harvesting email addresses here for spam?



#2

i have all but abandoned my old email and started using another here and in corospondance because i am tired of wading through 30 to 40 offers each day to buy viagra, enlarge my tool, consolidate my debts, get a credit card, refinance my home, see young girls nekid etc. i just got a spam on my other email (which i have had for 4 years and never got spam on) from a steaming pile named Donald Kayode. he has an "Important business proposal" for me. yea, right. probably wants to help me invest in a large reddish bridge just north of san francisco.

anyway, i was wondering if he harvested my email from here. it is only posted one other place and that is a low traffic site - one that would not be likely to be frequented by frisky girls with names ending in the letter "i" who would write a letter to a stranger asking if i want to see the new movie of her and rover.

anyone else getting offers from mr. kayode?


#3

I've had the same email - it's the usual African scam (in the pre email days most of the letters originated from Nigeria)- millions of dollars acquired in dubious means ($33m in this case) which they need to move out and can they just use your bank account - you'll get 20% (yeah right!) - just send you account number and hey-presto - before you know it your account's been cleared out - in the last month I've had similar offers from Rev Kelly Momoh, Mrs Mariam Sese-seko, Dominic Jones, Mohammed Abacha and Patrick Foster - aren't I lucky? The others were all addressed to an email address I use for an Innocenti Mini-Cooper forum but Donald's effort was the email address I use here so you're probably right in thinking your address was harvested here.

#4

Not getting email from said pea brain but there's just no end of these rude jerks. I don't make it easy on them any more in getting my name triple and quadruple times on the same list, which is why you don't see me post my email address here. It is not that I don't want to share with the majority of good folks here, it's just that it takes just one in a thousand to wind up inundated with unwanted crap.

On the other hand, I've started email accounts on the free servers (hotmail, yahoo, etc) and gotten spam on them right away, having NEVER used it even once and having never given the address to ANYONE. Go figure.

#5

Mostly likely from here. I just received the same email from the person after I posted a ad here a few days ago.

#6

Yes, that name looks familiar, I saw it in my inbox a little while ago.

The "Nigerian scam", but with the faintly amusing variation that he's a private investigator in Europe who's been contacted by officials in Africa with a proposal to transfer several million dollars to my account, whence I'm to transfer it to a special account in the Cayman Islands....

Too late to get the details; it's already been trashed.

But I honestly don't know whether he got my e-mail address from this forum. I get one of these every few days. Mostly annoying, but occasionally the lies are outrageous enough to be slightly amusing. These guys should join a "liars club".

Regards,
James


#7

I don't think he's getting your address from here; I use my hotmail account when I post here and I don't get any spam there (touch wood).

Of course, my normal email address that I use for day-to-day correspondence gets 40+ emails a day...I'm thinking that I'm going to respond first to the email that guarantees you a salary of a million a year, so that I can afford to buy all of the other products (such as viagara and the "enlargement" tool...not that I need either of those! :))

B.

#8

Yes, I got that email today. I also got email last week from "support@microsoft.com" with an attachment - the same morning I read a news story about a new virus that was attached to an email like that - also in the news story, Microsoft reminded everyone that they never send unsolicited email with attachments! I minimized my preview pane - I understand that is the only way to keep Outlook Express from opening an email if, for instance, the item is at the end of the list when you start OE. When I right-clicked on the attachment, it showed the envelope icon, like an email attached to an email - I've never figured out how to open those! So I guess it wouldn't open automatically, like a jpeg or a gif. I'll bet there's exceptions, like if there is Java code in the email telling it to open the attachment.

Are there email readers that work like news readers - that don't automatically download every item but just the headers so you can decide what you want to download?


#9

HI

I use mailwasher pro http://www.firetrust.com/products/mailwasherpro/

This actually lists mail on your servers and allows you to delete without downloading, you can read the mail on the server as well. Also it can create blacklists and create fake "bouce" messages.

Works well for me


#10

Thanks, I'm going to look into that!

