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Is it really doing any good?

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Like others, the growing tide of spam is getting more than old. I had stopped reporting to SpamCop a while back because I didn't get any sense it was doing any good.

But the spammers have recently started bugging the crud out of me again, and I started reporting again.

But I have to wonder, are we really having an effect on spammers? Or are we just pounding our heads against the wall? :huh:

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All 4 of my ISPs filter my e-mail for spam and viruses and move it to a trash folder I cannot download on my machine. I still log into the webmail where I can sieve through spam and forward it to spamcop for reporting. It deffinitely makes a difference in my case. I also noted that for the most part the spam is already in SCBL by the time I report it. If anything it confirms that the spam-spew affects other reporters, not just me.

Edited by dra007

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If you notice, another topic is about how ISPs are taking measures to stop spam from leaving their networks. Since reporting first began, there have been many changes on how whitehat internet ISPs, businesses, and newsletter publishers operate so that regular email can work and spam be stopped.

Eventually, people who want to use email for normal, polite use will have options to do so without dealing with spam in their inboxes. Blocklists may reject a lot of spam at the server level and there will still be the need for filtering after acceptance, because in spite of years of enforcement, Nigerian con letters are still mailed and so will those and other con emails be emailed probably no matter what is done to stop them.

It is already controllable for someone who is brandnew to the internet if they follow all the good practices.

The more people who realize that blocklists are the most effective way to handle spam, the quicker there will be an internet with good neighborhoods. Possibly even the bad neighborhoods will die a natural death after a while.

It is similar to working against pollution - particularly litter. Just picking up one's yard makes a difference. Picking up trash on a walk does too. Or you can 'adopt a highway' Or you can contribute to education on why litter is bad and how to prevent it. There are some places where litter is hardly noticeable and others where it is all you notice (and one doesn't have to go where it is noticeable).

Miss Betsy

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It would be really nice to have some measure of feedback on how all the dozens of reports I send in each day actually produce some action. At times it seems they just go into a black hole.....

I have also noticed a gradual increase in the number of 'bounced' SPAMs over the last few weeks. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just a coincidence? Are spammers getting even more devious?

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If you are a paid reported, you can turn on an option to receive all replies rather than filtering out the robot ones. At least then you would know at least they made it to the ISP.

I have not seen many "bounced spams" so I have not seen an increase. Perhaps I have been lucky to stay off the From filed of their spams.

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If you are a paid reported, you can turn on an option to receive all replies rather than filtering out the robot ones. At least then you would know at least they made it to the ISP.

A lot of the larger ISPs do not send auto reports to spamcop reports so that's not a reliable indicator either.

'Bounces' like spam seem to go in waves for no particular reason.

The main purpose in reporting spam is to keep that IP address on the bl for as long as possible. Sometimes you may have a jump on someone else and put a spam over the limit. Again, it is more trouble than it is worth to check up on that.

Some open proxies or trojanized machines may be warned and actually be fixed.

But a lot of the satisfaction of spam reporting is feeling as though you are contributing. It is best to have fairly good filters so that on the days when you have other things to do, you can ignore the spam (and JHD for the whole folder).

The more people who know that there is something that can be done, the more effective reporting will be.

Miss Betsy

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For all those out there who have never seen an ISP reply:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Thank you for bringing a 419 abuser to our attention.  We have tracked the user down and have flagged the mailbox for closure and rendered the account unusable.

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention and for helping us to stamp out these spammers.

Regards,

Tiscali AUP Team

abuse[at]uk.tiscali.com

Here's one from a long time ago from abuse[at]online.cq.cn

Your information was greatly appreciated! We¡¯ve started tackling this problem, and what¡¯s more we solicit for your further concern. For any question, please feel free to contact us.

                                                 

Many Thanks

Miss Betsy

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I always report 419 scams manually as spamcop won't pick up on the inbody response address for instance and I find that, with some noticeable exceptions, I usually get a sensible response and occasionally a thank you from the abuse dept concerned.

With normal spam I just hope that my contributions help to keep the offending domains on the BL and if that's the case I'm happy to do it....

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Given the amount of spam I report, I tend to not fill in the 'notes' box, especially the ones from China, Korea and S. America. The only time I do fill it in is to report attempted frauds, such as '419', Phishing and Lotto scams. Does anyone believe a report is taken more seriously if it is?

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If anyone has a definitive answer to this, please let me know. I am wondering whether or not Spamcop is truly doing us any good. I ask this only because I personally still get overloaded with spam on a daily basis and I certainly notice that many of the emails are repeats of things I have already reported to Spamcop. This whole reporting process is extremely tiring. I wonder if I should continue to bother. I hope someone steps forward and tells me that they know unequivocally that our reports are taken seriously by the service providers to whom we send them and spam is no longer being sent from many of the places we have reported.

