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Three n00b questions


lnesseler
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1. Is it correct to assume that when I am spammed, for example, for something at the Olive Garden, match.com, or Groupon, that the named companies deliberately employ spammers as one of their marketing tools? How do these companies find spammers? How much does it cost them? Is there anyway attack spam by attacking the companies that hire the spammers? Are their dealings with spammers legal?

2. At least twice a day I report every spam I get. Although I use a mail program, I also log onto TWC's webmail page and report the ones identified as spam by TWC, then report them to TWC as well. Most of the spam from eastern Europe that passed through a "Brent Robbins" seems to have disappeared, at least for now. Did we do that? Is there a way to find out the consequences that can be specifically attributed to our reporting? The reason I ask is that, day after day, I report spam that passes through afrinic, usually with an email address that ends in grassbuffalo.info. Can I conclude that these guys can simply ignore spamcop if they choose to? I mean, is there any enforcement capability or is everything voluntary? There's something obvious here I don't understand.

3. Why does most spam have three images? My mail program doesn't load them unless I command it to, so it is easy to see that there are generally three.

Thanks for any enlightenment you can afford me.

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Hi, lnesseler, welcome!

1. Is it correct to assume that when I am spammed, for example, for something at the Olive Garden, match.com, or Groupon, that the named companies deliberately employ spammers as one of their marketing tools?

<snip>

...IMHO, no, unless you can confirm with reasonable certainty that the companies actually originated the contact and that you did not provide them your contact information and that the spammer is not misrepresenting their relationship with the company.
Most of the spam from eastern Europe that passed through a "Brent Robbins" seems to have disappeared, at least for now. Did we do that? Is there a way to find out the consequences that can be specifically attributed to our reporting?

<snip>

...As far as I am aware, there is no way to know other than by having someone knowledgeable tell you (they probably won't).
Can I conclude that these guys can simply ignore spamcop if they choose to? I mean, is there any enforcement capability or is everything voluntary?

<snip>

...SpamCop has no authority at all; as with most of the internet, everything is voluntary.
3. Why does most spam have three images?

<snip>

...IMHO, this is of little consequence, it is simply the way the spammers targeting you have chosen to construct their spam. It's possible that the spammer(s) feel(s) that images are harder to identify as spam than pure text.
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Hi, lnesseler, welcome!...IMHO, no, unless you can confirm with reasonable certainty that the companies actually originated the contact and that you did not provide them your contact information and that the spammer is not misrepresenting their relationship with the company

OK, thanks for the info. I would like a clarification on this point. If Olive Garden, match.com, Groupon, etc., don't pay the spammers, who does? How do they get their money?

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1. Is it correct to assume that when I am spammed, for example, for something at the Olive Garden, match.com, or Groupon, that the named companies deliberately employ spammers as one of their marketing tools? How do these companies find spammers? How much does it cost them? Is there anyway attack spam by attacking the companies that hire the spammers? Are their dealings with spammers legal?
I almost never ever see "name" brand spam outside of the usual Viagra. I have never ever seen spam posing as, or pretending to be, any of the brands you mention. I know there was awhile many years ago when DirectTV had "affiliates" spamming.

3. Why does most spam have three images?
Most of the spam I receive doesn't have images.

If Olive Garden, match.com, Groupon, etc., don't pay the spammers, who does? How do they get their money?
There is no blanket answer to this. There is a great variety of ways to separate a fool and his money.

If anything can be gleaned from this exchange, it's that everyone's spam is different.

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I don't think all or even most of the spam I get are scams, which underscores the point that everyones spam is different. If I go through the process of getting a coupon for a sandwich, for example, it does seem to be a legitimate coupon.

I support trying to stop spam after it has entered the Internet, but that's a lot like trying to shut down a water hose at its business end—it would in theory be a lot easier to shut it off at the spigot. That means, figuring out how the money works and pushing back at the funders. I have to believe that Olive Garden, match.com, and Groupon (which currently has offered an IPO), who are the main real beneficiaries of much of the spam I get, are supplying the cash. I wonder if they contract with the spammers directly or through marketing firms. If they are supporting spam indirectly through a marketing firm, would their spam surprise them? Might they be responsive to complaints? Suppose I collected all of the spam with clear beneficiaries for a week or two, then mailed it to an executive at the benefiting company, with a complaint—what would happen?

What if, for that spam clearly benefiting real companies, we ALL tried this tactic?

I'm going to try it.

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OK, thanks for the info. I would like a clarification on this point. If Olive Garden, match.com, Groupon, etc., don't pay the spammers, who does? How do they get their money?

I, lke others, would like to see just what your spam actually looks like. I have never received anything that quite compares to your description (and 'sources')

If they are supporting spam indirectly through a marketing firm, would their spam surprise them? Might they be responsive to complaints? Suppose I collected all of the spam with clear beneficiaries for a week or two, then mailed it to an executive at the benefiting company, with a complaint—what would happen?

I recall having a discussion with an alleged legal representativew for DirectTV years ago. Not sure if it's documented 'here' but U'm furssing that a Reply or two made into a Public Post.

As far as notifying others, once again repeating the years ago decription, there was a time when some folks went nuts with coming up with lists of 'folks that would be concerned" with the spam spew, Unfortunately, this was also seen as a bit of spamming, Reports going to non-directly-associatd folks like secrataries, so Julian placed limits on the "other target addresses" line to prevent this kind of abuse of the SpamCop.net {arsing & Reporting system. Yes, it's possible that you might find a sympathetic ear, but it's also likely that you'll be hasseling someone that either knows exactly what's going on or the exact opposite, someone that doesn't have a clue or any power over the situation.

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I, lke others, would like to saee just what your spam actually looks like. I have never received anything that quite compares to your description (and 'sources')

I recall having a discussion with an alleged legal representativew for DirectTV years ago. Not sure if it's documented 'here' but U'm furssing that a Reply or two made into a Public Post.

As far as notifying others, once again repeating the years ago decription, there was a time when some folks went nuts with coming up with lists of 'folks that would be concerned" with the spam spew, Unfortunately, this was also seen as a bit of spamming, Reports going to non-directly-associatd folks like secrataries, so Julian placed limits on the "other target addresses" line to prevent this kind of abuse of the SpamCop.net {arsing & Reporting system. Yes, it's possible that you might find a sympathetic ear, but it's also likely that you'll be hasseling someone that either knows exactly what's going on or the exact opposite, someone that doesn't have a clue or any power over the situation.

I was thinking of writing to the Director of Marketing for Groupon, and executives of other companies I can identify. I wouldn't plan to hassle them, and they would certainly know the situation and have power over it. I wouldn't use email for this purpose. I don't see any benefit to including them in the SC reports.

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I was thinking of writing to the Director of Marketing for Groupon, and executives of other companies I can identify. I wouldn't plan to hassle them, and they would certainly know the situation and have power over it. I wouldn't use email for this purpose. I don't see any benefit to including them in the SC reports.
...Seems a fairly reasonable approach. If nothing else, were I an executive of Groupon, I'd be very concerned that this type of activity might damage my reputation among people not as careful and considerate as you and might simply assume I were responsible for spamming them. Good luck and please let us know what kind of response you get. :) <g>
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