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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Handling Spam: Responding by Richard Lowe Most s...

Posted: 2005-07-18T00:39:08Z


Handling Spam: Responding by Richard Lowe

Most spam messages will include a link at the bottom which states something
like "to remove yourself from the list click here ...". On the surface this
seems innocent enough, but if you do respond you are potentially increasing
the amount of spam that you receive by many times.

Wait a minute. You mean you ask to be removed and instead not only are you
not removed but you will get more spam than ever? How can that be so?
To understand why you must first understand how spamming works. You see,
spammers operate by getting zillions and zillions of email addresses however
they can.

Sometimes they purchase CD collections of "15 million clean email addresses"
or "5 million email addresses" for some small amount of money. I've seen
these collections as cheap as $9.95 (one wonders how clean these collections

Another common tactic is to use spiders to scan thousands of web pages for
email addresses. These addresses are then added to a database which is then
sold or used.

And sometimes the spammers just pick a domain and send their spam to a
variety of possible email addresses at that domain. They just pick a domain
and use a dictionary of names and send every one of those names to the
domain. Those that generate a bounced (error) message are deleted from the

So you see, the spammer begins with a list of email addresses which are not
validated. They are simply known to not have returned a bounce message (an
error indicating an email account did not exist). However, what is not known
is that a human being is actually reading the mail from that mailbox.

The problem with responding is that you validate for the spammer that a
human exists at that email address. This increases the value of your email
address by many times. A smart spammer can actually sell these verified
addresses to collections of "clean" lists.

Of course if you actually buy something from the spammer you've increased
the value of your email address to astronomical levels. In this case, you
may find yourself added to countless "sucker" lists, receiving countless
offers from the most obscure places.
About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This
website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
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