing so far.

you could set your account up so that "address+real@gmail.com" goes to your inbox and anything addressed to just address@gmail.com is assumed to be spam.

Ah, that's a great idea. Then it's like a shared password. name+password@gmail.com

Re:Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707633)

I would have liked the article to state which sites sell e-mail addresses to spammers.

Here's one: payday-loan-yes.com.

My wife applied online and submitted MY email address. Within minutes my gmail spam box was getting filled with "get your cash advance now" spam from a half-dozen different apparent companies.

Aside from the fact that payday loans are bad (mm-kay). But that's not what we're talking about.

Re:Which sites sell addresses to spammers? (1)

izomiac (815208) | about 5 years ago | (#28708101)

I've been using subdomain forwarding for quite a few years and it seems that extremely few websites/businesses sell e-mail addresses. This method has worked quite well at blocking spam at 100% accuracy for several years, although just about a month ago it would seem that my entire subdomain has started getting spam to random addresses. So I've had to move to whitelisting addresses rather than black listing ones that get spammed.

That said, all I've generally had to black list are addresses to forums that [allegedly] got cracked, and a couple merchants that mistakenly think I'm likely to order from them again if they e-mail me three times a week. The only merchant that comes to mind that downright sold the address I gave them was AquaGlobes, though I kinda expected that given their spammy website/order process.

Oh, one warning to anyone who tries this spam prevention scheme... A lot of websites are under the impression that e-mail addresses are good identifiers. So I basically have to be very consistent in how I generate throw-away addresses since I often need to use them to log in to things. Why this practice has caught on I'll have no idea. I mean, typing a 20 character e-mail address is more difficult than a 10 character username, and people change e-mail addresses all the time.

12% of E-mail Users Have Responded To Spam (1)

GottliebPins (1113707) | about 5 years ago | (#28707263)

And should be executed immediately!

Obama voters surely (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707273)

I'll bet that 12% all voted for Obama.

:)

No suprises. Some problems. (4, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 5 years ago | (#28707281)

The data may be skewed: users may consider offers from genuine mailing lists 'spam' whether they've signed up to it intentionally or not, when completing a survey. This more relevant stuff is more likely click-worthy. The survey doesn't necessarily make this distinction and account for it.

Otherwise, it is somewhat believable as many individuals new to the internet learn many lessons the hard way.

Mind you, "but another 13 percent said they simply had no idea why they did it; they just did." explains why I still receive 'send this to 10 people or you will has bad luck' from otherwise intelligent and educated people.

Re:No suprises. Some problems. (1)

GottliebPins (1113707) | about 5 years ago | (#28707307)

And another 12% clicked on the link that said "Install Malware Now" and didn't know why they did it.

Misleading (1)

Blixinator (1585261) | about 5 years ago | (#28707285)

While 12% seems reasonable for the amount of people who have responded to spam at least once (think of the first time a banner told you you were the 1,000,000th visitor), I suspect the number is much, much lower for the percentage of people who continuously respond to spam.

Re:Misleading (3, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 5 years ago | (#28707481)

That was my thought too. People responding to 12% of all spam is quite a bit different than 12% of people having every responded to a spam email. A 12% response rate for an email marketing campaign is enough to make any marketers nipples hard enough to cut glass.

My Penis Enlargement Pills Worked Great!!! (4, Funny)

loose electron (699583) | about 5 years ago | (#28707299)

Hey! I got a great deal on penis enlargement, breast enhancement, and this greasy stuff you rub all over your body to increase your sexual desirability scent! Works great! Now if I could only get the dog to stop sniffing me, all the women would be barking at my door!

Sad to say, one of the places that I buy "generic viagra" from would not return my money when it did not work as well as the "super size me" products... I will just have to wait for my money from the deal I made in Nigeria to counter that loss.

Re:My Penis Enlargement Pills Worked Great!!! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 years ago | (#28708125)

Hey! I got a great deal on penis enlargement, breast enhancement, and this greasy stuff you rub all over your body to increase your sexual desirability scent! Works great!

How can you possibly post something like this without giving us a link to where we can buy it.

sounds low (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 5 years ago | (#28707303)

I hate to say this, but 12% sounds really low. I'd expect it to be somewhere in the 20-30% range.

Re:sounds low (1, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#28707393)

Considering that half of (U.S.) Americans disavows evolution [slashdot.org] , it certainly could have been worse. Just think of the mentality of an average citizen. Twelve percent indeed isn't bad at all.

Re:sounds low (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 5 years ago | (#28707561)

Good point.

