Hunting Down The Real Emails Of Those Who Use Junk Addresses?

from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

It's pretty common, at this point, for most people to have their "junk email" address. That's the email address you use whenever you have to register for anything online. You know it's going to get spammed, but you rarely check it, or once it gets too bad, you just ignore it completely and get another junk email address to use instead. Simple enough. If marketers were smart (stop laughing), they'd recognize just how little value someone's email address is for this very reason. Instead, we see them doing things like setting up tradeoffs if you choose to not let them spam you. However, it would appear that Miller Brewing has gone one step further, if a post on Boing Boing is to be believed. According to that post, someone who used a junk email address to register for something having to do with the beer company, later received an email at their regular email address, saying that Miller couldn't reach them at the old email address, so they had tracked the person down, and changed the email address for them. In other words, there may actually be people associated with Miller Brewing trying to hunt down your real email address, if you ever gave them a junk one. They then provide an opt-out if the person doesn't want to keep receiving messages. It would be nice if there were a little more evidence that this was happening for real -- but, if it's true, then it's more ridiculous marketer short-sightedness, designed more to harm a brand in the long run. Update: Brian McWilliams has some more details on what's going on here. Apparently, Equifax used to have a spamming operation, which they claimed they shut down right before CAN SPAM went into effect... however, this seems to be associated with the domains owned by that company. Remember, this is the same Equifax who recently said it was un-American for you to know what Equifax knew about you.

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  1. identicon
    Michael Greb, 20 Feb 2006 @ 4:43am

    epending happens all the time

    Epending is a service offered by many spam companies. It takes several forms. One is allowing a bussiness with other data about you to provide that data to the service and get back an email address for you, even though you never provided that business with an email address. Another form of epending is associating multiple email addresses with an individual.
    There are many companies that provide such services. Returnpath.com is one of these companies, though they are slightly less sneaky then the competition. Take a look at the left side of their landing page. They are also the company that gets your email addresses if you fill in and old and new address on the USPS change of address form as well as having data submitted via various websites. Some website forms across the net that ask for email address for marketing purposes will also contain a field for old email addresses with the Return Path logo next to it.

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