Blogging during the Holiday Season

Blogging will be light during the Christmas season, for the next two weeks, at least from me. I will be away from home on a road trip and visiting friends. I have not specifically asked the other bloggers, but assume that they will have other things to think about during this time as well. It would be nice if the spammers were also taking a vacation (sigh), but I see little hope of that. So not to worry: <Schwarznegger on> I’ll be back!<Schwarzenegger off>

Merry Christmas! (Feel free to substitute the holiday you celebrate or general good wishes.) 😉

Bank of America: Transactional Email to a Spamtrap :(

Bank of America is sending non-bulk transactional emails to an email address that was closed in 2008, and that subsequently rejected all email for a period of over a year before being re-enabled as a spamtrap. The email contains a customer name and the last four digits of a credit card number. :/ This is not spam; the email was not bulk. However, if Bank of America were paying attention to bounces, it should long since have realized that this email address was not receiving its notifications. Bank of America needs to verify its customer list NOW to fix this security breach. The ESP is ExactTarget.

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Citibank: Emailing Sensitive Private Credit Card Information to a Spamtrap

First Chase Bank sent marketing emails that contained personal names and credit card information to spamtraps. Now Citibank is doing the same thing. Today Citibank sent a bulk marketing email to an email address that, if it ever existed at all, has been closed since 2007. The email contained a name and the last four digits of a credit card number. Either Citibank is deliberately including made-up “customer” information to make bulk marketing email look more legitimate (which I doubt), or Citibank has badly mismanaged its customer list *AND* (worse) is including sensitive personal information in marketing emails that are going to unconfirmed and incorrect email addresses. The ESP is Epsilon Interactive via its ESP Bigfoot Interactive.

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J. D. Falk: 1974-2011

Yesterday, after a year-long struggle with stomach cancer, J.D. Falk — one of the giants in the anti-spam, email, and Internet world — died, sadly at just 37 years of age.

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Chase Bank: A Spamtrap is “an Business Rewards Visa cardmember”?

Chase Bank is sending advertising emails to an email address that has been closed for many years, claiming that the owner is “an Business Rewards Visa cardmember”. The ESP is Acxiom Digital.

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How I’m Handling Resolved Spam Reports

Readers may notice that certain spam report blogs of mine are now appearing with the prefix (Resolved Issue): instead of the spamming company name. If you check inside these blogs, they have a notice at the top indicating that the issue is resolved, and a tag that also says “Resolved”. The blogs are still there, and still contain the same information. All the comments are preserved as well. The only changes are to the title, an additional paragraph at top, and an additional tag.

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Political Spam on the MainSleaze Blog

Before Charles blogged about the spam he had received from Herman Cain’s campaign this morning, he emailed me and asked if political spam qualified for mention on the blog. The answer was “yes”, qualified only by the requirement that the spam be from the sender’s own IPs or sent via a legitimate ESP. On thinking about this, I realized that a public policy statement might be in order.

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Wow! People are Listening….

This blog opened for business just yesterday. Much to our surprise, almost from the beginning it received a great deal of attention and response from some astonishing people in the email industry. Here are links to a couple of blogs about us:

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Rather Good Blog on “Re-Engagement Strategy”

A few years ago an antispammer I know emailed me a link to a blog by an ESP representative, D. J. Waldow at ESP Bronto Marketing. In his blog, Waldow comments on something called “re-engagement strategy” at a web-based online mall, I think Waldow has since left Bronto, but the blog is still there. I’m normally a bit allergic to marketing-speak, but this blog is good and is still worthy of attention. Read it here:

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