Am I wasting my time reporting scam and spam emails?

It really doesn't do any harm to report spam - if you have enough time to do it. With the huge amount of spam out there, however, it's hard to believe that it helps stem the tide of junk that comes to our email inboxes.

You once said that when it comes to email scams, we should just mark it as a scam or spam and move on. But I’ve found websites to report them to and I’d like to think I’m doing some good. Are you saying that I’m wasting my time reporting email scams directly to these agencies?

I hate to say it, but I don’t believe reporting these is worth it.

I don’t see any harm in doing it. I’m just not convinced that reporting these does anyone any good, and it simply boils down to a waste of your time.

I’ll give you a couple of reasons why.

There’s just too much spam

The addresses that you listed1 get so many reports of the spams and scams that what you’re reporting is just a drop in the ocean.

It would be incredibly rare for you to give one of these sites a notification of something that  hasn’t already been seen and reported by someone … repeatedly.

There’s rarely any new spam

If you take a look at your spam folder, you’ll also notice that you’ll get multiple copies of the same spam or scam over and over (and over and over) again.

The messages here are so obviously spam that it’s just amazing that spammers and scammers even try in these situations. Now, multiply that by the number of users on the planet and you can see just how much spam is out there.

No SPAM!Everyone already gets spam

Remember, the people working at these agencies are also getting spam, too; not just from honest people forwarding what they found, but because they have email addresses that are tapped by spammers and scammers. In fact, by spamming the reporting email addresses the spammers are already, in a sense, reporting themselves.

If doing this makes you feel better about spam and scam and if you’ve got the time, carry on. I just don’t believe that it makes any difference in  actually stopping spam and scam emails from arriving in our inboxes.

Footnotes and references

1: The original, full question included several example email addresses that I elected not to republish here.

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