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[Resolved] I'm confused ?!? - What did I just pay for?


Jon Lund Rasmussen
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Hi, I've been reading several of the 'How to...' threads and been trying to figure out how this works. I signed up at the main site and paid for a test account, and I expected after login, to be able to setup my mail or something like that. Alright, so I start looking around and find this tutorial: http://mail.spamcop.net/setup/login.php. Here it says I need to login with my SpamCop account which was created during signup. (?) - I didn't get any information about a SpamCop account when I signed up... so what did I pay for?

Sorry, this is not a complaint, I'm just confused and it doesn't seem clear to me what is going on. To me some illustration of how the system works would be a big help. I mean, I get the point of sending my spam mail to the mail given after login, but I don't see how this prevents me for getting them again. And yes, somehow SpamCop must stand between my domain and my email client, so should I then forward everything directly from my domain to SpamCop and then use my email client to get the mail from SpamCop.

It's a little confusing. Sorry!

Edited by Jon Lund Rasmussen
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Hi, I've been reading several of the 'How to...' threads and been trying to figure out how this works. I signed up at the main site and paid for a test account

Assumption has to be made that you are talking about a premium/fuel type of a Reporting Account.

SpamCop Account Types

SpamCop Reporting Accounts

Why are there so many different account names/passwords needed?

and I expected after login, to be able to setup my mail or something like that.

As seen in the referenced links, a SpamCop.net e-mail account is something different. On the other hand, perhaps you are trying to talk about your use of the SpamCopDNSBL??????

Alright, so I start looking around and find this tutorial: http://mail.spamcop.net/setup/login.php. Here it says I need to login with my SpamCop account which was created during signup. (?) - I didn't get any information about a SpamCop account when I signed up... so what did I pay for?

The URL you offer is dealing with setting up a SpamCop.net e-mail account. But I'll again assume that you signed up for a Reporting Account .... as there is no 'trial' signup offered for an e-mail account. I have no idea how you signed up for anything and did not receive anything about your 'new' account .... the usual questions/suggestions would apply here, things like checking the Bulk/Junk folders of whatevef e-mail account you Registered, checking that you don't have those folders configured to automaticly/immediately delete 'spam' e-mail ....

Sorry, this is not a complaint, I'm just confused and it doesn't seem clear to me what is going on. To me some illustration of how the system works would be a big help. I mean, I get the point of sending my spam mail to the mail given after login, but I don't see how this prevents me for getting them again. And yes, somehow SpamCop must stand between my domain and my email client, so should I then forward everything directly from my domain to SpamCop and then use my email client to get the mail from SpamCop.

What is SpamCop.net?

There is the Original/Official FAQ at the www.spamcop.net page under the Help link.

There is the single-page-access-expanded SpamCop FAQversion provided via links at the top of this page.

There is the Wiki, again links provided at the top of this page.

Just noting that all this data and more was available before you spent any money, registered to post here, etc.

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It's a little confusing. Sorry!
I can well understand. As Wazoo points out, there are several ways to "join" SpamCop, and at least a couple of those involve payment. So, it is hard to tell from your post just what you let yourself in for.

If Wazoo's links don't help, perhaps you might post again and give us some vital facts: what you clicked on at the site, what you paid (or agreed to pay), where you paid it (SpamCop.net hopefully, and not SpamCop.com or something else) and whether at any point in the process you selected a user ID, visited the webmail site, etc.

Also, remember what it says at the top of this page, that this is a user-to-user forum, you are not necessarily speaking to SpamCop employees (although you may be sometimes).

-- rick

Edited by rconner
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url=http://mail.spamcop.net/setup/login.php]http://mail.spamcop.net/setup/login.php[/url]. Here it says I need to login with my SpamCop account which was created during signup. (?) - I didn't get any information about a SpamCop account when I signed up... so what did I pay for?

http://mail.spamcop.net/setup/login.php

go there and click the email link and ask for your SpamCop login email address (Sounds like you never used correct contact information)

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Spamcop doesn't prevent you from getting spam. The spamcop blocklist is a filter for current spam runs. (There is no way to prevent spam from being sent to you. You can only filter it out using various types of filters. a DNSBL is a filter that looks at the IP address of the sending server and decides whether to return the email to that server or accept it, but tag it as spam. DNSBL filters can also be used by some after-acceptance filtering programs - Mailwasher and the spamcop email account being the only two I know about. Usually after acceptance, filtering programs scan email for content - tagging all email that has Viagra or its many variations as spam, for instance, and putting them in a 'Junk' or 'Bulk' folder or, for a spamcop email account, the Held Mail folder)

If you get a spamcop email account, you can filter with several different filters so that your inbox has few, if any, spam.

You can also report the spam that has been held (or caught by your combination of filters) from a spamcop email account. This reporting feeds the spamcop blocklist. Some people only report the few spam that are not caught by a filter.

The reports go to the abuse desk of the IP address where the spam comes from. Once in a while, it alerts a server administrator who cares to a problem and h/she corrects it.

You can also use filters to catch spam on your email account or domain and forward them via a Spamcop reporting account (not the same as an Spamcop email account). Unless you also use the spamcop blocklist to filter incoming spam, it doesn't do you much good, but helps those who do use the spamcop blocklist.

Or, if you administer your own email server, you can use the spamcop blocklist at the server level to reject or tag spam. There are also ISP spamcop accounts, but since I am not a server admin, I don't know very much about them. Most discussions about those accounts go 'way over my head.

