By Shamus Posted Friday Jan 13, 2006

Filed under: Rants 17 comments

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 [email protected]*. (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 (
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
"[email protected]" 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

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Ngoho
mailto: [email protected]

To no longer receive any important information from us, just reply
‘NOT INTERESTED'to [email protected].

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.


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17 thoughts on “Gamespotted

  1. Vini says:

    I’ve just received the exact same email. Are you sure theyve sold it, or is it just published online somewhere, like in our profiles?

    I too have only been with GameSpot a week, and i too have used gamespot@domain (suckers)

    Spam sucks!


  2. Shamus says:

    I've just received the exact same email. Are you sure theyve sold it, or is it just published online somewhere, like in our profiles?

    This is a good point. I don’t know. In my experience spiders tend to take a while before they find you, and this happened so soon after the sign-up that I didn’t really consider it. But this is by no means certain, and you are right that Gamespot might not be directly responsible here. If it was harvested from our profiles, then I guess Gamespot is careless, not greedy.

  3. frank says:

    I just recieved this today. header says it’s from somewhere in the phillipines. I wa wondering if this was the same ip everyone else recieved as well. The spammer was using an earthlink and techmail email address in header.

  4. Bethany says:

    I just got the exact same e-mail and googled the name “Joseph Ngoho” and got this blog as the top result. So apparently this has been going on since January and nothing’s been done about it. What was scary to me was that I just signed up for gmail last week, so very few people know it and I haven’t used it on any websites. I for one would like to know who this Joseph is and how he gets unsolicited e-mail addresses.

  5. Caitlin says:

    yeah, i googled the name as well, and this was the top thing there. Stuff like this is rather annoying. Just thought I’d leave a reply ^_^

  6. Caitlin says:

    sorry, should have said this in the first post, but yeah, i got the bulk email today. I don’t even know what I did to get it >_

  7. Richard(MEX) says:

    Hi, I received the same email too 3 weeks ago. I don’t remember to enter or register into Gamespot, but in that week I had been surfing in many videogames pages, searching for some info for my homework.
    The header says it’s from and as Frank said it’s somewhere in the Phillipines. In fact, the email pass through a node in Manila, Phillipines (IP Finally the email was sent from a TMAIL account, that it’s used for sending web based form results to one or multiple email accounts. So I don’t know this can be stopped. I hope don’t receive this disgusting email again (¬_¬). Greetings!!

  8. kieran says:

    yeh i got the same email but it was on a yahoo mail account so it cant just be gamespot

  9. Jens says:

    I just get the same mail.
    But is it annything i can do

  10. corin says:

    I recieved this today too!!!

  11. corin says:

    I recieved this today too!!

  12. Schmidt says:

    Learn it
    Love it

  13. Nohria says:

    Received same mail from Joseph. Header of mail giving IP address which belongs to philipines in asia. A spam mail.

  14. yoshi927 says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t tell you to mail something to Nigeria, frankly. -_-

  15. It’s likely that they just happened to hit upon your email address with a dictionary attack. For example, one of my addresses uses non-dictionary words, the other my actual (fairly ordinary) name. The former received about two spam emails a week for most of its (more than a decade long) life, the latter started getting bombarded the instant I opened the Inbox, suggesting it had already been a spam target before it even existed. The latter is subject to a lot of “recommend a friend for a free prize” sign-ups too (the unauthenticated ones are the worst).

    Wow, this is untimely. I misread the sort order on the “rants” page. ;)

  16. Sauron says:

    Some intelligent person may have simply made a spider that specifically crawls Gamespot profiles, as there are likely large numbers of emails there.

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