Verizon, one of the largest telecommunication companies in America, has sent email to several of my spamtraps in the past few weeks. These emails solicit the business of companies that are not associated with those spamtraps, but whose company names might plausibly belong to the email addresses that received the spam. No ESP was involved; Verizon sent this email from their own IPs.
Florida-based real estate sales firm International Sales Group (ISG) is emailing a list that contains almost a dozen of my spamtraps. Most of those spamtraps were email addresses at real estate firms that went bankrupt between 2008 and 2011. ISG is either emailing a list that they have not contacted in years, or they bought a list or hired an email appender. Their ESP is Vertical Response, whose abuse department appears to have gone AWOL sometime in 2014.
Transportation management consulting company Ahern & Associates, which appeared on the Mainsleaze blog once already, is emailing a large number of spamtraps, at least a half dozen of which are non-typoed pristine spamtraps. This time, they are emailing through ESP Vertical Response, which has been completely unresponsive to spam complaints for the past few months.
Today clothing retailer Coldwater Creek emailed about a dozen spamtraps with a sales announcement. About a third of those spamtraps were probable typos. Several others were repurposed spamtraps, some of them not live for well over a decade. One was a pristine spamtrap at a domain that has never had a legitimate email address. The ESP was the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SMC), previously known of as ExactTarget.
Apparently ESPs Eloqua and Marketo are partnering with a list seller and email appender, NetProspex. NetProspex is not unknown to me or others who are active in email abuse issues. Among other accomplishments, NetProspex has managed to attain a listing in the Spamhaus Project’s ROKSO, their list of the “worst of the worst” spammers. Laura Atkins at Word to the Wise, a well-known email deliverability expert, blogged about NetProspex a few years ago. Nothing I know suggests that her blog is in any way out of date.
Sometime towards the beginning of summer 2012 the Louisville Courier-Journal, a newspaper serving north-central Kentucky and southern Indiana, began sending email updates to an email address at a domain that was closed over seven years ago. The Courier-Journal’s parent company is U.S. media conglomerate Gannett. Their ESP is ExactTarget.
U.S. telecommunications and network service provider Sprint today sent bulk email to a couple dozen spamtraps of mine and (doubtless) a great many belonging to other antispammers. Most of these email addresses have been closed for periods ranging from five years to over a decade, if they were ever live at all. (I didn’t check them all.) The ESP is Acxiom Digital, which presumably did not expect a customer with Sprint’s reputation and experience to spam a list that could have been sourced from a Millionez CD seller. 🙁
Bloomingdale’s, a high-end New York-based department store, started sending email advertisements about a week ago to an email address that closed in 2007. Unless Bloomingdale’s was foolish enough to resurrect a list that has not been contacted in over four years, they must have purchased a list or hired an e-append provider. Since the email address is matched with a plausible but incorrect name, my money is on the second option. The ESP is Cheetahmail, a subsidiary of Experian.
Common Good, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that is promoting reforms to legal and governmental processes, just sent email for the first time to a spamtrap that was closed in 2004. The email refers to the owner of that spamtrap address by a plausible but incorrect name, which suggests an e-pended email address. The ESP is Blue State Digital.