Emailmovers Irony Filter Broken

Whilst checking my Spam folder earlier, I found one sent direct to one of my email addresses by our old friends Emailmovers who have a history of playing fast and loose with the law when it comes to Spam (see for instance this post and this article).

“See how Emailmovers can help you with your marketing post GDPR”

Oh really?

And worse still, Emailmovers’ website currently says:

“Working closely with the DMA and ICO we are making sure all our data is GDPR ready for May 2018”

Well, clearly it’s not, but there’s no surprise there, is there?

Travis Perkins Text Spam Using Textlocal

More spam received this morning. This time from Textlocal – al@txtlocal.com – advertising Travis Perkins’ trade accounts:

Opening a Travis Perkins account is quick and easy, simply visit https://tx.vc/{tracking URL removed} and start trading today! Optout: Text TPSTOP to 60777

They’ve suggested via Twitter that I direct message them my number so they can opt me out of such texts, spam that I never opted in to receive in the first place.

And wasn’t the first rule of spam never to confirm that the e-mail address or telephone number was a live one?

 

CIOB Selling e-mail Addresses?

Well that’s very disappointing: I’ve today received a Spam e-mail from Karnack Books sent to an e-mail address I set up and use solely for the Chartered Institute of Building.

I’ve checked my profile on the CIOB website and have specifically opted out of third party mailings, so no consent has been given.

So either their membership records have been hacked or they’ve gone against my wishes.

William Hill Hacked?

Hmm. Well that’s interesting. I’ve just received a junk e-mail to an e-mail address set up specifically for use on the William Hill website some months back.

So does that mean someone’s hacked their customer database or is it just a bizarre coincidence that someone has managed to combine their site name with one of my domain names? Hmm…

Spam Statistics 2008

Here are my numbers for 2008 (2007 stats. in square brackets) broken into two parts:

First half of 2008 (up to 30 June 2008):

227659 e-mails received (plus the GMail ones).

211699 spams filtered by MailWasher Pro.

93% spam.

Second half of 2008 (up to 30 December 2008):

62,319 e-mails received (plus the GMail ones).

41,672 spams filtered by MailWasher Pro.

66% spam.

Combined

289,978 e-mails received (plus the GMail ones) [356,032 so minus 19%] .

253,371 spams filtered by MailWasher Pro [319,499 - minus 21%].

87% spam then.

Commentary

The headline figures look good, but that split is what’s important. Basically in June 2008 with my spam stats. looking like heading for another record, I decided to kill my “catch-all” e-mail set-ups and painstakingly create all legitmate mailboxes and aliases. And with that, the spam stats. have come down dramatically.

E-mail is Ruining My Life!

So runs the headline on the BBC News website today about how e-mail is becoming information overload.

On the BBC’s breakfast news show this morning, they even had voxpops from people saying how they received so many junk e-mails. I bet.

I love this bit too from the BBC News article:

“If I’m out for the day I will receive around 80 e-mails.
Bigjeeze, Bournemouth, UK”

They should be so lucky! My stats for last year showed I received on average 875 definite spam messages every day out of an average 975 e-mails each and every day of the year!

Best Spam Ever!

An absolute corker this morning, with the subject “Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II”:

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Queen of England
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA, England.
********************************

ATTN: Winner

Your Ticket number: 56475600545/012 with Serial number 5368/05 drew
the Lucky number: 86.

On behalf of the Queen of England, we are pleased to notify you
that your email has won in the Annual Christmas free Internet Lotto
Sweepstakes and as a result you have been granted the lump sum payout of
£500,000 GBP which is equivalent to $917,956.00 USD.

To file for your prize, please fill and submit the claims processing
form to:

*********************************
Mr. Perkins Oliver
Email: perkinsoliver@yahoo.co.uk
Telephone: +44 702 402 4689
Fax: +44 707 502 4610
**********************************
CLAIMS PROCESSING FORM:
1 Full Names:
2 Address:
3 Age:
4 Sex:
5 Marital Status:
6 Occupation:
7 Phone numbers:
8 Country:
9 Email:

We advice you to contact your claims officer as detailed above
immediately to avoid Claims deadline.

Congratulations,
Mrs. Sarah Wilfred for
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Queen of England.

So Betty’s running a sweepstakes now, is she? Excellent. And handy to tell me where she’s Queen as well, just in case I’m not sure. And she’s making 50p per minute on accepting any incoming calls and faxes! Anyone would think this might be a scam 🙂

Bennetts: Bike Insurance and Spam Providers

A while back, I obtained a quote from Bennetts for insurance for my ZRX. As it’s modified, I then went through the modifications with them (cosmetic, safety and performance) by telephone and they refused to offer me cover, so I went elsewhere for less with all the modifications covered. Result!

Still, Bennetts are a bit like herpes: once you’ve been there, you keep being reminded of the fact. In their case, it’s because they’ve sold the Bennetts-specific e-mail address to anyone and everyone, it would appear. Perhaps it’s their very carefully worded “privacy” policy:

“BISL Limited, part of the BGL group of companies, which also trades as Dial Direct and Budget and other carefully selected companies may use your information to keep you informed by post, telephone, e-mail or other means of products and services which may be of interest to you. They may also contact you to conduct market research.”

“Carefully selected”? My arse! The selection process must go like this:

Spammer: “Can we buy your e-mail database?”
Bennetts: “Yes.”

So that’s another company on the blacklist.

The Trouble with e-mail…

I have registered hundreds of domain names over the years. And going back to the glory days before Spam was a significant problem, I’ve always been used to having “catch-all” e-mail addresses and with that in mind, using onlineresource@domainname e-mail addresses with no worries: registering at websites with theirname@mydomain e-mail addresses knowing that e-mails sent to those addresses would find their way to me.

If I started to receive Spam to one of these addresses, it was easy enough to set up that e-mail address as a null mailbox so that any Spam would get nuked.

But the Spammers then decided to start using anynumbersandletters@mydomain e-mail addresses to Spam or unscrupulous(!) list sellers would simply make them up and add them to their x million e-mail address lists. So the Spam would increase.

And then they decided to forge the From: addresses using their made up e-mail addresses so not only do you receive the Spam, but you also receive all the bounce messages too.

Which is why I came back yesterday evening to find 7400+ bounce messages waiting for me, the majority of which were sent to one old domain name. So I then had to use Google Desktop Search to find all the e-mail addresses I’d used with that domain name and do the opposite of what I’d always done: kill the catch-all setting and set up new individual addresses.

All because of some bunch of lowlife scum…

JavaScripted e-mail Links in WordPress Pages

You may want to include an e-mail link in your WordPress Blog’s “About” page or elsewhere, but no doubt you don’t want this harvested and you’ve found you can’t simply add the JavaScript to the post or page as it gets nuked.

So how about a workaround?

Firstly, you need to create an external Javascript file with this code (amended for your own needs, obviously):


function obfuscate() {
var ppclink = "Click here to e-mail us";
var ppcname = "nospamthanks";
var ppchost = "yourdomainnamegoeshere";
document.write("<a href=" + "mail" + "to:" + ppcname + "@" + ppchost + ">" + ppclink + "")
}

NB: the “@” sign is represented in the code as “& # 64 ;” with no spaces.

Save it as something like emailobfuscator.js and upload it to your server.

Then in the post or the page you want to include it in, add the following code:

<script type="text/javascript"
src="/scripts/emailobfuscator.js" mce_src="/scripts/emailobfuscator.js">
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
obfuscate();
//-->
</script>

You will almost certainly want to uncheck the “Use visual editor when writing” checkbox in your User options before this will work.

And the finished result should look like this: