Is Reporting Email Spam a Waste of Time?
Part of having an email address is to expect to receive a ton of spam emails. I wonder how people get my email address. I’ve quit putting a contact email address of any kind on a website because I know the site will be spidered, and that email address will end up on spam lists.
I am very careful how I use my most important email addresses, and I don’t use them to register for anything. Still, they end up on email spam lists. How does that happen?
By the way, what ever happened to the CAN-Spam act of 2003? I remember how online marketers started following the Can-Spam rules and were careful not to violate the act, in fear of the possibly heavy prosecution. I even know of a few people that were heavily fined, they were used to set an example of what could happen to you if you violated the rules.
Now, I hear nothing of Can-Spam, and spam is worse than ever. Does anyone really go after blatant email spammers?
Anyway, I was wondering if you ever take the time to report email spammers to web hosting companies, or domain registrars.
I suspect I am like most people and just delete the spam and move on. There’s enough to get done in our busy days as it is, so why take the time to report a spammer, when it won’t make much of a difference anyway.
Yesterday I received an obvious spam email. The email message was a typical make money from home type of spam message. Now, I have nothing against make money from home products, promoted by legal and ethical means.
This message made highly exaggerated income claims, and asked for a reply to get more information. Whenever you see a “reply to this email for more information” type of message, it is almost guaranteed to be bad.
The only link in the email was to a website that contained a screen shot as proof of money being made. I’m sure you know that those screen shots can be manipulated – right?
There was no contact information other than the email address. Way down in the message was an unsubscribe link. Of course the unsubscribe link was hidden way down where most people wouldn’t see it. So, they would have few subscribers opting out, but could still claim to have a remove link.
The unsubscribe link appeared to go to a third party autoresponder – not one of the major autoresponders.
For some reason, this spam email set me off, so I decided to do some complaining. I reported the spam email to the website that contained the screenshot jpg file. I’m sure the owner of the image site is not the same person who sent the spam email.
I know from experience, email spammers don’t use any of their own sites – they know there will be spam complaints and those sites will pay the price, not the spammer.
Just to clarify, I know this because an email spammer used one of my sites to hide their URL and I got in trouble and had to stop letting people register for that site. I am not, and have never been, an email spammer!
I complained to the autoresponder service found out they were hosted at HostGator and complained to HostGator. Some may think me reporting that to HostGator was a little extreme since the owner of the autoresponder site was probably not the spammer.
Hostgator is fair in investigating spam messages, and will probably not shut them down, unless they have had several complaints. Anyway, if you are running an autoresponder service these days, you need to be prepared for spam complaints.
I did one more thing, and it may have been a stupid thing. I clicked on the unsubscribe link to get off the list. Then I thought – oh, if they are a spammer they now know there is someone checking this email address and it may end up on several spam lists.
So, I spend about an hour of my time reporting spam complaints, and may have put myself on spam email lists. Was it worth it? Probably not, no wonder people don’t report email spammers.
Do you report email spammers? I am curious to know if anyone out there reports email spammers, or if it’s just not worth it.
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