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  ( Perp = perpetrator = sender = culprit = wrong doer)         

     "Finding the Spam-Perp" 
                                                          by jl scott, ph.d.*

My ISP provides a way for clients to view the subject and return
address of email before downloading it. Anything that is unwanted can then be deleted right on the server. If web hosting companies would get on the ball and provide this service, it could practically eliminate any value that spam has to the sender.

Barring that (because I receive most email through my web host's servers) I simply let it come in and eliminate it before reading anything. It's easy enough to spot.

 Two situations will cause me to report a spammer

      1. If (s)he has obviously harvested the email address from one
          of my web sites - or

      2. if (s)he has subscribed to my ezine, then proceeds to shower
          me with ads.

Harvesting is unmistakable. It's never personalized and it may very well be sent to every email address posted on the web site so I receive several copies. Or - my email address isn't showing at all except in a full header.

Since I make it a point to send a personal "Welcome" in addition to the autoresponse for new subscribers, I also recognize when someone subscribes to my ezine for the purpose of sending spam.
I particularly watch the free email service addresses. I use a template for this so it doesn't eat up a lot of time, keeps me somewhat familiar with my subscribers and opens up lines of communication.

  How do I report spam? Templates! Here's the process:

1) Be sure it IS spam - and that you didn't invite this email in some way. Also be sure that it isn't legitimate correspondence from another business owner. THEN -

2) Open the full header on the offending email.

3) Forward the entire email - addressing it to "abuse@_______. Fill in the name of the ISP or free email service the email came from originally.

4) In your message area, copy and paste from your template a short note stating that this email is spam and you trust it will be dealt with accordingly. One line is all it takes. Send it off and know it WILL be dealt with by the appropriate agency!

5) If the spam came through a domain name, go to the whois data base at the following URL. Keep this address in your bookmarks.

6) Find the box labeled, "WHOIS Lookup." Enter the domain name of the sender of the email, and click, "WHOIS."
Note the web hosting company for the domain name. It's at the bottom under, "Name Server." Send the forwarded email to abuse@thewebhostingcompany.

         Below is a quick tip to help you determine
              WHO  really sent that "spam" email:

You can read the header (IP Address) of an email to determine the ISP from which the email originated. A sample IP Address will look like this:


You usually read a header "backward" from the bottom to the top. (*Please note* There are a few e-mail programs that do not follow this rule.)

Look for the first line that reads, "Received" then start working your way up the header (line by line) until you find the first IP Address.

Search for this IP Address at the URL. This tool will match the IP Address to the originating ISP. Enter the IP number into the box marked, "WHOISIP Lookup," and click, "WHOIS."

You can then send your complaint to the Abuse Department of the ISP identified (abuse@domainname) and include the full, unedited copy of the offending message and its FULL header.

I don't go nuts over spam simply because I decided long ago to use my energy for more productive things than trying to kill elephants with fly swatters. Little energy is expended through my "Delete" button. However, this reporting process takes only a few seconds and it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I've taken out a few of them.

This article may be republished, using the following attribution box.
*Dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Council of Online Professionals (iCop): the membership site for current and future online business owners. Created BY the members, FOR the members! CLICK HERE

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