Problem with Spam - How can I end my misery?

29 replies
Hey Guys,

I started a new offline venture about 2 months ago, set up an email address, and for just short of 2 months my email was trouble-free.

But, recently I set up a business PayPal account, and on the same day I started receiving bucket loads of spam to the same email address I used to sign up to PayPal. I didn't sign up for anything else that day or for about a week or 2 before then.

Apparently there are a lot of people out there who think I desperately need V1agra. I hope my wife has nothing to do with this!

All jokes aside though, has anybody else had the same problem after signing up for a PayPal account lately? Could it be coincidence that I started being bombarded with spam the same day I opened the new account?

Seriously, I get spam emails from new addresses every day now. Its like some black hat idiot taught a bunch of other idiots how to steal email addresses, and they're sharing the addresses between themselves.

Is there somebody I can report these guys to / a way to stop the spam? Other than having to spend every morning labeling each new email as junk...

P.S. I am using Mozilla Thunderbird as my email program - anybody know of a decent anti spam add-on?

Cheers,

Nick
#end #misery #problem #spam
  • Profile picture of the author Geek3
    That's bizarre.. I mean, I'm not surprised, but I didn't expect PayPal to sell off your email information. I get spam, but I'm not sure if it's from PayPal or the many other locations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lotter
    I doubt PayPal sold off my email address. I heard not all that long ago though, from an ex-black hat marketer, that there are ways of acquiring email addresses from online sign-up forms using some wicked techno skills. I think that may be what's happened to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author A Bary
      There's a big spam attack for more than a month now, some related this to aweber get compromised, but it's not clear yet if other databases are compromised as well.

      Don't worry dude, nearly all of members hear suffer the same right now...it's not only about V1agra, it's about Replica Watches, tax returns and many other things.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
        I know that it is probably not recommended but I use Gmail for all my email accounts.

        I never have a problem with spam

        Gmail has an excellent spam filter and I had not even though about Spam until I just read your message.

        I have never had a negative from using Gmails free service.

        Gaz Cooper
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  • Profile picture of the author garyt
    I need a solution too. Am drowning in spam everyday. I guess the one way is to change email address.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary King
      Originally Posted by Nick Lotter View Post

      Is there somebody I can report these guys to / a way to stop the spam? Other than having to spend every morning labeling each new email as junk...

      Cheers,

      Nick
      Nick, sorry bud - it's global. Talk to whomever does your email hosting - just about every email provider has some sort of spam protection offering to at least knock down the bulk of it

      Are you using encrypted versions of your paypal buy now buttons?

      If not, the email address is right in the web page (by viewing its source) and will easily be picked up by spammers.

      You could also do as @garyt suggests below and change your address... that can be its own nightmare though.

      Originally Posted by garyt View Post

      I need a solution too. Am drowning in spam everyday. I guess the one way is to change email address.

      See above re: check with your email host...
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      • Profile picture of the author Nick Lotter
        Originally Posted by Gary King View Post


        Are you using encrypted versions of your paypal buy now buttons?

        If not, the email address is right in the web page (by viewing its source) and will easily be picked up by spammers.

        Thanks Gary. Thing is though, I started getting the spam before I even created any buy buttons.
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        • Profile picture of the author Gary King
          Originally Posted by Nick Lotter View Post

          Thanks Gary. Thing is though, I started getting the spam before I even created any buy buttons.
          I checked the pages in your sig - they don't seem to have the email exposed.

          I do see you're using Aweber (as many here are). They have had two notable data breaches in recent history, resulting in the release of emails. It could simply be from there.

          Not to be a "Chicken Little" but it doesn't matter HOW at this point - if not the way it happened, it would be another... it's too cheap to send and too profitable so unfortunately, it's going to exist.

          See what your email host can do for you - usually it's included or a small fee.

          Originally Posted by moonfish View Post

          I think Gary raises a good point, they're most probably scraping your web page and getting your email address from an unencrypted paypal button. Managing spam doesn't have to be a complete nightmare though and you can configure the spam settings on your web host.

          Another thing to consider is a third party application like Mailwasher pro or even Mozilla Thunderbird, which you can train to recognize and automatically delete spam.

          Give me a few years though and I'll most probably be clicking on those Viagra offers
          Thanks moonfish.. Yikes! Here's to hoping it's MANY years before you need to click those offers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curt7
    I use Thunderbird, and I set up message filters for my email accounts. Some of them get close to 100 spam emails a day, but most of them go straight to my junk folder. Just go to tools and click on message filters to set them up. It's pretty handy.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonboom
    I'm another gmail user. You can pop mail from other domain email addresses, and I never see the spam. Outlook's junk email filter works fairly well too, but it misses a few here and there -- and also throws in important messages when they should be kept separate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lotter
    LOL @ moonfish

    Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm going to set up some filters in Thunderbird and just manage the spam that way. I admit though that the dark side of me wants to get those buggers back somehow...
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  • Profile picture of the author waken
    No.. but if you've signed in your email and browsing to spammy websites on another tab of your browser or with another browser, those sites have bots behind the scene, etc. that can steal info.

    Always make sure that you've logged out from your email account before browsing around. You'll never know which website is not clean.

    But I trust Paypal. Shouldn't be the cause.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I used to use Thunderbird also. I migrated all my major email and domains to Google's free Google Apps. I'm completely SPAM FREE now. Nothing gets by.

