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Increase in spam

Has anyone else noticed a sharp increase in the amount of spam they're getting lately? I've had a 4x increase lately, and I'm wondering if it has anything to do with all the on-line shopping I did for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Got an increase without using my email for shopping or such.
I guess the SPAM bastards have more time on their hands over Christmas and expects a higher return rate or something.

I had towards 170-200 mails in a day, peak. They are all marked SPAM by a filter so they are luckilly easy to remove. :)

Fredrik Svensson
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

How long do you folks have your email addresses for before getting that much spam?

I have had my ISP email address for nearly 4 years now and I receive maybe 1 SPAM every few months, I got 5 in 2003. My work email gets about 1 a month and I have had that address for 4 years now. And I have had my own domain for about 3 months now and just got my first spam on a "guessed" address at that domain (sales@<mydomain>.com to be exact) last week, and in my hotmail I have had for about 2 years I have only gotten about 4 SPAMs.

Am I doing something wrong? Or am I doing something right?

Mind you, I did use a "fake" email address to post a single message to a Microsoft NNTP group once - I wasn't thinking and screwed up, I put "NOSPAM" before the @ instead of after, and that one used to receive nearly 20 - 30 SPAMs a week, but since then I have always used one of my complete REAL email addresses for everything I sign up to - except NNTP groups of course - and yet I hardly receive any SPAM.

Of course Im just going to go and knock on a whole forrest of wood now because obviously I have just jinxed my self.

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

One other thing, my email address is published on my web page, but only in a piece of JavaScript like this:

eval(unescape("%64%6F%6 etc.

So obviously that must be effective?

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

On the domain name I had for around 8 or 9 years I was getting thousands of spam  mail a week.  Since dropping it completely, slowly weaning people off it, the spam has dropped to a trickle.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I signed up to a few bulletin boards a few weeks back.

And since then I have seen a ridiculise amount of stupid spam (ie I receive 32 of these yesterday).

Every single one of them falls into one of two categories:

The 'microsoft critical patch' type.
Or the
'Inet ...' (This is the qmail program    Undelivered mail to  )

I don't get it.
What does this type of spammer trying to achieve?
I am guessing the microsoft patch ones (which sometimes have attachments) could be viruses.
But what about the other type mentioned?
Can my email client (Outlook) send a response if I open it?

I am going to sign up a different account with each to figure out which one it is!!!

-Detective Thompson signing off....

Aussie Chick
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Both of those could be viruses Aussie Chick,

The Patch one is definately, and the Qmail one is trying to use some sort of social trick to get you to open it i.e. you will think "hmm, what email that I sent didn't get through" so you will open it.

And about opening a different account at each forum to see who it is, since I got my domain, I setup a base email address that every message to the domain is sent to and then I use the websites name to sign up like for i used ocau@<mydomain>.com and a few others I have used a similar trick, so If I do start getting SPAM I will be able to tell who did it. (I got this idea from somebody on this forum)

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

>> I've had a 4x increase lately

Perhaps the reason is that spammers don't just spam. They spam when their "clients" order a new "campaign". And since it's holiday time...

Anyway... if you get *any* spam, it's only a matter of time before you start getting a lot. They will exchange lists.
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

When they need my e-mail address for some reason I always use my account. They will forward the mail to your real account, but only the first X mails. And creating a new sub account is easy - go to for an explanation

Mark Tetrode
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I have a number of personal e-mail addresses, including one that's now going on 9 years old. Spam count can reach, easily, many hundreds a day.

The key to getting spam is: give out your e-mail address. Post it to web pages, or mailing lists (especially the ones with web archives), or Usenet. Anything that's harvested.

I would change my e-mail address, but the spam is being effectively filtered, so I don't particularly care.

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I've actually noticed a levelling off of Spam at the moment.

I think I'm getting half a dozen a day at both work and home.

I've had the home email since the internet started in Saudi in 1999, so half-a-dozen a day is no real surpise. I used to post it on thousands of messages on forums and never get any spam, so I suspect much of spam addresses come from harvesting, and some kind of spyware program that lets them know it comes through.

Incidentally SpamBayes plug in for Outllook works great. All you have to remembet to do is to check the backgound checking option before the program freezes your machine. Once you've done that it works a dream.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

i haven't seen a sudden increase.
quite likely someone has sold your address. it could be from shopping you've done (thus explaining why many of us use unique or disposable email), or just time--once you get any spam, after a while your name gets circulated. if they use a monthly distribution system, at some point a whole bunch of new spammers get your address.

hotmail accounts are weird. if you have a short one, you'll get hit randomly. i once signed up for a four-letter-acronym account and got tens of messages a day, even though I had never used the account anywhere and never did.

what i have noticed is a new round of web-site-attacks. some are human-driven--someone searched for a viagra site in altavista, found my site (guess some comment spam was picked up by altavista and not re-indexed since then), and added some new comment spam by hand. at least my comment-spam-blocker slows them down.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

On my hotmail account, my wife and I have both noticed dramatic drop-offs around the same time.  I used to get around 50-80 a day, now I get around 1 every 2 days.  Neither of us changed anything and we both get our non-spam emails.  Weird.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I'm grateful Joel recommended Spambayes some weeks ago. Although the installation was painful, the results are well worth the pain. :) The spam filter is nearly 100% effective and much better than POPfile or the built-in spam filter of Mozilla Thunderbird.

The Great Economist
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I too have recently noticed a huge drop in the amount of spam my hotmail account receives. MS must have implemented something.

Gord Schmidt
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

---"MS must have implemented something. "-----

Possibly, though I'm not sure it's good news.

A job candidate who didn't reply to my email requesting a photocopy of his passport so we could process an offer told me that all emails from us were going directly to junk mail. Strangely enough my hotmail account didn't do the same.

The one thing that worries me more than Spam is the amount of damage spam filtering at the server will do.

Spambayes works great but it still routniely characterizes as possible Spam any message I sent from my work email to my home one and vice-versa.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Well, I shouldn't complain. Compared to some of you I still only get a trickle. I've always kept this particular email address under tight check, so I usually average only 1 / day. Now I'm getting 4-5/day.

My wife did a bunch of on-line shopping at Amazon, Old Navy, Nordstrom, and the Discovery Store and used this particular email address. (I usually give them my yahoo email address).  So I was guessing that these companies were selling their email lists.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

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