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First of all, just how much spam email is there?

·         Approximately 14.5 billion spam messages are sent every day. That’s about 45% of all emails.

·         Advertising emails make up about 36% of spam emails

·         Adult related spam emails about 32%

·         Financial spam emails about 27%

·         Surprisingly, only 2.5% of spam is scam messages of which three quarters is phishing messages

Of the 14.5 billion email spam messages per day, a huge amount is blocked by your ISP and only a small part gets through to your account.

 

Q.           Why do people send so much spam email?

The technology of emails for all is relatively new but sending out huge volumes of messages to random people in the hope a few will respond is somewhat older. We’ve all received spam letters in the post for fictitious lotteries or prize draw that no one ever wins, miracle slimming products etc. Spam email is just the modern technology version of these letters. But because it’s so much cheaper and easier to send a million emails than a million letters – most spammers are now on the Internet.

If you were an unscrupulous advertiser or a moron then you might conclude that sending out emails to random people and/or businesses is a good idea. As it’s so cheap – why only send 1,000 messages when you can send 100 million messages for only a few hundred dollars. So what if it’s irrelevant to most recipients. Just send even more.

You’re only interested in the ones who reply therefore the more you send  the more replies you will get.

Now, this isn’t true of course. 

A properly constructed email campaign targeted only at those individuals and/or companies for whom your products or services are relevant will be better and produce greater results. But it takes more time to figure these things out and plan a proper professional campaign, so most lazy people take the simpler option.

And the world is full of spam messages. 

 

Q.           Where Do the Spammers Get Our Email Addresses?

Typically they buy email lists from businesses that specialise in building such lists.

Reputable businesses go to reputable list suppliers and pay more but get quality lists. This means that the list will contain very few email addresses that are defunct, only those email addresses as are relevant for the product/service offered, have recently been verified and only people who have agreed to someone in the past sending them advertising messages.

Less reputable businesses go for the cheap product – lists put together by spammers. These will contain a high proportion of out of date addresses, duplicate addresses, made-up addresses etc. But they are extremely cheap – 20 dollars for a million email addresses.   

Reputable list builders get their addresses by purchasing lists from exhibition organisers, other organisations in the same field, canvassing large companies, official publications and data sources such as the electoral register etc.

Less reputable list builders scan websites, chat rooms, forums etc. harvesting email addresses. They also guess email addresses. E.g. If they know that Bennetts Furnishings factory is www.bennetts.co.uk then they can guess hundreds of email address e.g. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. etc. They don’t care if most of these made-up addresses are invalid – some will work.

 

Q.           How Can We Stop Spam?

The main thing to do is not give out your email address to non reputable sites that may sell it to spammers. Don’t fill in your email address on a webpage unless it’s a reputable site. E.g.Marks and Spencer, Amazon, BBC etc.

Your email provider will have spam blocking and filtering  features available – so turn those features on.

Once your email address is on the spam lists that circulate between the spammers and scammers - it’s not possible to have it removed and your only recourse is to delete the email addres and start with a new one.

Refer to article “How to Stop Spam Emails” for more information at

http://www.fightbackonline.org/index.php/guidance/14-preventive-measures/25-how-do-i-stop-spam-emails

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know – go to the About page then Contact Us


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