#11

I downloaded mailwasher pro this morning and have already bounced a bunch of spam, which makes me feel like I am accomplishing something, at least! There is a 30 day free trial and then it will cost $30 and I just might bite the bullet and buy it.

#12

I've been getting a lot of those e-mails from "Microsoft Support" and such "helpful" folks with an attached infected file for the last few weeks. I've noticed that the "To" or "CC to" often includes the addresses of a lot of folks that I recognize from comp.sys.hp48; I suspect that someone on the newsgroup has a virus.

What's really nice is that sometimes, right after Norton AntiVirus notifies me that it's taken care of it, a sender's ISP e-mails me a warning that it's detected that an infected e-mail has been sent to me. Seems to me that they could detect the virus and *not* send the e-mail, simply notifying the sender.

#13

re: "Are there email readers that work like news readers - that don't automatically download every item but just the headers so you can decide what you want to
download? "

Depends on where/how you get your mail. I get most of my mail via a non-PC, non-browser-based UNIX system. The e-mail address I give here goes to that system. I read it within an ascii window, using a mail program called pine on the nevada.edu server. I --> NEVER <-- worry about PC viruses with such a system. I do get my share of spam, however!

I also have an Earthlink mail box, which I access via my ancient Netscape 4.78 browser. This version of Netscape is so old that Earthlink mail doesn't support it. It then does what I think you want: it offers to let me look at the headers, at which point I can click on a header and then read the associated mail. I use this so little (pretty much just to get my Earthlink messages) that I have never had any spam there. And nobody has that address in any address book, so I've not gotten any viruses either. The address would be hard to get from a random address generator: I use my ham radio call, consisting of a letter, a number, and three more letters. A blind searcher would have to try 36^5 possible "names" to be sure to get it. (A quick check with my trusty '41CX shows that this equals 60,466,176 possibilities.)

So, all you need is an ancient browser and/or a non-windows e-mail system. (Another reason to hate Microsoft!?)

#14

There is no doubt that someone/s is/are harvesting email addresses from here. I had no spams for years! I tried to avoid posting my email address wherever I could. Since I posted my WTB red dot (7th April) I get more and more of these annoying messages.
Could there be an easy way to get in contact with other HP-minded people without crying out our addresses or names around the world?


#15

I discovered the HP Museum Forum only about one week ago, and had the same offer to receive 33 Million US$ from Nigeria (20% is for You). But I remember that I got a very similar offer two years ago, at that time I didnt know anything about the HP Museum.
Bernhard

#16

And there are a lot more "spammer-tools". I have an ISP account that was used ONLY for receiving billing statements for years. Several months ago it started receiving several spams a day. One of the new spammer tricks is to do "dictionary attacks" on ISPs. They basically combine a huge list of names, exhaustive or randomly generated character strings, user names known from OTHER ISPs etc. and flood an ISP with emails to each one of them. The 0.00001% that don't bounce are the real addresses. So never giving out an email address doesn't protect you any more. (And you wonder why your net access slows down sometimes...)

My ISP reacted to this by installing SpamAssassin and it seems to be working quite well. My hpmuseum address goes through spamcop which is also pretty nice. All email to this address if forwarded to spamcop.net which holds most spams (for up to 2 weeks in case you want to review them) and deletes viruses (all so far).

I'm working on a couple of modifications for the forum software right now. The big one is message editing. (Another feature was improving the speed of the archives. That one's in place now.)

I'm also thinking about some sort of email obscuration and/or total invisibility (ie, clicking on a poster would present a form that you could fill in with your message and return address but you would never see the actual poster address unless you receive an email reply.) If anyone has any thoughts on this, I'm open to ideas because I haven't throught it through yet.


#17

The system has worked pretty well for me-- just don't fill in the email address blank, or if you do, fill it in like "imacollector@NOSPAMyahoo.com". If you want to get REALLY elaborate, just tell people they can contact you if they hold a mirror to "moc.oohay@rotcellocami".

