From bobrankin@MHV.NET Fri Apr  4 08:51:28 1997
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 00:23:42 -0500
From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 03 April 1997 - Dealing With Junk Mail

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC:  Dealing With Junk E-Mail

Adam Boettiger, moderator for the I-Advertising Digest, a moderated
discussion on Internet Advertising, Marketing and Online Commerce
( has an excellent report
for us today on the topic of "How to Combat Bulk Unsolicited E-mail".

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What follows is an edited version of Adam's original work.  If you'd
like to read the full text, you can find it online at the address:

This message is a bit longer than most TOURBUS postings, but I think
you'll agree it's worthwhile reading - especially the anti-spam links at
the end!

"How to Combat Bulk Unsolicited E-mail"

The purpose of this report is to present ways that you can effectively
reduce the number of unsolicited email messages you receive each day.

I am writing this article because so many people have asked what they
can do to combat this problem.  I have outlined some ideas below that
can help you reduce the amount of junk email you receive on a daily
basis.  I hope you find this useful and if so, that you share it with
your friends.

I don't think I have met a person yet who has NOT received unsolicited
email in one form or another.  In fact, I can remember that within 5
minutes of activating a Compuserve account, bulk emailers already had my
address -- go figure!  First, let's examine how they get your email
address in the first place:

    1.  Email stripper programs
    2.  Newsgroup/Discussion Group "trolling"
    3.  Email capture devices
    4.  Surfing the web
    5.  Commercial Bulk email services

  Email stripper programs
  There are many popular software programs on the net, ranging
  in price from $100 to as much as $450 ("Floodgate"), that are
  easily used to "strip" email addresses from classified ad
  sites, bulletin boards, online discussion groups or web sites.

  They compile the addresses into a list, weed out the
  duplicates and then -Wham!- you have an inexpensive way to
  send out an ad to thousands of people (or so it would seem).

  Newsgroup/Discussion group "Trolling"
  In addition to stripping addresses from these areas on the
  net, another method used to obtain your email address or mail
  you an advertisement is simply to respond to your ad or
  message in that newsgroup: "Hi, I saw your ad on the
  Internet..."  I'm sure that sounds familiar to a lot of you.
  While it may be a valid inquiry to your ad, it may just be
  a clever scheme to get you to read the mail.

  Email Capture Devices
  An email capture device is a button that can be inserted in
  any web site.  Clicking on this button will send that person's
  email address directly to the web site owner.  Most of the
  time, if you have your browser set properly, you will get
  warned before your address is sent by email to the site

  Surfing the web
  Many advertisers simply search the engines for sites similar
  to their target market and send press releases to the
  webmasters of sites they visit.

  Commercial Bulk email services
  Often the easiest way to obtain an email list is to buy one
  that someone else has compiled.  Many companies on the net
  will sell lists targeted to a specific group, or even easier
  still -- they'll do the mailing for you.

  They'll offer to filter out the ~flames~
  (angry email messages by people who you sent the junk email
  to) by providing you with a "Flame-Proof" email address on
  their server.   Bulk emailings and bulk email companies are
  increasing at an alarmingly fast rate.  This is mainly due to
  the fact that thousands of new users join the cyberspace world
  each week, unaware of Internet Ettiquette or "Nettiquette".

  Doesn't the fact that they offer to "filter out" angry
  responses kind of raise a red flag in your mind that
  should make you ask yourself: "Why would I want to advertise
  in a way that is likely to make people angry or hold a
  negative image of my business?"

So what can you do about it, if you don't like receiving ten
to forty "Get Rich Quick" offers in your email box each

I consulted with several "Anti-Spam" experts who were kind enough to
provide me with the information I am about to share with you.  If you
really do ENJOY getting tons of unnecessary email, please feel free to
delete this right now.  If you want to DO something about it, read on...


  Mark West writes:

  Get lots of e-mail offering you get-rich-quick schemes?
  Want to hit back? Spam Hater is =free= Windows software that
  helps you respond effectively and makes it hot for these

      -Analyses the Spam
      -Extracts a list of addresses of relevant Postmasters, etc.
      -Generates a "WHOIS" query to help track the perpetrator.
      -Prepares a reply.
      -Choice of legal threats, insults or your own message.
      -Appends a copy of the Spam if required.
      -Puts it in a mail window ready for sending.

