Spam E-mail

For a long time, I’ve been fortunate to receive very little junk e-mail. The only changes to my internet files I’ve made recently is to register with straight-dope. Ever since I did this, I’m finding an increase in my junk e-mail. (today 2 of them) Is there a corilation between my registering with straight-dope and receiving junk e-mails?:confused:

Doesn’t seem likely since you don’t make your email public. I don’t think SD gives your email to anyone (haven’t checked the privacy policy, if there is one). So it could be a coincidence–do you ever post to usenet newsgroups? Does your email appear on a web site anywhere? Have you bought anything online? Some web sites collect the email addresses of visitors; it is possible for a script to ask the browser for your email address, although I am not sure how it works or how to disable end. Anyway, there are lots of ways for spammers to get your email.

In 1998 I used my office email address when registering for a domain name. Even though that email address changed about three years ago, it is still alive and I still get OVER A THOUSAND spam emails a month on that address. The domain name lists are mined by spammers.

I’ve never purchased anything over the internet and I don’t make my address very available. I thought perhaps there might be “cookies” associated with registering that might set things off.

I doubt that the spammers are getting your e-mail address from this board. I notice that you don’t even have it displayed.

Since this is a question About This Message Board, I’ll move it to ATMB for you.

DrMatrix - General Questions Moderator

Your email provider might very well sign you up for spam. Did you read all the fine print when you established your email account?

For example, there is a well-known free email provider that automatically signs up your new account with advertisters, unless you read the fine print ahead of time and choose to opt out of such mailings. Of course, the email provider is free to change the terms of service for your account, and unless you read the the fine print in their notice to you, they will again sign up your account to advertiser mailing lists.

It’s almost impossible to protect any email account from spam unless you take extraordinary precautions. Since, IMHO, most people are too lazy to make a concerted effort at this, eventually their account(s) will get on spam lists.

I’ll tell you who NOT to register with: Don’t even THINK of giving them your real email address or phone number. I unwisely did so and my spam emails IMMEDIATELY increased about ten-fold (I am now getting about 50 of them per day. My telemarketing spam phone calls also trippled IMMEDIATELY after registering with them. All this despite their so-called “Privacy Policy”. What a joke. And try to get an explanation (much less an admission) out of them.

You didn’t perchance respond to one of those “click here if you don’t wish to receive any more mailings” links, did you? That is a sure sign to a spammer that they’ve got a valid target address.

I have a Hotmail account that is my - my last name is pretty uncommon, definitely not ‘guessable’. I get about 6 spams per year on that account - I’ve no idea how they got the address. Maybe a “dictionary attack” where they brute-force some phenomenal amount of possibilities each followed by “”. I’ve never given out this address or used it to register for anything, so I don’t see how else they could have got it.

If that question was directed at me, no I did NOT click a remove link. I am well aware of that hazard. The uptick in my spams was IMMEDIATE in relation to my registration and ONLY that registration. The coincidence is clear to me.

Just as a data point, I’ve been a member for more than three years, using several e-mail addresses, and I get extremely little spam.

The Straight Dope absolutely does not ever sell e-mail addresses. It is possible for a spammer to harvest the public e-mail addresses from here (by effectively clicking on all of the “email” buttons beneath posts), but vBulletin adds an extra step to make that more difficult, and you don’t have yours displayed anyway. It’s conceivable that a person might somehow crack into the database and steal addresses that way, but if that happened, we’d be seeing other signs of it, and it’s a lot of trouble just to get a few addresses. So we can be pretty darn sure that the Dope wasn’t the cause of your problem.

RedDawgEsq - I was referring to the OP.

Regarding your case - if you search Google groups for, the first page or so of hits is almost entirely posts to about the spamming activities of this company.