How Do Spammers Do It?

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Steve CDN

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Jan 31, 2005
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Canada/U.S.A
A while back, I asked to have my email address listed on a web page associated with a club I belong to.  Soon afterward, I began receiving spam in an account which is virtually immune from spam.  When I asked that my email address be removed from that page, the spam stopped.

Recently, another email address I created for a specific purpose in that club was posted in a bulletin on a different web page of the same club site....and a week later I began receiving spam...some of which contained malicious attachments, as detected by my anti virus software.

I immediately closed that account and no other email address I use on that ISP ever gets spammed.

What do you suspect is going on?  Is it possible spammers have software that scans web pages for email addresses or should I suspect someone managing that particular web page?
 

hankpac

Active member
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Posts
42
spammers do indeed use software that mines for email addresses. Guest books are one of the owrst, so don't use a guest book unless it has a device on the page, that you have to type into a block. It should be some wierd looking letters and numbers in a box that says "type this exactly". These are supposed to be unreadable by "robots" or "Bots". Still use extreme cuation when considering putting your name or email addy or other sensitive information on any web site.
 

Jeff

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
I have a "spam" email address that I use for almost all first contact email requests. I check the account if I am waiting for a reply but otherwise just empty it every couple of weeks. It will usually have a hundred or more hits every couple of weeks.
 

bajadudes

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Posts
13
Location
Raleigh NC
Another good way to avoid e-mail harvesting spiders and bots is to enter your address with a description of the at symbol instead of the actual @, you frequently will see this on a lot of websites or forums.  Something along these lines:

max(replace this part with the at symbol)orbitalenterprises.net

or

max(put an at symbol here)orbitalenterprises.net

be creative
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,387
Location
Davison Michigan
Steve said:
What do you suspect is going on?  Is it possible spammers have software that scans web pages for email addresses or should I suspect someone managing that particular web page?

Is it possible that Spammers have software.... YES!, not only possible it is a well known fact that they have software, called web crawlers, which scan web pages, Usenet posts and other areas in an attempt to harvest E-mail addresses.

This is why you will find folks puting their address up in various ways.  On usenet my public address is [email protected] (Which is not, far as I know, a valid address)  if you wish to e-mail me you have to ask and the answer will be sometihng like this

C A L L at C L U B dot N E T  Which is also not a valid address (Though the one I give you is valid)

Or you see folks use "[email protected] (Again not my address, not even myu net)

Or some other anti-spam device in their addy

The idea is to have an addy that requires a HUMAN brain edit it before using else the web crawlers will harvest
 

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