We all have the problem of SPAM. Every day it seems like there is more and more of it in the inbox. Every time a new spam blocker comes out the spammers find ways to get around it. They’re creative, I will give them that much. But creative doesn’t ease the headache, so we have to be creative too. When you get an unusually annoying spammer – one that sends you dozens of emails each day for the same site – I have found a method that helps end it. It’s easy and it only takes about 5 minutes.
For example, recently I started receiving tons of messages every day marketing Zbiddy.com. I’ll refrain from commenting on the site for now in order to save on time, suffice to say there is plenty of negative information out there already if you Google them.
OK, so the SPAM email comes from a throwaway 3rd party address, in this case it’s the name “Overstocked Auctions” from firstname.lastname@example.org and links on the email go to various URLs at tbhet.com and zbiddy.com. Unsubscribing never seems to work, sometimes I think that only reinforces to the spammers that your email address is actually working. The spammer is out to make money, either by directly marketing his own site or by marketing sites which offer affiliate programs. (Sometimes site owners send out spam and then claim it’s being done by their affiliates without their knowledge…plausible deniability. Either way, this works.)
What I do is:
1. Look up the company benefitting from the SPAM. Go to Network-Tools.com and do a trace route and a whois on the company benefitting from the spam.
2. Make note of any contact emails for the company. They will generally be on their web site or in the whois information.
3. Make note of the name of the last network on the trace route before their domain. This is their host or upstream provider. In the case of zbiddy.com, you will see that their host is a company called liquid web.com
4. Now that you know their host, go to their website and find out the email address for their abuse department. Usually it’s abuse@ whatever domain. If you can’t find it, call their support department and ask. If they are even a little bit legitimate, they’ll tell you.
5. Finally, go to your email client and set up a rule. What you want this rule to do is for any email spamming this site, forward it to all those email addresses you just collected. I always put in a condition to not forward emails from the host domain. You don’t want to forward back emails the host might send you acknowledging your complaint. If you have a Mac, the setup will look like this:
Now every time they spam you, it automatically sends the spam to their host, upstream provider, owner, tech contact…whatever email address you could find. In general, this seems to get me removed from the spam list within a few days. I set this one up today for zbiddy.com after trying their unsubscribe links without success. Let’s see how long it takes them to stop emailing me.