Wed 4 Dec, 2002 04:53 pm
It gives some great explanations of why spammers do what they do:
Spam Killers (Business 2.0 Magazine)
Excellent article, jespah. Next they'll be charging us to not receive spam...
I know - amazing, eh? I love the fact that spam has gone from 8% of all mail to 38%! Makes one wonder whether the firewall/filter makers create some, just to make us all feel the need.
I have an account on Yahoo where I send all my subscriptions. Needless to say, I have spam coming out of my ears. What is good, is that they put all the junk into a "bulk mail" folder.
Something very strange is happening in the last few days. If some spam does happen to get into your inbox, you can send them a note saying "this is spam" and either block the sender, or report the message or both. For the last few days, when I am doing this, I have been getting a message that "this message is not blockable". At first I thought that I possibly tried to block something that was really a subscription that I didn't want. Then I tried to report some obvious spam, and got the same message. Anbody have this happen? Anybody know why? Is there a quota that I have gone over?
Yahoo has a quota - 100 addresses, I believe. I generally just report the offensive matter to them and don't add to my list, unless I've seen the same address more than once (rare).
I have Hotmail, and they limit the number of addresses/domains that you can block. (100? 200? not sure) So I've pretty much stopped trying to block specific sites/addresses. Hotmail does have filters so you can block messages with specific words in the titles - that's been working.
This stuff can be a nightmare. I lived with several roommates about five years ago. One of them intercepted my replacement credit card, which came at the beginning of the month. By the end of the month, i was demanding to know where the replacement was, and told it had been sent. I got a new one, with a new number, but the damage had been done. One or more of my roommates went on-line (i think i know which, because he was a "bondage freak" and this proved significant later) using my aol account and screen name AND password (i never write this stuff down anymore--i use passwords i know i'll remember). The charged a whole heap of porno web sites to my account. When i went to the bank, they refused to block the payments or to give me any information about those doing the billing. Once, when discussing my banking with an officer at the bank, she was called away while my account history was on the screen. I was able to get two telephone numbers with which i was eventually able to cancel two of these "subscriptions." All further efforts to cancel this stuff were met by stonewalling on the part of the bank. I eventually simply changed banks, and closed that account. Not only that, but i've had to change my password more than once, because, thanks to those idiots, porno sites had used hacking software to get at my password, and then used my aol e-mail account to send porno spam to literally hundreds of addresses.
One little goof can be awfully annoying, but one theft of this kind can be a major problem. At one time, i was paying over $160 each month for these porno site subscriptions, and when i called about two of them, they told me that i continued to use them--which means that the bastards who did this to me were still getting access. Oh yeah, and one was called "World of Domination" (one of the names i got from the computer at the bank), and i have no doubt that the s.o.b. Matt who lived at my house and always went on and on about bondage and domination was one of the culprits. No one can currently find him, as he apparently used to collect money for the utilities and not pay them. He currently owes the gas and electric companies several thousand dollars.
Oy vey! That's awful, Setanta.
And I think the bank treated you pretty shabbily - just kind of being judge, jury and executioner to you (probably based on what they surmised were your spending habits) and not even listening to you trying to get the madness to stop.
I think there's something of a connection among this kind of theft, spam and identity theft (where a criminal coopts everything, even your SSN) in that these are the nagging crimes that go along with advanced technology. What makes it easier for us to shop, chat and otherwise interact around the world also, alas, makes it far easier for others to impersonate and steal.