J.C. Penney: Phony “Confirmed” Opt-In (Gotcha!)

After previously spamming one of my spamtraps, J.C. Penney (a major U.S.-based department store) is sending phony “opt-in” confirmation emails. These emails have a Subject that reads, “Open To Confirm Your Email! EVERYTHING CHANGES 2.1.12”. In other words, anybody who is careless or curious enough to open this email in any normal email program that does not block images is automatically “confirmed” on the J. C. Penney list whether they intended to confirm or not. (“Gotcha!”) :/ The ESP is Cheetahmail, a division of Experian.

The phony COI confirmation emails were sent to a number of my spamtraps, only one of them the spamtrap that had received the earlier J.C. Penney spam. The other spamtraps had not previously heard from J.C. Penney since coming out of their timeout period and being enabled as spamtraps. In other words, it appears as if J.C. Penney is sending these “gotcha” emails to old email addresses, suppression lists, or perhaps third-party purchased lists. I am SO not impressed with this tactic. It is deceptive and manipulative — everything that a good confirmed opt-in email should never be.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from mta994.jcpenneyem.com (mta994.jcpenneyem.com [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Fri, 27 Jan 2012 05:xx:xx -0600 (CST)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 11:xx:xx -0000
Message-ID: <<xxx>@mta994.jcpenneyem.com>
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:rm-<xxx>@jcpenneyem.com>
From: "jcpenney" <jcpenney-support@jcpenneyem.com>
To: <xxx>
Subject: Open To Confirm Your Email! EVERYTHING CHANGES 2.1.12
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: "jcpenney" <support-<xxx>@jcpenneyem.com>
Content-type: multipart/alternative; boundary="<xxx>"

Readable Email:

From: jcpenney <jcpenney-support@jcpenneyem.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Last Day! 1000s Of Deals, Up To $20 Off + Free Ship To Store
Reply-To: jcpenney <support-<xxx>@jcpenneyem.com>

Thanks for confirming your email. You will continue receiving info on the latest and greatest at jcp.

Shop now.

<xxx> subscribed to promotional emails from jcpenney. To keep these emails coming, add jcpenney-support@jcpenneyem.com to your address book now. To unsubscribe from such emails or update your email preference, click below:

Please allow 7-10 days for your request to be processed.

(C) 2012 J.C. Penney Company, Inc. and/or JCP Media Inc., 6501 Legacy Drive, Plano, Texas, United States of America.
All rights reserved. To contact customer service, please call 1-800-222-6161.

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