A harvester has a pretty hard time with that; but presumably, a calculator enthusiast could figure it out.

You can implement whatever you want, of course-- but, quite simply, it should remain up to the user to protect his own... whether mail address or whatever. I would think that obscuration will only lead to requests for you to provide feedback, i.e., an email to me stating whenever someone had requested my email, etc. Or other complications of that sort.

On a philosophical note: I think we are going eventually to see this spam-boom hurt the entire Internet, either through increased regulation, or fees, or some much more complex mail-system. A few bad apples...


#18

I saw someone here (maybe Glynn) inserting "NOSPAM" in posted email addresses, and decided to try it myself. My old hotmail account is still a target of all the spam offers mentioned in db's opening post, but my newer EarthLink address is clean and unmolested.

I assume it's because I've been posting it as "pjbroggerNoHormel@earthlink.net" . (I chose "NoHormel" because I think the harvesters may catch on to "NoSpam" sooner or later.)

So, for what it's worth, my experience is that obscuration definitely helps.


#19

paul; ....and when they catch on to nohormel you can change it to "bloody vikings".

btw all: i tried the firetrust program and so far it has only confirmed that i don't speak geek.


#20

I saw your NO HORMEL a week ago or so when I read one of your posts--I like it!


Bill

#21

I don't know about speaking geek but I was intrigued by some of the mannerisms of speech on the firetrust website such as "the ONLY way to deal to senders of junk e-mail" - the use of "deal to" where I would say "deal with". The company is in New Zealand and that must be the way they say it there.

I think the program is great! Basically, it is just an independent (of your regular mail program) way to preview your mail without really opening the files. I don't know why this program can clearly download the data without the mail server noticing, but it's bound to have something to do with the protocol of internet mail - maybe something akin to the way a merchant inquires about your credit card balance at the time of the transaction but doesn't actually charge your account until the time of shipping.

I especially like that mailwasher lets you "bounce" unwanted emails instead of just delete them - the way they describe it, they are able to make your mail server respond in a way that causes the sender to think your email ID is invalid. Whether it really makes a difference or not, it makes me feel that I am doing something! Time will tell if it really reduces the amount of spam delivered to me.

The only thing you have to remember is to run mail washer before you run your email program, or at least before you tell your email program to get your mail from the server. Use mail washer first, let it get your new mail, mark the no good mail to be bounced, mark the emails from those you want remembered as friends, then tell mail washer to "process mail". It then does the bouncing and remembering. When it has finished, it starts up your email program and you tell it to get your mail - which will only be the good items that you said you wanted to receive. Over time, mail from sites you have bounced mail from before is automatically marked "blacklisted" and pre-selected to bounce, mail from "friends" is highlighted. You can read all the text in the message from within mailwasher so you can decide if you want to go ahead and receive mail that would otherwise be bounced.

One thing I have to train myself to do is to click on "Send All" instead of "Send/Receive" when I send an email, otherwise I bypass mail washer for any messages that arrived since I last used mail washer (or since mail washer last automatically checked for new mail).

I started out the hard way when I installed mail washer: I went looking for the items it needs to identify your email accounts (I only have one). It needs your email user name (the left part of your email address), your incoming mail server, your outgoing mail server (you can find both of these under "Tools / Accounts / Properties / Servers" in your mail program [at least Outlook Express]) and your email password (only you know this, although your mail program has probably been remembering it for you, but it won't tell mail washer!) I went and gathered all these things and got mail washer working before I noticed it has an "Import" buttom that would have found everything but my password!

#22

Dave, that's a great improvement! I was thinking of suggesting that it go straight to the "customize" screen but what you have done is better.

#23

The email havesters are onto the NOSPAM, etc trick. I suggest some random uppercase characters that need to be removed.

As far as Hotmail is concerned a group of spamsters has been probing every possible combination of characters for a couple of years now. Once they latch onto your name, expect 50+ disgusting emails a day. Hotmail refuses to do anything to stop them.


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