What the heck is up with AOL??? (SPAM)

I never had cause to use AOL. Usually we can connect to the internet through our hotel without an ISP but today it was down. Being the system admin for the hotel web site the GM told me they keep AOL as a back up.

Anyway I log in do my business and it looked kind of interesting. So when I am finished, I start posting no show charges. Well each batch takes about 4 minutes to process through authorization. So being bored I flipped the window back to AOL and logged into ONE chat room. (Being a poor webtv-er I don’t have JAVA and wanted to see what the big deal was) I couldn’t have been in the chat room (it was the CHGO CHAT) for more than a minute (literally) any way I go to look at the straight dope and suddenly a little voice says “You have mail.” Within the hour I had 11 spams in the box over 1/2 were porn. There was no mail in the box before I logged in as I had to set myself up as a user.

What is up with AOL. How could I get spammed so quick from one AOL chat?

Only 11 in an hour? You got off light, kiddo!

Actually, though I hate to defend AOL, the spam problem has gotten a lot better.

The best advice I can give is to make a chat-name if you intend to use AOL for any length of time. A chat-name is a screen-name which has mail filters set (log onto the master account and go to KEYWORD:MAILCONTROLS to set these filters to the ACCEPT NO MAIL setting.) Use this chat-name for chatting, IM’s, web surfing, whatever.

In addition, you’ll need another name. This name CAN get email–but the only people who should know this name are the people that you want to receive mail from. Do NOT use this name to go to chats. Do NOT use this name to surf the web. And under no circumstances should this name have a profile.

That’s a lot of work for a member to go through in order to solve what is essentially a problem on AOL’s end…but there it is.


Harvesters glean screen names from the window that names the people in the chat. They use the collected names to send their spam, and/or they compile lists, for sale to other spammers.

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