Why is it that we still receive spam from many of the same sources even after we have reported that spam.

Does anyone else feel that this whole thing might be a total waste of our time?

Please know that I am not trying to be critical. I am asking the questions because I don't know the answers. But I am also tired to spending so much of every day going through the reporting process. It never seems to let up.

Thanks

Trisha

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It depends on the size of the ISP or backbone.

A provider like Sprint has millions of emailers hanging on their coat tails. If they shut down 1000 spammers a day, there's a 1001 right behind them.

So you'll continue to get spam through sprint no matter how diligent they are. As long as the spammers stay one step ahead and are prolific it's more akin to dampening the flames than extinguishing them.

It's like pulling weeds in your yard. For every one you pull two may sprout back but if you don't keep pulling you'll only have weeds.

Some ISP's are all weedy because they tolerate weeds.

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And so there's no misunderstanding again, trisha506 was notified that this last post was merged into a previous Topic dealing with the same thoughts.

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Hello to everyone,

I am new to this forum and a paid member of SpamCop.

I have been reporting spam now for over 6 months.

I have to question if SpamCop really helps reduce spam.

It seems I am getting more spam today then I was when I first signed up with SpamCop. I do not plan on renewing my subscription unless someone can tell me that it's all worth it. Reporting spam does take time away from my day and I don't mind as long as I know that I am doing some good in the fight against spam.

I have noticed that at least 70% of my spam is coming from chinanet.net and it just keeps coming. Reporting it does not seem to stop. I get on an average of 150 to 200 spam emails per week.

Can anyone out there in SpamCop land tell me if this is all worth the effort.

Thanks

Spike

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Well I know there are thousands of email administrators that incorporate the Spamcop blocklist on their servers and appreciate your effort in reporting. So if you take that a little farther down the line that leaves countless users who appreciate what you are doing.

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Spike143 post was merged into thus existing Topic. User PM'd with notice of movement.

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Hello to everyone,

I am new to this forum and a paid member of SpamCop.

I have been reporting spam now for over 6 months.

I have to question if SpamCop really helps reduce spam.

It seems I am getting more spam today then I was when I first signed up with SpamCop.  I do not plan on renewing my subscription unless someone can tell me that it's all worth it.  Reporting spam does take time away from my day and I don't mind as long as I know that I am doing some good in the fight against spam.

I have noticed that at least 70% of my spam is coming from chinanet.net and it just keeps coming. Reporting it does not seem to stop.  I get on an average of 150 to 200 spam emails per week.

Can anyone out there in SpamCop land tell me if this is all worth the effort.

Thanks

Spike

18721[/snapback]

Besides reporting, what are you doing to reduce the spam getting into your inbox?

To repeat, reporting alone will have absolutely no benefit in reducing the spam that you receive. It does help those who use the SpamCopBl. So the answer is YES it does help a lot to report spam. But if you want to experience the benifits of reporting you have to make use of filtering/blocking.

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I submitted this thread because I am beginning to have doubts. I am a end user consumer as opposed to a commercial (business user), although many of the problems are mutual. I use several ISPs and mail accounts, although my primary one is a major sized general ISP.

I now spend at least an hour each day forwarding spam to SPAMCop, from several accounts I have been doing this for several months. I cannot discern any reduction in the amount of spam, even though I am unable to actually log the activity.

I do not know of a better alternative than SpamCop for a user like me, but I would be interested in others experiences. I suspect filtering is just a cosmetic, not reducing Internet traffic. Perhaps some combination of methods would improve my experience. I think Email is the greatest addition to human communication this century, but it seems to me that it is being perverted.

Objective evaluation of spam fighting results may be very difficult if not impossible to attain. I sure would like to hear about others efforts.

Thanks

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Your experience is on the mark and shared by others including myself. Reporting spam to SC does not reduce spam, period. I do see fluctuations in spam amount but it eventually picks up at an even more aggressive rate. So I am falling in the same quandry as you myself. To what purpose am I reporting spams on a daily basis if none of my ISPs use the SC block list? Bottom line is that once your name (e-mail ID) has got on a spammer list it will perpetuate like a virus. The only solution is to drop that ID altogether, a solution that is not teneble for people like myself who use that ID for publication in the public domain.

Yours and my only hope is that at least some of our reporting results in correcting problems like hijacked machines by responsible ISPs. Unfortunately spammers also use ISPs that take no action in response to our reports. Those constitute the majority of spam I get after reporting diligently for one year.

So once again, reporting may help other people that use the lists to block spam. That knowledge may in the end be the the only satisfaction you may get from reporting.

Edited by dra007

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Merged ressr's post into an exising discussion .. advised of move/merge via PM ...

