People Are Still Spam Suckers

from the that's-why-it-keeps-going dept

If no one paid any attention to spam, it would go away. So, the fact that we still get inundated every day suggests that enough people continue to respond to spam. While not everyone is buying from spam, a new report suggests too many people still click on links within spam, which usually have tracking tags, indicating that you're a live sucker who actually pays attention to spam.

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  • identicon
    BrattyB, 23 Mar 2005 @ 12:02pm

    No Subject Given

    Actually, those who click don't pay attention. It takes a good deal of attention to learn to filter out the crap: setting antispam filters, recognizing scam patterns... It is work, especially for the non tech-savvy. It's also not easy for some to learn that the default stance toward any email should be suspicion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John, 23 Mar 2005 @ 12:09pm

    It's not just the links

    When the spam email contains images embedded in HTML, the src of those images are often URLs encoded specifically for the recipient. So when the mail client requests the images the recipient is effectively telling the sender their spam was recieved, even without taking any action.

    My sister had a horrible spam problem. To help her I replaced Outlook Express with Thunderbird to take advantage of the built-in Bayesian filtering and turned off the automatic display of images unless the sender was in her address book. The filtering made sure she saw fewer and fewer spam emails, but after a while there were fewer spam emails being sent to her at all. I think the fact that these images were no longer being requested was a factor in that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ditdah, 23 Mar 2005 @ 1:44pm

    harder to detect spam now

    unfortunately, spam is getting more sophisticated, making it harder to detect. The cialis/viagra ones are easy to delete. I got an email from an SEO I am in contact with titled site change info or something like that. It sucked me in. Luckily, my email reader didnt automatically open nor let me manually open the attached file.

    When they spoof the sender address with a real acquaintance and use on topic titles and text, it is not easy to distinguish before opening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eskayp, 23 Mar 2005 @ 9:41pm

    No Subject Given

    Looks like the first responders to Mike's post have had some basic I.T. experience helping those of us who are still clueless users.
    It calls to mind a 1950's science fiction prediction from CM Kornbluth's short story "Marching Morons": (Galaxy, April, 1951).
    His premise was that technology will culturally divide society into the adept, and the clueless.
    The diminishing numbers of the adept are stretched thinner and thinner,
    trying to maintain the ease of life (usability?) for the ever growing masses of the clueless.
    As Yogi Berra commented: Deja-vu all over again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2005 @ 1:32am

    No Subject Given

    Mike, one thing that your article didn't note: According to the survey linked to, 10% of users BUY something from spam.

    While I could believe that people click on links by mistake, I don't think they are buying by mistake so it looks to me like the survey's data is a bit questionable...

    Or, could it be worse and 10% of the population are lawyers ordering screensavers?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Precision Blogger, 24 Mar 2005 @ 6:50am

      Where'd that "10%" come from?

      Please allow me to be wildly skeptical of that 10% figure. For starters, suppose it was your job to figure out what percent of people buy stuff from spammers. Can you think of ANY ACCURATE WAY to do it?

      As for the number of people who click on spam, remmeber that they can count me if, one time out of 10,000 (say, once a month), I was fooled or my mouse went astray. And popups sometimes pop up just as you're about to click on what they are about to cover.
      - PB
      http://precision-blogging.blogspot.com

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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