View Full Version : spam mail

17-10-2001, 12:48 PM
After years of being careful with my details online I seem to have become a gateway to every crackpot email that there is. I have no idea how this has happened. I have a base email address (never used) and an alias as have my kids. We all have our own desktops and OE is set to only download email for that user. I am now getting my daughters email from a yahoo group even though it is quite plainly addressed to her. And a raft of strange emails. One for credit checks, one for storage of dangerous substances and the latest an investment opportunity. I am loathe to try to unsubscribe, but the issue is that they are not even addressed to me, not even to someone on xtra. I have checked the mail headers thoroughly, nothing. My deleted mail folder is now larger than my in box. Xtra have been no help at all, not even replying to my mail. Ive even had an email from spamattack@xtra.co.nz. Any help appreciated. HiD

17-10-2001, 02:34 PM
The biggest cause of problems of this type are people who don't use 'BCC' or 'blind carbon copy'. Here's what happens:

Someone sends you an email, and at the same time they carbon copy 'CC' it to everyone else on their mailing list - all their friends etc.
When you get your copy, you can see the email addresses of everyone else it was sent to. Guess what? Everyone else who got it can see your email address as well!
So now there are a whole bunch of people who have spotted your email address. Chances are, one of them will mass email something, a copy of which will come to you using 'CC', and eventually your email address ends up with some unscrupulous individual who sells it or simply passes it on to an email marketing organisation. The next thing you know, your email address is on a mass list - literally thousands of 'live' email addresses, and these lists get sent to all manner of organisations and individuals for the purposes of disseminating their particular product, service, or in the worst case, virii.
What people need to be trained to do is to use 'BCC' - blind carbon copy. A copy of the email is still sent to each person, but no one gets to see who else it was sent to.
Unfortunately there is little you can do about SPAM, except filter it out. There are some shareware applications available which will assist you in doing this.
In the case of Xtra, I would complain very loudly about this, as SPAM is everyone's problem including your ISP, and if you don't get any success, vote with your wallet. Don't pay them!!
Or find another ISP.

17-10-2001, 06:33 PM
Heck! I don't even know Janine personally, and I have actually had jokes sent to me, with her address at the top!


17-10-2001, 08:24 PM
You will find that most spams are not specifically addressed to
you. This is a good
thing, because it means
that you can configure
your mail client
(assuming that it
supports filtering) to
filter out anything that
is not specifically
addressed to you. Of
course, this method is
not 100% failsafe, but it
is one way for you to
divert suspect emails
into a low priority
folder. It's also common for spammers to use Hotmail and Yahoo accounts with names containing keywords such as 'success', '$', 'freedom', etc, so it's useful to filter out anything with these strings in the 'to' field. You may even want to filter out anything originating from these free email services unless the 'from' address is a known contact of yours.

I used to use my personal address on the newsgroups and, over a period of about four years, my mailbox has recently become flooded with spam (about
five per day). Unfortunately, I am in the process of arranging to have my mail notified on my mobile phone and collected on my PDA. This comes at a cost and I really have to try and cut back the amount of spam coming through (changing my email address is not feasible). Using filters and refraining from using my email address on my web site or newsgroups has slightly decreased the burden. I thought that reporting all offenders to Spamcop may also help but, while it provides a sense of satisfaction to fight back, it doesn't appear to do any good in terms of reducing volumes of spam.

17-10-2001, 09:15 PM
It won't be any consolation to you but I thought I would share it anyway:

I have had an 'account' with Xtra for about 3 years, but have been subscribed to another ISP for the past 2 years and thus haven't used my Xtra email address in that time. However, until Xtra decided to cancel my account from today, I was still receiving the weekly newsletter from Xtra's Max Newman. And a few months ago I began to receive about 3 or 4 advertising junk mails a week as well, out of the blue, to my Xtra email address. Strange... wonder where they got my address from????

No matter, as from today my Xtra email no longer works.

Janine, don't try unsubscribing from any of those spam mails, you will just be confirming that your email address works and will be bombarded with even more junk. Get yourself a Hotmail account and use their spam filtering if your email program won't do it.

18-10-2001, 12:44 AM
Dylan, this is not the sort of helpful reply that will win you any more prizes, you're grounded.

18-10-2001, 12:48 AM
Thank you everyone with the positive feedback, all your ideas are under consideration.

18-10-2001, 12:57 AM
I was getting alot of most unwanted referals etc, when i asked where they got my addy from they replied from my isp. when i asked my isp about it, of course they denied it, but so far for the last 4 months i haven't had ne unwanted mail. all i did was ask questions :)

18-10-2001, 08:22 AM
I think a common technique among spammers these days is to match common user names with common domains - e.g. john<at>xtra.co.nz or bruce<at>ihug.co.nz.

It seems noone is immune. :(

18-10-2001, 12:14 PM
interesting. yesterday i drove down to a family members place and while i was there i setup there comp for email. they have had the acc for a few months but never knew what their email address was. so after finding their email address i dowloaded their emails, 50+ spam messages. the delete button got a work out.

i wonder who's makeing a little bit of $$ on the side selling email addys from the isp??
concidering i havn't had any spam on my paradise acc for the last 2 years.
mmmmm.....Conspiracy Theory again;-)

21-10-2001, 06:41 PM
Janine - spam is a abscess on the internet and it seems to affect us all. All the above advice and comments are great. If you're being targetted there are steps you can take - which ones will depend on how bitter you are about them, and how much you're getting.

If you're using Xtra I'd suggest setting up aliases, and just delete them and create new ones if/when that address starts getting hit. In that scenario don't use your real email address at all.

If you want to track and trace the offenders, then there are many ways and means of doing this, mostly successful, but also time consuming. Follows is a URL for a good source of information on how to react to this form of personal invasion: