Between bouts of frustration with my inbox, I’ve been reading your various articles on spam. I think I’m slowly getting a handle on it all, but it sure seems crazy. And it really got me to wondering… why is there so much spam in the first place?
I feel your pain.
Some time ago, I did some research and looked at all my email for an entire year. Not only do I get a lot of email, but my calculations show that 87% of it was junk. Wow.
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 some email addresses to forward 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 just don’t believe reporting spam to these sites and services is worth the time and effort. I don’t see any harm in doing it; I just don’t think it helps.
I do want to be very clear, however, that a different type of “reporting spam” is very important, and we should all be doing that.
My friend has had her Gmail address for maybe 5 years. She regularly gets emails, which are sent to that address but are from people whom she has never heard of and who obviously don’t know her. It’s not always the same person. I’ve had my Gmail address for even longer and I’ve never, never had such an occurrence. What’s going on?
This is actually more common than you might think. There are two possibilities: spam and human error.
Why is it that, with so much law enforcement, online scammers who do the money mule scam can’t be fully decommissioned on a global scale? What they do is send random emails and tell the victim that they can make good money by being a work-at-home shipping representative when in fact, it’s a reshipping fraud.
To a certain degree, I understand and sympathize with your reaction, particularly if you have been victimized by these scammers in the past.
But this is a more difficult problem to solve than most people realize. The single biggest reason why it’s so hard to deal with is that it’s international. To address the issues, law enforcement groups in basically every country on the planet would have to cooperate in real time.
Leo, in your article about email being hacked and what you need to do, it’s possible that you may have omitted one important problem associated with account hacking: the changed return address. When my Yahoo account was hacked (my own fault, signing in from a fake email), the last thing that I noticed as I restored my account was that they had changed one letter of my name in the return address. If you clicked Reply to any email that I sent out, it went to them and not to my real account address.
Actually, you raise a very interesting and important point. It’s difficult to list all of the things that a hacker could change after they access your account.
I received an email with a disturbing story that seems like more people should know about. At the bottom, it even suggests that I forward it on to everyone I know. It seems such an important issue … and yet I’ve been told that I shouldn’t forward this kind of thing. Why not?
I get that kind of email from time to time also. Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good skeptical “nose” for sniffing this kind of thing out.
What is it I’m smelling?
A big pile of lies, frauds, and misinformation usually.