Re:sounds low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28708061)

Considering that half of (U.S.) Americans disavows evolution [slashdot.org] , it certainly could have been worse. Just think of the mentality of an average citizen. Twelve percent indeed isn't bad at all.

Considering that Darwinism, which is what people usually mean by evolution, is certainly wrong, your statement is about as insightful as an ad for penis enlargement pills, which have evidently gone to your head. If slashdot mods weren't a bunch of mindless PC drones on this subject, they might see that your post is an off-topic troll.

Correction (5, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | about 5 years ago | (#28707305)

The dumbest 12% of internet users have actually responded to spam messages and tried to buy items.

The other 88% are what scientists refer to as "not retarded".

In other news... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28707707)

50% of all people have less than average IQs. I'm surprised the 12% isn't higher.

Re:In other news... (3, Informative)

Absolut187 (816431) | about 5 years ago | (#28707713)

50% of all people have less than average IQs.

Not necessarily true.
50% of all people have less than median IQs.

Re:In other news... (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about 5 years ago | (#28707981)

50% of all people have less than average IQs.

Not necessarily true. 50% of all people have less than median IQs.

88% of all readers see this as a very apt demonstration.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28708039)

Have you seen the bell curve? In this case average IS median.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28708041)

Not necessarily true.
There may be a significant mode at the median, so:
50% of all people have IQs lower than or equal to the median IQ.

Re:In other news... (1)

HoboCop (987492) | about 5 years ago | (#28707961)

100% of the people don't have access to email.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707985)

If everyone in the world's intelligence quadrupled overnight, 50% of the world would still have less than average IQs.

Stop doing math with relative terms.

Re:Correction (1)

NPerez (930539) | about 5 years ago | (#28707765)

That would mean that 88% of internet users are not retarded..

Not so sure about that, man.

Re:Correction (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 years ago | (#28707865)

Pretty much everybody qualifies as a "internet user" these days, so it's not surprising that the bottom 12% are doing stupid shit. We're talking about people whose IQ is in the 80-90 range.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707935)

Use the Internet today. Feel smarter tomorrow!

Re:Correction (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | about 5 years ago | (#28707959)

It's more likely the most shy and/or secretive ones responding. Typically spammers are selling something people don't want to be known to purchase, and they may even be reluctant to enter an inflammatory keyword into Google. If I had any thoughts of a political career, for example, I wouldn't want any chance of an "anal intruder" search tracing back to my IP. That's not the case, I proudly get mine from Walmart.

friendly spam (1)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | about 5 years ago | (#28707325)

OK first of all i would assume a small part that those 12% of people have friends who have an infected machine. and these machines are sending them spam. i am currently having this problem and it is very annoying but because it is from a friend it is not filtered so any idiot may just open it because it got to his/her inbox.

everyone else is just an idiot.

How (1)

azav (469988) | about 5 years ago | (#28707331)

I get a crapload of spam from the UAE (Dubai) and the only way I can think about how my email got harvested was that I once wrote a letter on an Al-Jazeera forum mentioning that not all Americans want to invade Iraq when the current Gulf War started.

I've noticed multiple resellers have my email now are are even soliciting me to buy their spam list as they are spamming me.

What is most annoying is that I am now getting emails that state that "this is not a spam email because is it from blah blah".

Spammers simply need to die. It's that simple.

The Spam Letters (1)

javacowboy (222023) | about 5 years ago | (#28707333)

There's a guy who responds to his spam and posts the letters on his site. It's hilarious :)

I don't know if the site is still up, but I know it's blocked by my proxy at work, so it has been identified as a time waster by people who filter websites for a living. You have been warned ;)

http://thespamletters.com/ [thespamletters.com]

Garbage In, Garbage Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707417)

Has it not occurred to us that surveys do not sell as well as desired if they are not controversial?

Spam responders (0)

C_Kode (102755) | about 5 years ago | (#28707477)

Anyone who responds to spam should be executed. Send them on the express train to Huntsville Texas and they should not pass go or collect $200.

Re:Spam responders (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#28707797)

Make that anyone who buys from a spammer.

Lately... (5, Interesting)

jciarlan (1152991) | about 5 years ago | (#28707489)

Every so often I go through my spam folder, it's pretty funny. I've noticed lately that a lot of them don't even have links, it's like they're just trying to annoy us. For example, I received this yesterday:

Forge your huge love sword

and that was it. No link, no pictures. My theory is I have a really good friend who goes through a whole lot of effort just to make me smile. Either that, or it's an insult on my manhood designed to make me feel inadequate.

Re:Lately... (4, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 5 years ago | (#28707537)

Well... did you end up forging your huge love sword or not?

