How does a spammer get my e-mail
There are several ways spammers can obtain your e-mail address by obtaining it
directly or indirectly, from you! A spammer will commonly sell or trade lists of e -mail
addresses so once an e-mail address is on one list, it may be merged with o thers and
might be nearly impossible to remove. To reduce spam, control your e-mail address and
how it is used.
Here are the most common ways spammers obtain your e-mail addresses from you:
1. They have obtained your e-mail address from one of your posts to a newsgroup,
other bulletin board or chat room. Spammers use software programs, often
referred to as "spidering" programs, to search for e -mail addresses on these
2. Similarly, spammers have software that scans Web sites for e-mail addresses. If
you have a personal web page, or administrate a web site, any e -mail addresses
on those pages may be located and added to e-mail lists.
3. You reply to spam or unwanted e-mails, asking to be removed by clicking a fake
"reply to unsubscribe" link. Often when you do this, you are confirming that your
e-mail address is valid and is being monitored. This is something a spammer
wants in an e -mail address. This can result in even MORE spam.
This practice still continues, despite the passage of a federal anti-spam law
called The Can Spam Act, that went into effect January 1, 2004, requiring a
functioning "opt out" link or a legitimate "reply to unsubscribe" e-mail address.
4. You've signed up for "free" or pay services on the Internet without checking the
mailing list. Filling out Web site forms, surveys, etc., also can get your e -mail
address added to a list.
5. You've intentionally signed up for a mailing list without checking their policies.
Hopefully this will result in receiving only the e-mails you want and not spam.
6. Someone else has signed you up to a mailing list and/or provided your e-mail
address to a company because you didn't let them know that you want to keep
your e-mail address private.
Spammers can also obtain your e-mail address without your help, simply by guessing it.
Surprisingly, this is a common process, and can be quite effective. Here's how they do
1. A spammer may start with a list of valid e-mail addresses, then extract the user
name portion of the e -mail address, (everything before the @ sign) and try to use
it with different providers, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. This is a hit-or-miss
approach to growing their existing mailing list that is often very successful.
2. Spammers also use software programs to generate random user names from
common names and words in the dictionary. Again, once they generate their list
of user name, they just add a popular domain name to the end.
How does a spammer get my e-mail address? – 4/4/05