Hope this helps you find your way through the FAQ.

Miss Betsy

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Hey all! - let me start out by saying I'm not here to say you don't offer the right information or it is not available to the users or anything, I was just curious because I thought there was only one type of account. And YES, it's my own fault that I didn't read all this before signing up, I think I was just eager to get started ;) - that's how it is sometimes.

The account I signed up for is a reporting account - I know that now. And it was the other one I needed.

So thanks all of you for the information - and again, I'm not here to talk dirty about SpamCop, I just jumped into it too fast :)

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That's one of my favorite sayings, "If all else fails, read the manual!"

I hope you are on your way now! If you need more help, come back. Nobody gets annoyed at being asked questions, though Wazoo gets a little testy if there is not enough information. Wazoo will tell you that an answer can be found in the FAQ, but it all depends on the time available and the mood of other posters whether they will point you to it or not. At least, if Wazoo tells you it's there, there's hope! And, if you pay attention, you will learn a lot about spam and email and filters from Wazoo.

Miss Betsy

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Actually figured out that it would be better paying for an account to report spam
Hi, Jon,

...Please see my post in forum thread "SMTP IP address changes."

as opposed to just using an account to get mails without spam. I mean, if we can remove those spammers' accounts we might not get the mails the next day.
...You may be overestimating the advantages of SpamCop reporting. Please see Wazoo's reply in forum thread "Seems like more spam now" (which can also be found by clicking on the link labeled "Why did my spam load increase after I started Reporting?" in the SpamCop FAQ [see link near top left of each SpamCop Forum page]).
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Actually figured out that it would be better paying for an account to report spam as opposed to just using an account to get mails without spam.

I'm not arguing about your 'figuring' but am curious .. perhaps it's just the semantics involved with the words used. Depending on your spam-load and Reporting habits, the 'premium/fuel' type account can and has surprised some folks with the 'expense' involved.

The alternative many folks went to is the flat-rate e-mail account. What I seem to be missing in your description is that the e-mail account comes with a 'free' Reporting account. This is data found in (at least most) of the reference links I provided earlier. Can you specify which links you looked at that did not include this bit of information about a SpamCop.net e-mail account?

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I don't see how you come to the conclusion that Wazoo is taking this personally.

There isn't a /free/ email account. There is an email account that costs $30 per year. There are /free/ reporting accounts and /paid/ reporting accounts. The email account includes an unlimited reporting account.

What Wazoo was telling you is that if you submit spam via a paid reporting account and you have a lot of spam, your 'fuel' is used up fairly quickly. Of course, if you submit via a 'free' account, there is no cost. A lot of people find it more convenient to pay the $30 per year and report via their spamcop email account. In addition, you get the benefit of the spamcop blocking list to filter spam into a Held mail folder which can then be reported easily. At one time, when Julian Haight was running spamcop, the 'price' was advertised as a 'donation' since he was too busy figuring out the parsing code to pay any attention to how to bill. Now that Cisco owns spamcop reporting, I don't suppose they need the donations. The spamcop email is owned and operated by JT and the only connection with spamcop reporting is that there is an agreement that the spamcop email system gets unlimited reporting and JT maintains the servers for this forum and the newsgroup.

The main point is that if you are interested in fighting spam, there is a lot more to it than just using spamcop to report. If you are interested in reducing your spamload, reporting is not going to make a difference. If you are interested in being part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, then you will make an effort to understand how email works, how spammers exploit it, and how spam can be prevented from making email useless.

Wazoo is not attacking you, however he is a first-rate troubleshooter and troubleshooters always focus on the details. It was understandable that you were excited and didn't pay attention to the details when you first signed up. I will often do the same sort of thing. I also find it very difficult to find what I want to know in any FAQ (not just spamcop's). However, when I was a newbie, I didn't disdain Wazoo's questions and I learned a lot - as well as getting some problems fixed even though, being impatient, I often thought he was explaining much more than I wanted to know and fixating on minor details - that, like you, I hadn't paid attention to.

However, unless you are willing to pay attention to details, you may be just as, or perhaps even more, effective by simply JDHing ('just hit delete'). If you are always as careless about details, then sooner or later you will report something that shouldn't be reported which can get your account canceled. Many legitimate server admins find that the only spamcop reports they get are from reporters who aren't careful. That lessens the value of the spamcop blocklist in their eyes.

IMHO, blocking at the server level is the only way to reduce spam. Content filters should only be used to tag email and filter it to special folders. The reason that I prefer blocking at the server level is that, if it is legitimate email, the sender will hear about it. The *sending* end is the only place that spam can be stopped. If server admins were brave enough to block Comcast, a big dent would be put in the amount of spam sent from compromised computers, for instance.

To repeat, there is no free email account. There are two types of reporting only accounts - free and paid. If you have an email account, you get unlimited reporting. spam reporting will not lessen the amount of spam sent in the short term and will definitely not reduce the amount of spam sent to you. The main use for reporting at the present time is to feed the spamcop blocklist which is used by the spamcop email system and server admins to filter out spam. Very infrequently, it alerts a server admin to a compromised computer on his network or some other way that spam is getting through. There are other reporting systems - Complainerator sends reports to registrars; Knujon allegedly gets spamvertized websites shut down.

Miss Betsy

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