Any way to spam the spammers?

Sorry if this is already a thread somewhere.

If I’m extremely annoyed at a particularly annoying spam message, is there any way to bombard them with thousands of emails so it will jam their computer, if not their server?

I hate the stupid “Get rid of spam!” spams that keep showing up in my mailbox. Sometimes I really want to sock it to them instead of pushing delete.

For the record, I’m on a Mac.

Death To Spam

I have started to get back at senders of Nigerian scam mails. In order for the scam to work they must have a valid reply address, so I just return their trash with comments and I try to be as abusive as I possibly can.

Some of them have been really offended and replied to me, which has given me a good opportunity to taunt them once again pointing out that they do not only have abnormally small reproductive organs, they are also apparently very stupid.

Another fun thing to do is to use the Nigerian Scam Mail Generator found here and send the result to the scammers.

IMO, the best revenge against spammers is to simply delete the message and carry on with your life.

Paraphrasing from vl_mungo’s link, I think this is great advice:

Filter (and delete) on such phrases as:

rather not receive these messages
You are receiving this email as a subscriber
This is an advertisement

I figure I’ll play the odds that no message I’ll ever need will contain these strings. I think this should cut down on 95% of my spam.

Also, I have compiled a list of ~150 spamming domains, I can fwd it to anyone who is interested. You or your email admin (assuming you’re at school or work) can likely block these at the server level. Email’s in my profile.

My favorite is when they provide an email link to unsubscribe and it turns out to be dead.

I have started receiving spam that use variations on these terms, like “u_n_s_u_b_s_c_r_i_b_e” , that will make it past a filter, unless you stay one step ahead of the bastards and keep adding to your filter list. It is like an arms race that never ends.

You shouldn’t click on it anyway. All you will do is confirm that they have a good email address to keep spamming.

Um, Mangetout (can I call you “Mange”? :slight_smile: ), I don’t really see as how that’s “revenge”- that seems, to me, to be just “ignoring 'em”. The way spam works, they’ll never know you’re ignoring them- seems to me that the basis of revenge is for them to know that someone actually DID something to 'em.

Carry on.

I’ve actually filtered all email from gets turfed automatically.

  1. Establish yourself as an interested party. You’ll probably have to go so far as to actually fork out the money (don’t ever send them cash) to buy their product or service.

  2. If the product/service isn’t satisfactory = be relentless - get their phone number so you can badger the company. Be relentless.

  3. Document all your transactions, evidence and complaints; eventually you’ll be able to compain to the appropriate authorities or TV consumer journalists. Be Relentless.

  4. You might never get your money back, but at least you’ll get the satisfaction of having put them “on the run”.

Except that there is such a thing as a legitimate mailing list, and they’ll all have the word “unsubscribe” in them, too. I’m on at least two: The NASA press release mailing list, and our very own Straight Dope mailing list. Both have an unsubscribe link in every message.

Yeah, I noticed that after I posted it – I’m on several mailing lists myself.

I just had to throw an exception case on the rule for every mailing list I was on…use the above stated filter unless the subject contains “<fill in your mailing list subjects here>”.

Kind of a PITA, but still much better than sifting through 80-100 messages every morning to find out there’s about a dozen I actually care about.

Indeed, but as it’s nigh on impossible to get back at these people anyway, due to the way that the fake headers and send through other people’s relays, ‘revenge’ just takes up your valuable time, frustrates you and occupies your attention; since the net effect is the same either way, deleting the message and forgetting it is the closest you’ll get.

And you may call me Mange if you so desire…:smiley:

sigh It is probably illegal (but not immoral) to get their info and DOS the sites isn’t it?

Please exercise extreme care with that response. In many cases, the spam may provide a phone number or URL for contact, but the email addresses (especially in the email headers) may not be valid because they specifically want to avoid this. In many cases where spammers forge headers, the reply-to address may be valid but not associated with the spammer, and you can end up doing considerable harm to an innocent bystander by DOSing the addresses in the spam. One of our domains has been hit by this several times; a spammer forged our domain name in their header addresses and our server got hit with a deluge of hate mail. There is legal precedent for us to pursue the spammer who caused this, but it would be nice if the spam recipients could be clueful enough to avoid the situation altogether.

I’ll second micco here. Some spammer used one of my domain names in their reply-to a while back. Let me tell you, one of the few things worse than wading through a few hundred pieces of spam in your inbox is wading through a few thousand (literally) pieces of hate e-mail from people who think you spammed them. It actually crashed my mail server. We managed to find out that the real source of the spam was a yahoo address and yahoo killed the account but there wasn’t a whole lot else anyone could do at that point.

Based on the blast of e-mail I got, I would be very surprised if any e-mail address in a piece of spam is legit…

Any of the following is a sure sign of spam.

You have opted in to one or more of our affiliate sites requesting to be notified of any special offers we may run from time to time.
This is NOT unsolicited email.

  • Please accept our apologies if you have been sent this email in error. *
    We honor all removal requests.

I still find it almost awe-inspiring to count just how many lies the average spam contains. Why does anyone, ever, part with their money to these fraudsters?

But to address the OP. Spammers know that they are universally loathed, so they go to great lengths to hide under rocks where they belong. There is rarely anything in the email headers that the average recipient can go on for revenge.

Yes, I agree that simply deleting the messages is a partial victory for the spammers. Besides, in order to see which are to be deleted, I have to scan through all the subject lines to make sure I don’t delete something legit.

At one of my email addresses I’ve had for over 5 years I’m getting about 200 spams a day, so this can take ages.

(In the days BEFORE I had email, I actually got a Nigerian scam letter IN THE MAIL, so I feel doubly singled out!)

Well, nowadays, if I’m feeling particularly munificent, I send them a reply such as:

Dear Zulu Makeni,

I am so happy! God has seen fit to visit me in the form of your email. This is the second miracle I have received this month; my grandmother recently passed away and left me her estate which totals over $870,000 US dollars.

I am sure I can help you! And I don’t need that much through my efforts. You are surely more deserving than I. How sad for one’s son to lose his father to a savage like Robert Mugabe.

Please transfer the money to my account forthwith, I shall provide all account details upon receipt of your return email.

Yours sincerely,

Enid Aragorn

That pretty much puts paid to at least THAT guy.

I know that it’s not fair to blast a million hate mails to some server who had nothing to do with the spammers. But I will tell you this, you legions of talented people who hang around on these boards: anyone who figures out an effective anti-spam program is going to be VERY RICH.

He already has my $25—no spam needed.

I’ve gotten spam that had my own email address in the header. Good thing I didn’t fall for that!