Chris Gagné

Delight people. Create value. Do good.

Tag: spam

A little trick to reduce spam using aliases, Apple Mail, and sed

I don’t get much spam these days: 2-3 pieces hit my local spam box a week, with almost nothing in my inbox.

The crux of this strategy is never, ever, giving any online entity the same email address. Thus:

  • Amazon -> amazon@example.com
  • eBay -> ebay@example.com
  • Cat Fancy Forums -> catfancyforums@example.com

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SPIM: Yet another scourge to plague us

Oh instant message SPAM…

I’ve kinda got a bit of a crush on you XXXX.. If you wanna know who I am though you’re gonna have to Click Here and play along with my game!

Hey there! – You have been selected for a free vacation to the Bahamas! Click Here to confirm your prize before its too late!

You Have 2 New Crush Requests One of your buddies has a crush on you. Find out who

Well, I got a little frustrated about getting several of these a day and did a little digging. All of the SPIMs I have received point one of to the following domains:

  • pure-luv.com
  • fling.com
  • winicane.com

All of these domains are owned by Millnic Media, an affiliate CPA network. I have an suspicion that Millnic Media may sell some of their “leads” (your personal information) up to Mobile Messenger, though I haven’t been able to confirm this.

Thus, it seems that either Millnic Media or one/some of their affiliates (most likely) are in the process of culling AIM screen names and spamming the bejeezus out of them. Many of these SPIMs appear to be coming from toolazy.net, which appears to be an affiliate to Millnic Media based on the destination URL and redirects I get when clicking a link.

Even if Millnic Media or Mobile Messenger aren’t directly responsible for sending the SPIM, a responsible affiliate networks (e.g., Millnic Media) and lead aggregator (e.g., Mobile Messenger) should do a much better job about culling the bad affiliates out of their network.

Followup on eMusic spam

After not hearing anything from eMusic, I decided to give them another call. I left a message on Monday but did not receive a return call. On Wednesday, I called again and got a quick response from Nathan, one of their customer service folks. He advised that he had not heard back from the engineering team and promised to give it another shot.

About half an hour later, I received a call from “Chris,” one of the directors at the company. (Interactive marketing? I didn’t quite catch it.) He advised that they had received a few other reports similar to mine, and that upon further investigation, they found nothing out of the ordinary. No security breach, that’s for sure.

Though I honestly didn’t expect a different response, even if it were true (“Oh, yeah, one of our servers *was* broken in to”), I’ll rest on the hope that I got *someone’s* attention there. In the meantime, I’ll update my address at eMusic with something quite impossible to guess (perhaps eMusic followed by 16 random digits, followed by @chrisgagne.com). That should make things pretty easy to figure out should it happen again in the future.

Edit: Oops, scratch that. Their site won’t let me change my email address unless I subscribe (e.g. pay) again. I’m now forwarding the original email address to a black hole. Moving on…

eMusic

No response from eMusic yet.

Update on eMusic Spam

I called eMusic today and had a chance to speak with one of their support folks. They were surprised that the email I forwarded them on Thursday didn’t get through – but in retrospect, it was probably caught by their junk mail filters. I’ve forwarded the spam to the support person directly, and they promised to work with the engineers to find out what happened.

I’m impressed by their responsiveness. Let’s see what comes out of it.

A privacy breach at eMusic?

I just received some spam at an email address that I’ve used only to sign up for eMusic. It seems I’m not the only one, either: http://trainedmonkey.com/2006/11/17/privacy_breach_at_emusic_.

There seems to be three distinct possibilities here:

  1. Their security was compromised (either internally or externally) and someone got a hold of their customer list.
  2. They blatantly gave away email addresses.
  3. Some spammer decided to randomly send spam to emusic@ a whole lot of domains.

1 & 2? Plausible.

3? Implausible. If you want a message to get through, you’re going to use info@, support@, sales@, etc. The number of people who would have emusic@ forwarding to anything remotely useful is significantly lower. Do spammers send mail to other user accounts? On occasion, but usually they use made-up user accounts as part of bogus “from” addresses, not “to” addresses.

I forwarded the message to eMusic’s support team yesterday, but haven’t heard anything back. I’ll give them a call on Monday and see what they say.

To everyone else – did you get this message on an email address that you used to sign up for eMusic?

Here’s the actual message:

From: Affiliate253@MyOwnCreditCoach.com
Subject: Credit tips enclosed – 58tks01
Date: November 30, 2006 3:58:17 AM PST
To: ( My EMusic Address )
Reply-To: Affiliate253@MyOwnCreditCoach.com

Good afternoon!

Good afternoon!

My name is Michael Matson and I wanted to connect with you briefly because
I am offering a new eBook all about credit, credit repair, the credit
reporting agencies, and how to boost your credit score by applying a few
simple concepts which I will be sharing with subscribers.

For those who act right away, I will be giving away some very powerful
bonus items at no cost.

Please register for the course here: http://www64.MyOwnCreditCoach.com

There is absolutely zero risk, and it will definatly give you a leg-up to
make your credit rating soar with eagles.

Again here is the link: http://www00.MyOwnCreditCoach.com

Feel free to share this with a friend but send it today, because I’m not
sure how long I am going to keep the price so low!

Thanks for being open to trying my mini-course and I’ll see you on the
other side!

Best regards,
Michael Matson

This communications was sent to: (address). We have no desire to send you
information at (address) that is unwanted.
If you want to be excluded from future Afilliate Ventures, SA mailings
please submit a REM0VE ME: http://www11.MyOwnCreditCoach.com/r/

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