  Spam Hater works with lots of popular e-mail programs directly
  - there's no tedious cutting and pasting.



  John Levine, Trumansburg NY, writes:

  One anti-spam technique that's almost completely ineffective
  is to ask the spammer to stop.  Every spam I get now says
  "reply REMOVE to get off this list", yet nearly all of them
  have an obviously forged or non-existent return address.

  For spam sent from on-line services and ISPs, it's often
  effective to send a copy of the spam, with full headers, to
  the abuse contact for the provider with a polite request to
  make them cut it out. Abuse contact addresses vary, so I offer
  a free abuse address forwarding service:

  Send a complaint to (domain name)
  and it'll get sent to the abuse contact for that domain, e.g., is sent to and, GNN's abuse contacts.

  The sad truth is that most spammers are either ignorant,
  crooked, or both, and you'll be doing your readers a favor to
  remind them of this so they know what brush they'll be tarring
  themselves with should they decide to start spamming


  Ira M. Pasternack writes:

  Here is a message I send to the address an unsolicited bulk
  e-mail was sent from. I also send it to the postmaster@ the
  domain the message was sent from, and often I look up provider
  of the domain, and send it to their postmaster:

  "I received the following unsolicited bulk email ("spam"),
   which apparently originated from your site. Please take
   appropriate action to ensure this doesn't happen again."

  It is important to realize how easy a spammer can forge an
  e-mail address; therefore, I feel that sending anything but a
  polite note similar to the one I do is unethical.  Some people
  will suggest tactics such as sending huge files to the
  spammer, but imagine how you would feel if the address you use
  was some innocent person's.


  Frederick Pearce adds:

  Flaming seemed to serve no purpose, and certainly didn't
  reduce the volume. Spammers expect flames, presumably, and it
  is just like water off a duck's back. I did find some degree
  of success copying my flames to postmaster@senders.address,
  and admin@senders.address, and abuse@senders.address. But it
  wasn't until I toned down the rhetoric - sysops don't like to
  be shouted at, either, I suppose!! - that things seemed to

  Now I very calmly, and at some length, explain to the sender
  that they have inconvenienced me, that there is a better and
  more effective way of soliciting business, and directing them
  to my page BUSINESS NETIQUETTE INTERNATIONAL where they can learn how
  to send unsolicited business mail with far less offence.


I'd like to tell you what has worked best for me in weeding out
unsolicited email junk - and believe me, I get a lot of it since I have
a lot of exposure on the Net.

I use Eudora Pro 3.0 available at: for my email
program.  It has the ability to filter all incoming mail, looking at the
headers, subject line, or any text in the body.

For example.  Say I get email from CyberPromotions, and they use the
domain "" in their email address.  All I do is create a filter
that looks for anywhere in the headers of any incoming email
message I receive, and transfers it to a special "Spam" folder that I
have created just for this type of message.

I do not have it transferred to the trash, because occassionally a
legitimate message slips through.  I check my spam folder once every few
days to see if any legitimate messages slipped through.

If you'd like to learn how to filter your incoming email, I have put up
instructions and a list of the domains that I filter for Spam at:


I'd like to close this report by providing you with some other places
that you can go to if you'd like to learn more.  Below you will find a
list of sites/links that I have found that should provide you with more
than enough information.

Junk Busters -  A site that provides
an outline of how to handle junk email.  They also provide a
fine notice "to senders of uninvited email solicitations" which
can be published at one's Web site and/or used as a response to
junk email.

Spam Hater -
Free software for Windows 3.x & Win 95.  Analyze junk email to
find appropriate addresses to send a prepared response to.

Win95 Mail Utilities and Addons

Filtering mail FAQ for Pine, Elm and Unix accounts:

Mail Filtering Resources

E-Filter Software

Get that Spammer Software

Junk Email remover

List of sites where you can (supposedly) register
to stop receiving junk email:

Anti-Spamming Fax Law

Netizens against gratuitous spamming

Death to Spam

Outlaw Junk Mail now (links)

Usenet sources to fight spamming

NetAbuse FAQ (Usenet links)

Anti-Umail FAQ

Blacklist of Internet Advertisers

Internet Scambusters

Russ-Smith's Telemarketing and E-Mail Marketing Consumer Information Source

Spam-Ad Anti-Spamming Mailing List
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---End of Adam Boettiger Article---

See you next time!   --Bob

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