What do spammers hope to accompilish by...

back-dating their emails? Sometimes I won’t see a spam email for several days if I have my inbox sorted by send time rather than receive time, and the email is dated 2001 or some such, even though I’ve just gotten it (and no, it’s not due to delays in an email server somewhere). Anyone know?

Actually, I just assumed it meant some spammers don’t have the clocks on their PCs set correctly.

Hey, if you’re dumb enough to spam in the first place…

[ hijack ]

I found the title/author combination hilarious:

What do spammers hope to accompilish by… Running with Scissors

[ /hijack ]

They hope to accomplish the same thing as they do when they make the subject line start with Re: . If it looks like their reply has been delayed you might think that you’ve just forgotten writing to them first, it being so long ago.

Or it really could be that their system just doesn’t have the right date set on it. Let’s face it, spammers are idiots and liars. It could be either.

I also wonder what they have to gain with misleading subject lines. Got one the other day with the line “Dinner plans.”

What kind of a dipwad sees that, says, “Hey, who was I supposed to be having dinner with? Crap, I forgot!” and opens the mail in a cold sweat, just to find an advertisment for a new kind of golf club, then says, “Hmmm . . . I wonder if that would help my swing? I think I’ll give these people money!”

Spammers only survive because the bottom %0.001 of the bell curve responds to them.

And I realize that I’ve just answered my own question, but it felt good to get that off my chest anyway.

My own theory about back-dating the spam and that it tends to break up a clump of spam mail. I seldomly fall for any of the subject line shinanagins and at the end of the day, I usually clikc on the first piece of spam, then the last peice and erase everything in between. Usually they are all clumped together on AOL. Every once in a while though, I find one stuck between two messages I am saving and actually find myself stopping for a moment to think “Did I mean to keep that for some reason?” Usually then I open it and it gets deleted to. That said, they do sometimes get me to open it, especially if the subject line is questionable (i.e. could have been from someone I know).

I think if spammers really wanted to be successful they should try using shorter e-mail address and domain names. Real e-mails come from: Yarster@aol.com

Fake ones are easy to pick out because they are of the type:


I hate back-dated Spam, because I have about a year’s worth of messages in my Yahoo mailbox, and I have to hunt through them all to eradicate the stupid Spam message so it will stop showing up as “unread”. On a side note, I’m a member of a Yahoo group consisting entirely of FOUR members, and some bozo went to the trouble of joining the group entirely to send out a piece of unrelated Spam. I mean, there are plenty of groups out there with thousands of members, and he chooses this one? How pathetic can you be?

-Andrew L

Really? Me, too. The group owner/operator kicked him/her off the list immediately, though. I think we have about nine members, though.

What bugs me is when the SPAM contains specific subject lines which should be illegal for them to use since they are obviously lying. For instance “Your credit check results” or “Your application has been approved” or “Your confirmation required”

All that is a bunch of BS. Sometimes you have no idea on whats legit and are forced to open them only to see plenty of crap. Misleading subjects (especially ones which often have nothing to do with the product they’re selling) should be illegal and strictly enforced as the abuse grows at an exponential rate.

Also, what the hell is “You are receiving this email because you were on or have been on our past mailing lists, click here to unsubscribe”. Even though you know for sure you never signed up for anything, bought anything from them or their affiliates, they still say that. Hell make a new email account, don’t sign up for anything at all, watch the SPAM pour in with those messages, just to prove they are a bunch of liars who can’t get real jobs like everyone else.

According to the Spamcop newsgroup, some spammers back date so that when Spamcop or other organizations like it or the spammee acting on their own behalf reports the spam to the ISP the spammer can tell the ISP “oh, but we stopped spamming on 02/02/02, and look, this spam is dated 01/01/01 - so, that’s just old spam that was sent out before your cease and desist order.”

Of course, I don’t know if this is true, and even if it is, there may be other reasons.

Back-dated spam will appear at the top of your inbox if you use a program like Eudora and have your e-mail sorted by date.