Quit smoking today!!!

During October, I’ve been seeing spam to my traps that has to do with quitting smoking with the help of electronic nicotine dispensers. It’s so far off the scale it’s not really mainsleaze, but there’s a few things here that need being published.

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Political Spam This Week: Mitt Romney (sigh)

It became obvious in the past week that the real story of political spam in this campaign doesn’t involve ESPs and legitimate bulk email. It involves snowshoe spam being sent either by U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign, or a supporter. Whoever is sending this spam is sending much larger quantities of spam to purchased and other non-opt-in lists than all of the legitimate campaign mailing lists and ESPs combined.

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Keekoo: Dodging a Bullet by Confirming a List

Keekoo, a U.S.-based members-only pregnancy and baby supplies service, today sent over a dozen bulk emails to my spamtraps. Keekoo appears to have bought another company, AllAboutTheBaby.com. Fortunately, Keekoo sent confirmation requests instead of welcome messages to that company’s list: users must respond to the messages to stay on the list. The ESP is IContact, which does not tolerate spam on its network and might well have advised Keekoo to confirm the list.

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Redbox: Confirming Subscriptions? YES!

Redbox, a popular U.S.-based movie and game rental service with trademark red kiosks at many gas stations and minimarts across the country, is actively confirming subscriptions to its service and mailing list. Over the past couple of months a number of my spamtraps have received confirmation requests from Redbox via its ESP, Cheetahmail, a subsidiary of Experian.

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Uh oh, Steve Corsi is on fire!

Somebody better grab a fire extinguisher, because Steve Corsi is on fire. I’m not sure who Steve Corsi is, but GamedayNetwork.com is so eager to tell everyone about this that they seem to have purchased a list containing many spamtrap addresses. I’m seeing copies of this mailing to multiple addresses, including both never-valid addresses and addresses that have been dead for more than 10 years.

The ESP is SimplyCast.

The text version of the message was empty except for a couple of “click here” links. I did not load or include the HTML as I did not want to falsely register image load activity to imply that my spamtrap addresses were alive.

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Dr. Rich Pfeiffer/Growth Central: Asking Permission — Finally! :-)

Dr. Rich Pfeiffer at Growth Central, a specialist in anger management training who offers classes and workshops, has sent a permission pass to his spamtrap-laden list. The permission pass was sent by ESP ExactTarget. Responses are directed to a URL at a different ESP, Streamsend.

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On using purchased lists

I recently googled the words can I use a purchased email list and just had to share MailChimp‘s brilliant take on the topic. Yeah, I know it’s pretty old and predates this log by a year or three. Looking at the Finnish B2B spam my traps receive, practically all of which is sent to lists sold by the so-called reputable players Fonecta, Eniro, Asiakastieto, JM Tieto, and of course the drive-by-night yahoos such as Suomen Markkinointirekisteri Oy, Digimediatoimisto Haikuu (“Haiku”), Bisnesrekisteri.com aka Lateralus Enterprise d/b/a Tavoite Media whose primus motor objects to being named and has enlisted the help of the Data Protection Ombudsman’s office to have his name stricken from this post, and Yrityspostia.fi aka Suunnittelutoimisto Jotain… aka Janne Laitinen, I felt compelled to mention this – if only so that (at least any responsible international) ESPs reading this would know that if their Finnish customers mention any of the above in their mails, they’re using a purchased list.

Sheldon Container: Reconfirming an Outdated List! :) :) :) :) :)

Sheldon Container, a Houston, Texas company that sells industrial packing supplies, today hit my spamtraps, not with spam, but with a genuine, opt-in permission pass. A sample is below. The ESP is IContact.

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Barclays Bank: Sending Transactional Billing Notices to a Spamtrap

Today Barclaycard, the credit card division of U.K. banking firm Barclays, joined the MainSleaze Spam blog list of banking infamy. It did so when it sent a transactional billing email to an email address that has not been live for ten years, notifying the non-existent owner of this email address that he or she had a payment due, and including a name, last four digits of a credit card number, and tagged URLs that presumably gave anybody who received this email access to a customer’s banking records. The ESP is Cheetahmail, a subsidiary of Experian.

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Bank of America: Sending Customer Satisfaction Surveys to a Spamtrap

Today Bank of America sent a customer satisfaction survey reminder to the same spamtrap via ESP Real Magnet that it has been emailing or months via ESP ExactTarget.

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