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spammer
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The Spammer
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The Spammer

I Hate SPAM

I am one of those people who absolutely detest SPAM. Spammers are unscrupulous, dishonest people too dumb to use proper Internet Marketing techniques. For me, annoyance turned to disgust when a genealogy forum I created became inundated daily with spammers, including porn. Every day, I removed the spam only to have it show up the next day. Finally, I tracked it down to a company called SEO Profiler who spread their client’s garbage wherever they could over the internet. I had to threaten them with a lawsuit before they would stop.

The laws that finally came into effect regarding spamming saw a rise in the hijacking of someone’s email address so that they could use that email address and not be subject to the law. Many of us have had to change our email address due to this.

How do spammers get our email address?

There are email address spiders that search the web and harvest a list of victim's email addresses that they find in various places. Another method is to send out “tribute” and “inspirational” emails. “If you respect our troops”, “if you love Jesus”, “if you are my friend”, “if you hate bullies”, etc., send this on or send it back to me to show you care.

How to prevent your email address being hijacked

I know that pretty well every one of you have friends or loved ones that are simply not very internet savvy. If you send some of these folks jokes or cool things to watch, there is a good chance that they will forward your email to others. That is fine but they often simply click on the forward and send it on to their friends, leaving your email address showing. It is just a matter of time before your email will become hijacked and thousands of people will be receiving spam emails, supposedly from you.

I try my best to prevent this in these ways.

First, I go over the email I intend to forward, making sure that any email address showing is deleted.

Secondly, I use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) method to select recipients. That creates a single address of undisclosedrecipients@........com instead of individual personal email addresses. There is nothing to harvest.

Lastly, I put the following as an automatic signature on each email.

Thank you for deleting my email address & personal history before you forward it.

Thank you for using BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) instead of "To" and "CC" when sending group e-mails. This helps prevent SPAM & hackers.

Example of a real Spammer

I received a SPAM this email morning. The creep used my friend's email address to disseminate it and it was just a single link to a "Raspberry Drops" SPAM web site. The spammer had used a copy of the Fox News website to try to fool people into thinking they had published the article. This incredibly intelligent person left the O out of the web address to pretend it is from Fox. When you go down the page and try to leave a comment, of course, it does not work and more than the raspberry drops would. Also, each of the links at the top go to a "buy my raspberry crap" page.

Not long ago, I switched to Gmail and found it to be very good at detecting and preventing SPAM. If a SPAM email does get through, click on the “mark as SPAM” and everyone else on Gmail will be protected in the future from this same email.

There is a never ending list of trolls, thieves and unscrupulous people out there on the web. So, protect yourself and others as much as you can.


Street Talk

Thanks for the advice Dave!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hi there, thanks for this. Had a few things happen with my Twitter address being hijacked more than once as well. As you say very annoying, Regards Keith

Reply
  about 8 years ago

You are welcome and regards, Keith

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I am hoping the Akismet plugin takes care of most of that problem.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I think I tried Akismet for Wordpress quite a while back. Been so long I can't remember. I could have had each visitor create a profile and be accepted but I was so annoyed with the whole thing that I shut the genealogy forum down and never restarted it. For part of my genealogy, I have two Facebook closed groups referencing the family. One of them is about the family ancestors that were executed for witchcraft. (at least ten) My great-grandmother (x7) was the last person in the village of Kleinheubach, Germany to be accused. After torture, she was in jail awaiting execution but escaped. He mother and brother were executed that same day. Sorry to make the story so long. I will be doing an article on it soon. It is a true story. I wrote a book on it called Blood of the Witches. (the Blood being the descendants)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

What an amazing family history! How did your book do and did you start writing it after you joined WA?

  
  about 8 years ago

I wrote two books on the family history, Lewis. The first one was a semi-fiction about my great grandmother. She is the most well known. I sold about 1,500 without advertising. I didn't think there would be much interest but many people, including non-family members, enjoy the book "The Last Heretic". My wife and I traveled to Germany last year and I did an in depth book which I wrote as a non-fiction. I even went to the execution site. They were not burned at the stake but instead, they were beheaded and their bodies burned to ashes. There is a memorial there to the victims. It was extremely creepy. There were three of us descendants and we were happy to leave that spot. My non-fiction "Blood of the Witches" has not sold as well. People still want The Last Heretic as it was more well written. I could let my imagination run wild with that one. Pretty hard to make a factual book readable. I even wrote about the Erbach dukes who were responsible for the deaths. They wiped out whole generations of my family and had not my great grandmother Anna Maria Ludwig already had her children, I would not be here today.

  
  about 8 years ago
William6  

I had my e-mail address stolen lst year...It took a couple of days to destroy everything...Yeah, I was upset. Just recently I noticed the same thing happening to another address..Time for another lock out I suppose before it gets to be too late.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Extremely annoying, isn't it! I rarely get that annoyed but the kind of inconsideration these people show riles me.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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