    I highly recommend moving your @domain.com address to Google Apps. PLUS...it takes a HUGE LOAD OFF your server. Mail is a hell of a resource hog.

    http://www.google.td/support/forum/p...3abf7229&hl=en
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Nick Lotter View Post

      LOL @ moonfish

      Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm going to set up some filters in Thunderbird and just manage the spam that way. I admit though that the dark side of me wants to get those buggers back somehow...
      Nick, stay away from the dark side. Those clowns know their way around a lot better than you do, I imagine...

      I've used Outlook before, switched to Thunderbird for the ability to manage multiple emails. Lately, though, the spammers were finding ways around the junk rules faster than the rules were updating, and the filter list was getting ridiculous.

      So I started using Gmail to fetch the email in the main accounts, and filtered those messages into separate folders. Works like a charm. I went from 100-200 spams a day down to a few per week.
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  • Profile picture of the author jointaldc
    I don't think it was paypal, I set up an account not too long ago and didn't get any other type of spam that I wasn't already getting.... I'm already know my spam
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  • Profile picture of the author Boghead
    You could just hand over your url's email to Google Apps so that yourname@yoursite.com is handled just like Gmail with all the spam filters Google use.

    Once you've that set up you can then just pop that back from Google mail to your Thunderbird.

    /Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author bt
      Yeah I know what you mean, I remember years ago when I used to be on AOL. The only thing I really liked about AOL was the spam filter. I could set the spam filter to block all incoming mail. I wish Yahoo had that option.

      It's really crazy the nerve of some of these spammers, what a stupid way to promote a product by sending junk email to someone they don't even know. I guess that apparently they are making money at it or they are just plain stupid.

      I had a Yahoo account that got so bad that I was getting about 300 junk e-mails per day. I finally just closed the account down.
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  • Profile picture of the author tht222
    This the least of your worries, wait until some spammer starts sending millions of messages with your email address as the sender - only then the real fun begins. It has happened with 3 or 4 of my sites over the years and I was getting 200+ emails daily (messages that bounced) + loads of complaints to my host....
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Try gmail and fwd to thunderbird. I use gmail and outlook, and gmail captures my daily 340000000 spam emails for me, so I only get proper ones in outlook.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Tall bridge + short rope?

    I find that I cannot keep a clean email address. Someone who has me in their address book always get nabbed by an address book scraper.

    So I simply change my primary email address about every 6-12 months.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    There are always a few false positives with ANY spam filter - just the other day I missed a potentially important mail from a client, to arrange a day's voiceover work (no, I don't generally do voiceover work, long story!), and the job could have fallen through. As it was, the whole thing had to get moved back a week. And there was nothing about the email that would suggest spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Even
    I recommend gmail as well! Works well for me (I still get all the spam, but it's filtered and I never see it).
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Merit
    Originally Posted by Nick Lotter View Post

    Apparently there are a lot of people out there who think I desperately need V1agra. I hope my wife has nothing to do with this!
    Look on the bright side Nick...there is always someone worse off than you!!

    I keep getting told that I need an enlargement down below, which is rather emasculating to say the least...even if I am of the opposite gender!

    Seriously though, my broadband provider allows up to 500 disposable email addresses which I use. It is also interesting to discover which ones are being spammed.

    The disposable emails are in the format "name-keyword@" and you only insert a variable for the "keyword." They all arrive to the same inbox although you can set up filters to direct them to prescribed folders.

    In respect of your specific problem I don't believe for one minute that PayPal is responsible. Have you any PayPal items for sale on the internet? This normally discloses your email address and may have been picked up by some sort of url/email scraper.
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  • Profile picture of the author powerspike
    I use thunder bird as well, I have alot of email addresses (most for my "day job") which are on a public website, so there's not a chance of not getting spam.

    I have attached an image of one of a few of my spam filters in Thunderbird.

    I have one for watches (and variants) and v1gara etc. It's a pain in the butt, but ultimately your going to get spam, i had a clean email for 2 years... then i started getting spam.. then found out aweber got hacked... not fun at all.

    Taking 10 minutes now to setup (manual) spam filters will save you 5-10minutes a day deleting them lol
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    • Profile picture of the author StanCan
      I agree with gmail being the best free email service when it comes to spam filtering. I can't say the same thing about yahoo mail. Everyday, I have to sort at least 50 spam messages about viagra, online MBA degrees, Walmart coupons, etc. They do go straight to the Spam folder but sometimes legit emails get filtered and end up there.
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  • Profile picture of the author bobsstuff
    When I post an email address on a website, I always use and ascii encoder to encode the email address. So far the spambots have not gotten around to decoding an ascii encoded address. Here is a free site where you can encode addresses. Email Address Encoder

    One thing, once you encode an address, be sure the program you use does not automatically decode it and enter it as a standard text string. I had this problem in Kompozer. I would enter the ascii code at the SOURCE level, save the document and go back to source and check and Kompozer removed the ascii coding and changed it back to a plain text email address. I had to use dreamweaver to solve this problem.
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    • You could buy some info domain name and then create emails for whatever service you're signing up with, on that domain.
      For example you buy mysecretemailaddress.com, then you can create one account for every service you sign up, like amazon@mysecretemailaddress.com, paypal@...com etc.
      Then just set a forwarding option in your cpanel to forward all the mail to your "real" personal email. As soon as spam comes through, you can check from which address it was forwarded from and kill that one.

      As for paypal, this didn't happen to me, but you can sign up different email addresses within the same account. So maybe use my above tip, create "paypal2@...com", put it in and see if spam arrives on that as well. If yes, then that is really not a good sign...
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  • Profile picture of the author jamjar919
    Try googling you email and seeing if its anywhere and then asking for it to be removed as spambots crawl text with an '@' in it or 'AT' to get your email
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