I checked my e-mail addresses for the first time today, and was stunned by what I saw on my AOL master screen name’s account.
Like a lot of AOL users, I have more than one screen name. But the different screen names are used for different purposes. Two of the screen names are “public” screen names, meaning that I use them at places where it is likely that a spammer will find it and use it for annoying me with a new message about how I can have barnyard fun. Two other screennames are private names, which I use exclusively for the purpose of e-mail with friends and family, and I never…never use them anywhere else.
The plan works…the private names never receive spam, but the public name does…and I have incoming e-mails blocked on the public names, except for one of them in case the SDMB moderators ever need to write me. That address receives a considerable amount of spam daily, which I must scrape out periodically to prevent the mailbox from becoming full. It is at that address that today’s tale of woe begins.
Today I discovered a new horror in spam. Instead of sending individual e-mails out to various addresses, this spammer has used the captured e-mail addresses as the basis for a listserv subscriber list. Earlier today my Utlanning address was automatically subscribed to a listserv for some kind of music video company. The subscription notice was sent out to countless numbers of individuals, causing widespread confusion everywhere. Because it is a listserv, whenever they reply to the spammer, they also reply to everyone else on the list. Including me.
In just a few short hours, this public e-mail box has received over 200 e-mails. It is out of control. There is mass pandemonium.
I broke my usual rule of never responding to spam, but I did in this case to follow their instructions for unsubscribing to the newsletter. If it doesn’t work, the e-mail address will have to be shut down to all Internet e-mails entirely.
The person responsible for spawning this blithering mess is Steve Richards, head of marketing at SoBeVideo, located in Miami, Florida. SoBeVideo is apparently a label representing a band called “Raraavis and the Fantasy Horns”, and the first newsletter is about hyping this band. In his newsletter, Steve “Unclefelcher” Richards cheerfully confesses that he got my e-mail address from a music website (which is odd, since I don’t frequent music-related websites at all), and that I am an “opt-in subscriber”, which I guess is spammer-speak for someone subscribed to a listserv against their will.
Mr. Richards, you festering mass of putridity, this trick of yours is a new low for spammers. I hope your company fails and drags you under with it. I hope you develop a terrible nerve disease that never allows you to speak, write, or communicate with anyone ever again, because it is clear that you should never touch a computer again. Go felch a dead dolphin.
God help us if this “opt-in” subscription for listservs spreads.