( 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. http://www.dnsstuff.com
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
Below is a quick tip to help you determine
WHO really sent that "spam"
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
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!
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