Spam Offers: Some Legit, Most Not

from the the-last-resort-story-of-a-bored-reporter dept

It never fails. A bored reporter is going through their email in desperate need of a story – any story – and comes up with the bright idea of replying to spam and seeing what happens. An article just like this pops up every couple of months. Wired News is the latest to fall victim to the trend, but there are still some interesting findings. They’ve determined that most spam is really a big pyramid scheme to sell more email addresses to other spammers. They also found (surprise surprise) that replying to spam gets you more spam. Most requests for “more info” weren’t returned – the spammer just took the email address and added it to the list they were trying to sell to other spammers. They only found 17% of spam that had “legitimate products” offered for sale – though, most thought (or at least claimed) that they didn’t realize the list they had bought wasn’t opt-in. A few didn’t even realize that spam was bad. There were also plenty of scams being advertised over spam. In the end, though, the only spam messages that really seemed to “deliver” on what it promised was the porn spam – though, those also came with plenty more such spam and automatically installing adware and spyware.

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