Quick note, there are other third-party applications that can be used "at home" that also have the capability of using various BL's, to include SpamCop's ... Picking up, installing, and using one of those tools will also benefit from "your" feeding of the SpamCopDNSBL, which would in turn better your results ....

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As dra007 has stated, unless you are using the SCBL, you are not going to see any direct benefit from reporting you spam.

Some people (like myself) started here just for the good of the fight. I still do so for my work account (reduced recently to only my personal account by workload) but changed over to a paid email account for my personal email, which allows me to see at most 2 spam/day in my inbox and eases my reporting of everything else.

I am also starting to use that account as my main email address as my current forwarding address has become too problematic.

Also, be careful when preparing to report spam that you are not triggering any of the html code in many of the spams. That code seems to be letting the spammers know which accounts are being viewed as easily as clicking the false remove me pages.

Please, only report what you have time for and I thank you for your submissions to date. They have helped keep some spam from my inbox.

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Your experience is on the mark and shared by others including myself. Reporting spam to SC does not reduce spam, period. I do see fluctuations in spam amount but it eventually picks up at an even more aggressive rate. So I am falling in the same quandry as you myself. To what purpose am I reporting spams on a daily basis if none of my ISPs use the SC block list? Bottom line is that once your name (e-mail ID) has got on a spammer list it will perpetuate like a virus. The only solution is to drop that ID altogether, a solution that is not teneble for people like myself who use that ID for publication in the public domain.

Yours and my only hope is that at least some of our reporting results in correcting problems like hijacked machines by responsible ISPs. Unfortunately spammers also use  ISPs that take no action in response to our reports. Those constitute the majority of spam I get after reporting diligently for one year.

So once again, reporting may help other people that use the lists to block spam. That knowledge may in the end be the the only satisfaction you may get from reporting.

21361[/snapback]

If it is true that the benefit to others is the only one we can see, and I am not sure that is measurable, some of us sure are altruistic. My original post was Titled, "Are we winning? and I think the answer is becoming obvious. If our efforts improve the value of SCBL, then that is at least tangible, if commercial. If you are following the internet wide initiatives for the next generation of Email, that may be our only hope. I am discouraged.

RES

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So we've reached the conclusion that reporting to SC doesn't stop spam. Congratulations, we can add that to the list of EVERY other method also. I guess you folks are sweating this because unlike inbox filters, reporting actually takes time and effort. Well here is a random thought.....

Even if some of you are not fortunate enough to be able to put blocklists in front of your accounts, you may be benefiting indirectly along with those of us that CAN use the blocklists.

See if this makes sense:

1. I put blocklists on my server and all my users get mail bounced from spammers because of the lists (and because of your hard work).

2. Considering all my users and all my spam, that's about 500 pieces of junk per day that are never seen (actually never even delivered).

3. Spammers exist because one in 10,000 people is a moron and actually responds to the spam.

4. That moron never sees the spam because I blocked it.

5. That blocking is done on thousands of servers all over the world.

6. The spammer doesn't make money because the blocklists are working. And they do work. Ask osirusoft.

7. Spammers decide it isn't worth their trouble, they quit spamming and die alone and impotent.

O.k. so it's a bit optimistic. But any good we do is better than nothing. Thank you folks.

I think some of the inbox filters can use blacklists too. Don't they? So although you wouldn't be able to stop them before they got to your server, you can at least keep them out of your inbox.

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If it is true that the benefit to others is the only one we can see, and I am not sure that is measurable, some of us sure are altruistic.

I rarely use the parser these days outside of examining other people's submittals for analysis. Even the benefit of having a free e-mail account thrown my way hasn't happened. My budget has never allowed the opportunity to purchase anything beyond the free-reporting status. Yet, here I am, all these years later, still volunteering my time.

My original post was Titled, "Are we winning? and I think the answer is becoming obvious.

You must pick your goals and define your terms. It's actually very apparent that the SpamCop tool-set does have some impact, based on all the work going on to try to circumvent the SpamCop parser. Years back, a spammer could make his/her meal-ticket with just a million e-mails .. now you see stories of needing to send out 10's of millions to get around all the filters, blocks, and such placed in the attempt to stop the spew.

If our efforts improve the value of SCBL, then that is at least tangible, if commercial.

Do you have a cite to explain that extra bit of comment?

If you are following the internet wide initiatives for the next generation of Email, that may be our only hope. I am discouraged.

"internet wide" ..???? surely you jest. There are a number of initiatives all over the place. Agreement, standardization, and "internet wide" adoption ..???? years away at best. SPF, Yshoo's Domain keys, Microsoft's plan to go with the open stuff, then trying to patent their version, putting a basic halt to that whole game plan ... and even with all that, there are still prople putting Exchange servers on-line every day and finding that even the latest software releases aren't secure .... Maybe you've been reading too many press releases of late?

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