SPAM = SCAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707497)

I always hear people bitching that they had fallen for some spam offer and never actually received any items. Only once in a while you hear of someone having received some worthless or non-functional thing but never the actual merchandise they promised. It seems like for the most part you can equate spam with scam. It's just sad that so many people still fall victims to it and loose their money to the scammers.

Use otherinbox for unlimited disposable email adrs (1)

KarmaRundi (880281) | about 5 years ago | (#28707499)

http://www.otherinbox.com/ [otherinbox.com]

My email address has only been on Slashdot (5, Interesting)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 5 years ago | (#28707541)

I got this username and email as an experiment. I have only posted it publicly on Slashdot and have not used it for anything else. I don't even check it. I just checked. I have 5,000 messages in my spam folder. And gmail deletes them after a month. So posting my email publicly on Slashdot only is resulting in 5,000 spams a month.

Found: (1)

B00KER (1359329) | about 5 years ago | (#28707543)

Cheapest V1agra ever!!

Re:Found: (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 5 years ago | (#28707641)

I want to buy some.

P.S: I don't know what is more stupid, trying to buy from spammers or actually consuming those medicinal from a dodgy source.

Sources (2, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | about 5 years ago | (#28707547)

What disturbs me isn't the spam that comes from botnets of infected Windows PCs on residential broadband connections. I expect that. What bothers me is the spam that comes from dedicated servers colocated in actual datacenters, with static IP addresses, domain names, reverse DNS properly configured, and valid SPF records.

For example, these are apparently all owned by one spammer, that I've received spam from in the past few days:
mx5.mit9zinger.com
mx2.finogento.com
mx1.finogento.com
mx4.pinchmir.com
mx1.travel1soe.com
mx2.kintopuzi.com
mx1.petchin.com
mx1.abaganawena.com
mx1.tineraset.com
mx2.kimbolimbo.com
mx2.greenzetrain.com

From a technical standpoint, everything looks legitimate. Because they offer an apparently-working opt-out mechanism (I'm sure it really just marks your address as "confirmed", but you'd have to come up with a way to prove that) and they're not spoofing any headers, they're probably not in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Want Spam? Use Yahoo Groups (2, Interesting)

JimMcc (31079) | about 5 years ago | (#28707573)

I have two email addresses on yahoo.com. One is a jumble of letters and numbers which I use to for access to things I have no desire to ever see again. Dump things like "we'll email you the download link". That email address, which has been around for 7+ years gets the odd spam here and there.

The other yahoo.com email address is used only to enroll in a number of Yahoo groups and never given out or used for email. (I'm a ham and for whatever reason the ham community has fallen in love with Yahoo groups.) This second email address receives between 100-200 spams per week.

Keeping in mind that the second email address has never been given out, where did the spammers get my email address from? I can only assume that either Yahoo sells email addresses used in groups for "targeted advertising" or that they have a huge security hole through which the leak Yahoo group email address.

In any case... What spam? Use Yahoo Groups!

Should we be surprised by this for some reason? (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 5 years ago | (#28707651)

We've known for quite some time that spammers pick up email addresses by trolling the internet. With spam so insanely cheap - and highly profitable - to send out, there is no incentive for the spammers to select for email addresses that are known to be read regularly (or ever).

If they can harvest 1,000 new addresses in a few minutes of bot-crawling the internet, versus a few dozen by buying them from someone with a form somewhere, the choice is pretty simple.

The take-home message of this is something we've known for quite some time - don't let your email address out on public pages.

Have you seen some spam nowadays?! (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 5 years ago | (#28707667)

I'll shamelessly admit it: I've used Craigslist Personals to help me find dates. Before the entire hullabaloo regarding "erotic services," it was actually possible to get a few good, quality dates off the service. In fact, I was doing better on CL than other highly-regarded dating services, often using the same techniques! Spam was prevalent, but was often easy to spot and avoid.

Recently, I had a brief falling out with my girlfriend and browsed through CL to see other people. I was upset, but not surprised, to find that not only were almost ALL of the postings spam, but the ones that looked strikingly legitimate (and I'm talking "real person," excellent grammar legitimate) were often spam bait as well! It comes to show that spammers are getting pretty crafty in their techniques, both technically and socially.

Kind of sucks that it's almost impossible to get dates through Craigslist now, though.

I'm in the 12% (1)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | about 5 years ago | (#28707715)

Because I like to scambait. [419eater.com]

I've responded to spam (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 5 years ago | (#28707731)

By swearing and trying other spam filters mostly :)

Re:I've responded to spam (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 5 years ago | (#28707883)

that is what most IT people say...

