TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Sam Spade

Re: Sam Spade

William Warren (
Thu, 17 Aug 2006 13:21:01 -0400

William Warren wrote:

> William Warren wrote:

>> Don't do it, Pat! If you do, the terrorists have won!

>> William Warren

>> (Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Why would you say something like that?
>> The 'terrorists' won long ago, when you started asking people to
>> 'filter noise from your address' and when readers started using
>> Spam Assassin and when mailing list maintainers started requiring
>> their readers to jump through hoops to get on or off mailing lists.
>> Why is a simple minded filter -- (either the word '[telecom]' is
>> present or it is not present) -- such a sign that the 'terrorists'
>> have won? PAT]
> Pat,

> That was a joke. I had thought you would laugh.

> Sorry.

> William

> (Filter noise from my address for direct replies. No laughing matter!)

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I _would_ laugh if it were not such a
> hypocritcal thing. People talk about how anything but the purest of
> email address forms used in email are such a hassle (I quite agree)
> but the same people then act like it is so 'politically incorrect' to
> attack the problem at its source; i.e. the spammer/scammers who make
> it necessary. You'll have to pardon me, but I get very tired of
> having to give even a cursory review to several hundred items each
> day which are only penis-enlargement advertisements, requests to
> re-enter time and again all my personal banking information, etc. The
> really evil thing about it all is even when I try my hardest, some
> days _good_ messages get dumped by accident. People get one single
> phish-item in their mail and think it is such an affront ... well,
> I get hundreds of them daily, and even if I culd just type 'delete 1-250'
> and be done with it, it would still be a nuisance, but when good
> messages get caught in the middle of that mess each day as they _always_
> do, it makes the job much harder. PAT]


OK, I take your point. I had intended to sound humorous, not
hypocritical, but I understand that you're the guy in the hot seat.

Here's a suggestion: it may sound far-fetched at first, but please
believe me when I say that I've used this technique with great effect
for my customers and myself, so I'll propose that you try it.

Consider: spamming is only profitable when the only people who respond
are those who want to buy something. If even a small percentage of
calls are from those who don't want the spam, the paradigm changes
very quickly.

Once per day, please publish the contact info (URL, phone, whatever)
for a single spammer, and the email address the spam was sent to, and
suggest that c.d.t. readers contact the company and discourage them
from using your email address. Spammers are, believe it or not,
businessmen, and they tend to act fairly quickly when someone stuffs a
rag into their pipeline. (1)

I suggest you start with mortgage spammers: they have to sell their
leads to local brokers who know the local real estate market, so
they're the easiest ones to catch. Be sure to tell the readership that
spammers do listwashing: someone who fills out a form on a website
will always get a call from the spammer's minions, asking "Was there
anything unusual about the email you received?", and it's important to
get by that gatekeeper and wait for the local brokers to call. When
they do, a complaint about a specific email address works wonders: the
mortgage brokers pay as much as $100 per lead, so they'll scream very
quickly when they get burned, and your email address will, just as
quickly, be placed on the "Do Not Call" lists the spammers share with
each other.

Now, I'll just touch on the morality issue: some of your readers may
be squemish about this kind of proactive approach. For those so
inclined, there are other (less effective) ways to take action, such
as reports to the FBI's online reporting service. However, if any of
your readers think this kind of direct action is improper/not_cricket/
sleezy/whatever, I will simply say that, like spam, it works.


1. Of course, the contact has to be a web site or phone number that
won't demand confidential information, since generating phony
MasterCard numbers and tickling drop-boxes are tricks best left to the
major-league spamfighters.

William Warren

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: To know whether or not the web site
will or will not require confidential information, then I or someone
would have to first examine it, wouldn't we? Your idea sounds good
enough, in fact it reminds me of when I used to publish the 'Business
Directory' occassionally, giving the 800 numbers of spammers/scammers
who were brazen enough to include that number in their junk email. But
I am afraid that by publishing one or more of the great offers sent
out to the net each day, I would probably be accused of (1) attempting
to harass the spammer/scammer or (2) helping to further the spam
myself and in any event acting very politically incorrect, given the
large number of spam/scam enablers on the net; that is, the number
of users who claim all we have to do is 'ignore it' by feebly
attempting to filter around it. PAT]

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