View Full Version : Spam and the "Remove" option

12-06-2002, 05:16 PM
OK, you get some spam, and at the end is a line that says "to remove yourself from our list, send an email with "remove" in the subject line"

Is it best to follow the suggestion, or not respond at all? I've heard a response just confirms they have a live address. What think ye who are more versed than I in such matters?

Roger Stouff
12-06-2002, 06:16 PM
Don's right...all it does is alert them that the email box is active and somebody's at the other end.

On the other hand, fried spam with hard-fried eggs and toast is a Rez delicacy! ;)

[ 12-06-2002, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: Roger Stouff ]

12-06-2002, 06:19 PM
You can spend hours writing creative message rules to block spam. The only ones I can't figure out how to block lately are the ones were they attach pics of naked asian chicks with pimples on thier butts and dirty feet. The text always looks something like this:


gunnar I am
12-06-2002, 06:29 PM
No! There's an easier way! I just hired this co. in Nigeria to block my spam. They siad they'd just withdraw $16.00 from my bank account automatically, once a year. Cool,huh? :D :D

12-06-2002, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by gunnar i am:
No! There's an easier way! I just hired this co. in Nigeria to block my spam. They siad they'd just withdraw $16.00 from my bank account automatically, once a year. Cool,huh? :D :D Hehehe - watch them pre-bill for a thousand years ;)

12-06-2002, 09:46 PM
Responding to a "remove me" url or email reply guarantees new spam. It indicates you're a "live" email address. The "up and up" company you know and (shouldn't) respect will either just sell your eddress off or, more likely, they hired a company to pump out the email in their name and that company will do the dirty work of excluding you from "Reputable, Inc." mailings and putting you on every other mail list they own!

Spam works because they get as much or more of the .04% (4/10ths of 1 percent - considered a successful mailing; 4 responses per thousand sent) response they get from a paper mailing at a tiny fraction of the cost. As long as people respond, they'll be there.

A group of people who use the Python programming language are working on a free spam killer that includes a plugin for Outlook. It's better then 99% accurate after a training period that customizes the killer filter to your mail patterns. Rather then toss mail, suspect emails are placed into a junk mail folder for final review by the user. The more mail you trash, the better it understands what you do and don't want.

Not really released yet, but you can follow the development and d/l useful but still experimental versions - and this _never_ out and out trashes mail! It is outstanding at getting the spam and has a very (very!) low false positive rate.


There are other variations that work with other windows and linux/unix email programs.

I'll try to help anyone using windows and Outlook 2000 (not Outlook Express) who wants to try this get it installed.

[ 12-06-2002, 10:49 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Nicholas Carey
12-07-2002, 12:37 AM
An easier way to get rid of most spam (actually, UCE -- unsolicited commercial email -- but that's another argument :D ) is to write rule, either in procmail or in your mail client.

It's a simple rule: chuck the message if the TO: or the CC: header doesn't contain your address or the address of a mailing list or alias to which you subscribe.

That one rule will toss probably 90%+ of the stuff going around, because your typical UCE has the intended recipients on the BCC: header.

12-07-2002, 01:25 AM
Good idea Nicholas, except that this is one time where the 92% of the world that uses Windows can't take advantage of it unfortunately. Indeed, it's the complexity of things like procmail etc. that makes Linux a non-starter for most of the toaster users.

BTW, Walmart is selling a $200 Lindows machine. I know because the news did what amounted to an infomercial for Microsoft (not _quite_ named) decrying the perfidity of Walmart in offering a machine "without a usable operating system" that can't use "most of the software like Word, Outlook and Office that people want." Tsk, tsk and it only had a 10gb disk. No mention of the huge quantities of high-quality *free* software available for Lindows (version of Linux).

As for writing a rule in Outlook, it can't even properly process the brain-dead rules it does allow you to write and I'm pretty sure you can't even write a rule that references the BCC field. I get enough spam addressed properly to my eddress that would make such a rule relatively ineffective anyway.

[ 12-07-2002, 02:31 AM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Mike Field
12-07-2002, 04:21 AM
McAfee have a SpamKiller program that intercepts your messages at your ISP and filters them. (It comes with dozens of preset filters, and you can also write your own.) Then it classifies all your incoming messages as tentative-kill or tentative-accept. You get a chance to check them all, and either rescue a tentative-kill that you actually want, or delete a tentative-accept that turns out to be spam. Then you delete everything you don't want. All this happens before anything gets through to your email package, so all you finally download are the genuine messages that you want. (This makes it much easier to do your email housekeeping -- no having to delete from your Inbox and then delete again from your Deleted directory.)

There's also a free antispam program called MailWasher available at http://www.mailwasher.net/ I can't tell you jhow good it is, but it's had pretty good press. I suspect it works in much the same way.