Dearest Slashdot Reader: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707775)

Richard B. Cheney
No. 16 Kingsway Road
Ikoyi, Lagos
Nigeria.
Tel/Fax: 234-1-7747907

15th July, 2009.

First I must solicit your confidence in this transaction.This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. We are top officials of the Federal Government Contract Review Panel who are interested in importation of goods into our country with funds which are presently trapped in Nigeria. In order to commence this business we solicit your assistance to enable us RECIEVE the said trapped funds ABROAD.

The source of this fund is as follows : During the regime of our late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, the government officials set up companies and awarded themselves contracts which were grossly over-invoiced in various Ministries. The NEW CIVILIAN Government set up a Contract Review Panel (C.R.P) and we have identified a lot of inflated contract funds which are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria (C.B.N).

However, due to our position as civil servants and members of this panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names. I have therefore, been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues of the panel to look for an Overseas partner INTO whose ACCOUNT the sum of US$31,000,000.00 (Thirty one Million United States Dollars) WILL BE PAID BY TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER. Hence we are writing you this letter.We have agreed to share the money thus:

70% for us (the officials)

20% for the FOREIGN PARTNER (you)

10% to be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses.

It is from this 70% that we wish to commence the importation business.

Please note that this transaction is 100% safe and we hope THAT THE FUNDS CAN ARRIVE YOUR ACCOUNT in latest ten (10) banking days from the date of reciept of the following information by TEL/FAX: 234-1-7747907: A SUITABLE NAME AND BANK ACCOUNT INTO WHICH THE FUNDS CAN BE PAID. PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO RESPOND BY TELEPHONE OR FAX.

The above information will enable us write letters of claim and job description respectively. This way we will use your company's name to apply for payments and re-award the contract in your company name.We are looking forward to doing business with you and solicit your confidentiality in this transaction.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter using the above Tel/Fax number. I will bring you into the complete picture of this pending project when I have heard from you.

Yours Faithfully,
Formerly President-VICE Richard B. Cheney

Banned for replying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707787)

I responded once with an account on mail2world.com and then my account got suspended for supposedly sending spam.

Fail! 12% of those who respond to phone polls.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28707821)

The sample is skewed.

Responding to spam and responding to phone/internet polls are likely highly correlated traits, thus this sample is not of the general population, but of people who like responding to things.

How come nobody shoots spammers? (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 5 years ago | (#28707855)

You would figure with all the crazies on the internet (that we MUST protect our children from), that sooner or later, some hot-head with a gun and enough technical know-how to track down a spammer would start a spammer hunt and start mowing them down.

It's ONLY when we have a spammer-serial-killer that spammers will stop. Suing them doesn't work, there's a guy out there that makes a living just suing spammers in small claims court. Laws and even government crackdowns don't work. It will only be when spammers live in fear for their lives and the lives of their families that they will consider another line of work.

What's annoying is that they've gotten so adept at hiding their identities, they are probably the only people on the internet who don't get spam, furthermore, they are probably the least likely to be targeted by the govt-nannyism of the web.

All in the name of selling snake oil. PT Barnum wouldn't believe how true his law is or that it's grown by a factor of a 1000...

Joe Job (1)

Inda (580031) | about 5 years ago | (#28707863)

I can believe the replying part, but not the buying part.

I was Joe Jobbed some years back. It was the highlight of my internet year. Seriously, it gave me giggles for a few days. I had a few "fuck off" replies but most were of the "take me off your list" type. One was from the CEO of NTL, or more likely his PA. Giggles, like I said. I responded to each email explaining what a Joe Job was, but no one replied back after that.

LinkedIn sold my email address (5, Informative)

oman_ (147713) | about 5 years ago | (#28708081)

A friend of mine invited me to linkedin by using my personal email address and lo and behold I started getting a ton of spam relating to owning a business.

Never EVER EVER type your (or a friends') email address in to a website no matter how reputable they seem.
They will change their privacy policy the second they decide to make a buck.

And I hope the linkedin people go to hell because now that email address is about useless.

Article and summary are wrong (2, Interesting)

Phylarr (981216) | about 5 years ago | (#28708093)

If you RTFA, it says that 12% of people have clicked on a spam message. It then uses the phrase "responded to" to describe what those people did.

Clicking on an email is not the same as responding to it. I've clicked on spam emails. I've never responded to one.

Nothing to see here (0, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | about 5 years ago | (#28708099)

Would it be surprising to learn that some % of people buy shit from snail-mail spam too?

If so I've lost faith in humanity, or at least /.
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