Tag Archives: Internet

Spamming the spammers

I’m sure people know about those unsubscribe pages (like this one) you should never give an e-mail address to. Because if you do you are confirming that your e-mail address is live, which means the spammer will sell it on to more spammers. It’s just struck me that they do have their uses.
I have one e-mail address that I’ve retained for legacy reasons. Very occasionally it receives real e-mail, which is why I haven’t abandoned it and blacklisted it on my mailserver. But most of the mail that arrives there is spam. The majority of it gets deleted without a second glance, but every so often something turns up from a genuine company.
Trying to explain to that company that, no, I didn’t opt in to their list is a waste of time. As is trying to get them to tell you who does their mailshots (it’s usually an apparently reputable firm that guarantees its database is totally “verified” – yeah right), so you can try to stamp on the actual source. I always use Spamcop to report the offending mail, but far too many ISPs and webhosts won’t take action.
So applying the “don’t get mad get even” approach I take a quick look at the spam-vertised web site. Not becuase I’m ever going to spend any money with someone who spams me. But because there’s a good chance I’m going find an e-mail address or two. Sales@ addresses are OK, but individual names are even better.
Guess which e-mail address then gets entered into the unsubscribe page? OK, it’s not a very nice thing to do, and it doesn’t do anything to help global warming because it’s going to add to the rising tide of crud floating round the interwebs rather than reduce it. But, hey, that firm in Doncaster that wants me to buy blank DVDs might just start to understand how annoying spam is.