on Jan 13, 2006
An advantage of having my domain is that whenever I sign up for a web site that requires registration, I use the site name in my sign-up email address. If I sign up for espn, I’ll give them firstname.lastname@example.org*. (I get the email no matter what I use for the beginning of the address) This means if they misuse my address or are careless with it in such a way that I start getting spam, I can tell who did it.
Six days ago I signed up for Gamespot. I only did this because there was a file they had that I wanted to download, and I couldn’t get it anywhere else.
This morning I got the following email:
My name is Joseph Ngoho
I am sorry for the unusual approach but I have acquired
your email address (email@example.com)
as a person who is actively involved or is `looking for an
online `Business `Opportunity.
If this is the case I would be grateful if you would allow
me to send you details of an `opportunity that I am currently
involved in at the moment.
I did not want to send you any details until I had mailed
you to seek your `permission first,as experience has taught
me that not all leads that we acquire are genuine`Business
`Opportunity Seekers, If this is the case for you then please
ignore this email as you have already been excluded from
future mailing from me.
If however It would be ok to send you details of my
`Opportunity then please send an email to
"firstname.lastname@example.org" with "MORE_INFO" in the
subject line and your Name in the text body, without this I cannot
send you any further information I am afraid.
So why not give it a try?... it's`FREE anyway!...
Just give me a chance to show you how our program
You can cancel your membership anytime you want.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you very much for your time and your cooperation,
God Bless You and your Family
To no longer receive any important information from us, just reply
‘NOT INTERESTED’to email@example.com.
Nothing like a business proposition that begins with subverting your anti-spam with bad punctuation, opens with an obvious lie, insults your intelligence, and ends with insincere closing. I also note that he uses three different email addresses here, all of which are different from the actual return address of the email. I love how the email for suckers is seperate from the email for “unsubscribers”. I betting the latter leads right to the bit bucket.
So it took Gamespot no time at all to sell my email. It might have been sold the same day I signed up. And they didn’t just sell it to some game or computer hardware company, but sold it to some sleazy filthy scammer. It has gotten to the point where we expect legit sites to send us “updates” in the mail when they have new banner ads they want us to see, but simply selling user emails to operations like this? That is low. Really low.
You know I have a winning online marketing strategy for you: sell me the home address of these idiots. I’d pay good money to know where I could find them. I’ll bet unsubscribing is easier in person. With a baseball bat. And then tell me where I can find these whores at Gamespot.
* I replaced the letter “o” in my address in this post with a zero, to defeat spiders. I mention this just to avoid confusion.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.