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Dec 18, 2001
Blog Post

Spammers rip-off opt-out line

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Spam Alert #2 A marketer at a very large opt-in-only emailer (who asked to remain anonymous) just told me that spammers are ripping off his opt-out line at the bottom of his email, in addition to his "from" line. Now, "from" lines pretending to be somebody else are nothing new, but I hadn't heard this opt-out line rip-off before.

In effect these spammers are sending millions of people email that looks just like it comes from the brand name opt-in emailer. The only difference is when the viewer clicks through to purchase on the offer, they go to the spammer's Web site. However, if they try to opt-out of the list, or complain that they've been spammed, their email goes to the brand-name's customer service department.

My source told me that the attacks are frequent enough that his company has set procedures in place to cope. These are:

"First, we track down the spammer and send the spammer a Cease and Desist letter. Then we notify the spammer's ISP and ask the ISP to shutdown the site. Then we contact Yahoo, Hotmail, or whomever the spammer sent the spam from and let them know that it was not us and ask them to shutdown that 'from' account... Next, we contact the merchant account/credit card processor and let them know what happened and ask them to take action if spam is against their policies...then we answer each complaint and tell them that is was not us. Lastly we contact each RBL and explain what happened."

I suspect this will not be the last we hear of problems of this nature, and urge every regular emailer to set up a contingency plan now to handle problems like this in the future. Bah humbug!

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