Where does the spam come from?

I just opened a new Hotmail account. Now, I’ve never had problems with spammers (or,if you wanna be PC, junk emailers) before with any of the addresses I’ve maintained. In fact, two or three junk messages a year was about my norm.

But now, I don’t know what’s happened. I opened a new account last week. Two days later, it’s got 26 messages in it, all garbage. I did the block/delete, so I won’t (says Hotmail) get anything more from those addresses. Today, there are 19 more new messages.

The weird thing is, I’ve got two other Hotmail accounts, without anything like this.

Any theories?

Yeah, hotmail sucks. Get one with Yahoo.

I’ve got both, Yahoo i average about 5 a week, all of which get filtered with their bulk mail folder.

With Hotmail i get about 30 a week in my **inbox[/].
that’s with 12 filters, the bulk mail folder activated, and all the addresses blocked that it will allow me to block.

Extra bonus with Yahoo: 6mb of storage as opposed to 2 with Homail.

smacks head on keyboard, points at self

Stupid! use preview you dolt!

Well, Austin, MN of course.


It’s called a dictionary attack.

Spammers just send mail to combinations of common words and numbers at Hotmail. Chances are they’ll get some right because there are so many Hotmail accounts, and since they forge the return address, they don’t have to worry about undeliverables bouncing back to them.

I signed up two Hotmail accounts - one was my name and my two digit year of birth, the other was my first initial, four digits, my middle initial, three digits and my last initial. myname00@hotmail gets spammed, x1234x567x@hotmail doesn’t. Downside - it’s not a catchy email address, but the way I figure it is most people enter it into their address book anyway. Generally, when people ask for my email address, I ask for theirs instead and tell them I’ll email them from my address. That works for me.

Next time you get spammed, check to see if the email addresses it was sent to are listed in the To: field. If they are, expect to see a whole heap of variants on your email address, like : bob@hotmail, bobb@hotmail, bob1@hotmail, boba@hotmail, bob53@hotmail, etc. Some will even have bob, boba, bobb, bobc, bobd, etc.

What have you used the address for? Register on any message boards with it? Post to a newsgroup with it? Buy merchandise online with it? Anything else?

If you haven’t used it for anything online, and you’ve only given it to friends and family, I strongly suspect Hotmail sold your address to spammers. However, I am curious about this as well, because I myself have two Hotmail accounts. One gets craploads of spam, and has since day one. The other one is spam-free. I have no idea why.

Oh, dear Lord. cazzle, I never thought of that. Cripes. Had I but known… ah, well, too late now.

It’s hardly in Hotmail’s best interests to do this. They’re the ones who have to cough up for more server space when spam is filling mail boxes, and they have to hired people to handle complaints and abuse reports. They’d have to make a lot of money selling addresses for it to be worthwhile.

Yeah, that makes sense, cazzle. It’s just that it’s the only thing I could think of that would explain how an account that had just been opened would get tons of spam almost immediately. But your explanation makes much more sense.

This particular address has no numbers in it; I’ve got one with my initials and year of birth, that, as cazzle pointed out, got all sorts of variations on the name and numbers.

I haven’t looked at the ‘from’ lines on the message, I just click ‘block/delete’.

Thanks for the theories.

That reminds me …
I used to go to school in Austin, MN. Every year they have SPAM Jam, a festival to celebrate SPAM luncheon meat. There are signs up around town declaring it “SPAMtown USA”, which is very vaguely creepy. Anyway, I heard that due to the Events of Sept. 11, the grand opening of the SPAM Museum was postponed. Isn’t that amazing?

No, I mean the fact that there’s actually a SPAM museum!

Just had to pop in to say that, more than once, while scrolling down through the forum listing, I see “Where does the sperm come from?” I know, I know. I’m going now.