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Making Spammers Pay

By Dacta in MLP
Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:41:51 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

I bet you've seen those email signatures threatning anyone spamming them with a "email processing fee"?

Guess what? It works!


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Making Spammers Pay | 30 comments (12 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
Mirror (5.00 / 4) (#7)
by mcowger on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 08:37:02 PM EST

I finally managed to get everything, so here's a mirror. http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mcowger/spam.htm

Its Surprising (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by 0x00 on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 09:26:25 PM EST

I'd tend to believe that this is true. It doesn't surprise me anymore what a few (polite?) words and going through the correct channels will do. You have to realise to that the company that sent the cheque is also dumb enough to send spam. I'm just thinking of all the $15 dollars adding up if I sent something like this to all the spam I recieve. It would pay for my lunch each week.


Now calling spammers clowns.

This is fake!! (3.75 / 4) (#13)
by qslack on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:00:55 PM EST

Whoever made this sure must be laughing at our gullibility. Look closely as I show you the dates. (all dates in year 2000)

First Letter - Sent 7:36 AM Sep 19 in reply to a message sent on 12:25 AM Sep 19.

Second Letter - Sent Oct 11

Reply from spammer - Sent Sep 22 in reply to letters sent on Oct 11 and Sep 19. Webmaster implies that the reply was sent after both letters were recieved by the spammers. Check dated September 9.

I don't know *what*, but something doesn't seem right to me.

maybe (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by Dacta on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:19:18 PM EST

I don't know - but I know word templates are set up to update to the date they are printed, rather than the date created.

A little suspicious, but still - the invoice & letter are dated with the same date, so he might have justy printed them out & scanned them in together.

[ Parent ]
I don't care if it's fake, it's funny (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by goonie on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:47:49 AM EST

Some people have suggested that this is a fake. I doubt it - if you're going to fool people you want to sucker them in for something more spectacular than this.

Even if it is fake, I got a laugh out of it, so I don't really care :)

I start feeling sorry for spammers. (2.50 / 2) (#20)
by squigly on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:19:04 AM EST

Much as I dislike spam, its not the individual spammers that I hate. Just that there's so many of them. When they start to beg forgivness for the huge amount of inconvenience a single email has caused it starts to sound a bit overapologetic.

People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
May not be a fake (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by Dacta on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:05:10 AM EST

Some people have been saying this is fake because of the dates. I didn't notice that when I posted the story, so I may have been fooled, too.

I'm not sure it is fake, though. A lot of MS Word templates automatically update dates to the date they are printed, which may have happened here. Notice that (a) The invoice numbers match and (b) The comapany number matches the ACN on the check, and the check is real for sure.

It's a good fake if that's what it is, anyway.

Re: May not be a fake (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by IoaPetraka on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:56:16 PM EST

I do not think it is a fake. Note the fact that paper wrinkles pick up very well on a scanner. This is shown clearly on the last page scanned. This page was sent by the company, and delivered by postal services. It is inevitably going to be wrinkled up.

The two sheets in question are copies of what was sent to the company. These were probably printed out expressely for the purpose of scanning them for the website. Since it appears the individual definatly uses form 'wizards' or some other ilk, all dates are probably simply date tags within the document so that they remain current. Having a date tag on an invoice template makes a lot of sense. These two paper's dated October 11 havn't been around long enough to get wrinkles.

I think it is ligit.

Ioa Aqualine Petra'ka
[ Parent ]

Is this really fake? (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by Lance on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:45:55 AM EST

Surely if someone was going to go to the trouble of creating a fake set of letters they would at least make sure the dates were correct. Perhaps there is a logical explanation for this? I mean, come on, surely no one is that lame.

Hmmmm (3.00 / 3) (#26)
by greyrat on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:47:59 AM EST

Editorial: Stabilize or mirror the page in question. Topical: Also, I'd point out that most spam I receive isn't polite enough to indicate the company it came from. So, for all the humor and success in this story, it still doesn't make me feel any different about my current action (non-response) to the spams I get every day.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

I doubt this works... (5.00 / 4) (#27)
by Alhazred on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:29:11 AM EST

However I did do a sort of similar thing. At one point I was running an old AIX box which had only a 4.x version of sendmail available. That meant you couldn't stop people from relaying mail through the damn thing. A few spammers of course started trying to do so and I very quickly found that they would all go away if I just tracked them down (not actually hard if you know how) and billed them $1 for each mail they relayed. I'm not sure you can make it stick, but one thing is for sure, spammers aren't going to go check with THEIR lawyers to find out! Failing to pay a $10k+ bill is criminal fraud in most states, so they just go away real fast... :o). Nobody has gone near that system in quite a while now, hehe.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
Spam Page (none / 0) (#30)
by kanebullen on Wed Oct 25, 2000 at 09:49:31 PM EST

Hi All. I just logged in and checked out all the comments about my page - I can tell you that it is definately not a fake, but when I saw a comment about the dates, I went back and checked it out, and was quite confused. Then I realised that I did re-print the letter and invoice on the 11th of October (on the date I set up the page), seeing that the original had obviously already been sent, and as mentioned, I'd obviously used an auto-update sort of date thingo. (damn ms) Sorry about the speed of my site running over a modem - I have since moved it off-site. I didn't expect hundreds of people to access it - It was really only put up to show a few friends and relatives around the world instead of emailing it to them! Feel free to email me at kuro5hin@bullen.org regards, Kane.

Making Spammers Pay | 30 comments (12 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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