Dealing with Spammers [en]

I’ve finally worked down my procedure for dealing with spammers. : )
Now, this isn’t the ultimate solution, and it isn’t guaranteed to work – it is just an account of what I do when I receive junk email: report spammers.

  1. First, as I use Outlook, I have to find the headers of the email (under “properties” of the said mail) – and copy them at the beginning of the mail I am forwarding.
  2. Then starts the “investigation” part: using the “IP Whois” and the “Worldwide Whois” of UXN Spam Combat, I look up
    • IP addresses (those are the numbers, formatted like “000.000.000.000”)
    • domain names (like “www.anydomain.com”)

    and add to the recipient list of the email I am forwarding [email protected]” or “[email protected] (email hosting services will probably have an “abuse” address… “postmaster” is the more sure bet – it has to exist).

  3. I add [email protected] in the “CC” field – as they are supposed to monitor UCE (Unsollicited Commercial Email) issues and take action to solve the problem.
  4. Finally, I paste some text (I personally use the text listed under “1”, without the bracketed paragraph) at the top of the mail, and send.

Advice

  • Don’t follow any links on the email (especially “remove” or “unsubscribe” links), or reply to it. It will only confirm to the spammers that your email address is a “good” one!
  • Take care in who you forward the email to: you don’t want to bug the wrong people, do you? Check the abuse.net contact database if you aren’t sure.
  • Make sure you forward the whole email, including the headers.
  • Keep the accompanying message polite and to-the-point.

Some links and resources about UCE and spammer tracking:

  • abuse.net – general resources and information
  • spam.abuse.net – information and faqs: why it is important to fight spam
  • UXN tracing spam – good step-by-step guide to header reading and IP tracking
  • anti-spam tips – How to Get Rid of Junk Mail, Spam, and Telemarketers
  • more links – more links and resources: fighting european spam

That should be enough to get you started!

Update 01.06.2004: use SpamCop instead, much simpler!

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0 thoughts on “Dealing with Spammers [en]

  1. to be honest, i’ve never had a problem with spammers, i got messaged once, but that’s it, nothing to bug me, really. i heard that leaving a link to your e-mail on your front page makes it retrievable for the evil spamming demons of the night. not sure if it’s true.

  2. Actually, the email address I have spam problems with is not published on my site. I don’t use it either for mailing lists. Though I do use it now and again to register for services…
    I’d get spam every now and again (one or two a month), but it really started after I clicked that darn “remove” link on one of the mails.
    Trust me to do exactly what you shouldn’t!

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