Jewel-Osco: Still Spamming E-Pended List?

Albertson’s subsidiary Jewel-Osco is still spamming via ESP Cheetahmail (a subsidiary of Experian), and still hitting email addresses that have never existed at all. Apparently CheetahMail did not even require that its spamming customer quit mailing til they found out why this was the case. 🙁

The spams are addressed to specific named individuals, names that never belonged to the email addresses that received the spam. When spam is sent to a named individual who was never at that email address, it is normally a sign that a mailer is using what is called an e-pended list. That is a list of email addresses that were generated by matching an existing customer list to a list of email addresses, usually obtained by purchase, sometimes by scraping web sites and rummaging through public data sources on the Internet.

If you ever got spam to one of your email addresses that addressed you by a completely different name (not a misspelling of your name), then you have probably been a victim of e-pending.

There are two problems with e-pending: one if you get it right, and the other if you get it wrong. If you get it right, you’re probably sending emailed advertisements to an email address that your customer does not use for that purpose. That is likely to annoy an actual customer, possibly enough that they will quit doing business with you. If you get it wrong, you’re sending emailed advertisements to a stranger. If you’re lucky, the stranger will just hit delete. If you are not lucky, you might hit the real email address of an anti-spammer (like me), who will be annoyed, and might complain to their ISP or to your ESP. Worst, you might hit a spamtrap owned by an anti-spammer (like me) or (even worse) a blocklist.

Sending IPs: and

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from <xxx> (<xxx> [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with SMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:xx:xx -0500 (CDT)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:46:52 -0000
Message-ID: <<xxx>@<xxx>>
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:rm-<xxx>>
From: "Jewel-Osco" <>
To: <xxx>
Subject: <xxx>, Pick up your Scott(R) products and save
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: "Jewel-Osco" <support-<xxx>>
Content-type: multipart/alternative; boundary="=<xxx>"

Readable Email:

From: Jewel-Osco <>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: <E-Pended Name>, Pick up your Scott(R) products and save.
Reply-To: Jewel-Osco <support-<xxx>>

<E-Pended Name>, Savings we all could use. $1 off Scott(R) tissue or towels.

View this email in Web Browser:<xxx>


If you would like to unsubscribe from Jewel-Osco(R) email, please click the link below:<xxx>

You may contact us at:
11840 Valley View Rd.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3691
or call 1-877-932-7948

Copyright 2011 SUPERVALU INC. All Rights Reserved.
All proprietary trademarks are owned by SUPERVALU INC.
or its subsidiaries. All third party trademarks are
owned by their respective owners.

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