TravelSmith: Outfitting the Traveling Spamtrap

TravelSmith, an online travel-related clothing and accessories retailer, has been sending bulk email advertisements for many months (since I first noticed) to an email address that been closed since 2005. The ESP is Cheetahmail, a subsidiary of Experian.

I have no idea when this started; I’ve been watching these emails come in about weekly since the MainSleaze blog started. The email address appears to be an old, closed address rather than a pure spamtrap. TravelSmith ignored the bounces from this address for years. It is possible (of course) that the customer who used to own this email address years ago has remained an active customer. I’ve seen cases of spam to email addresses for customers who haven’t owned those email addresses for over a decade. Active customers often don’t keep retailers up-to-date on their contact information, so it is IMPORTANT to pay attention to bounces and to customer engagement with the emails themselves. Otherwise an otherwise good company can end up with spamtraps on its list.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from ( [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Fri, 11 May 2012 06:xx:xx <xxx>
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 11:xx:xx <xxx>
Message-ID: <<xxx>>
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:rm-<xxx>>
From: "TravelSmith" <>
To: <xxx>
Subject: Win a $10,000 Deluxe Mediterranean Cruise for Two
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: "TravelSmith" <support-<xxx>>
Content-type: multipart/alternative; boundary="<xxx>"

Readable Email:

From: Safeway <>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: Exclusive Offer: Get 50% off The Safeway Official Cherry Blossom Bouquet!
Reply-To: Safeway <support-<xxx>>

To view this email with images click below:<xxx>

To ensure that you continue to receive special offers from TravelSmith, please add “” to your email Address Book.

You received this message because you are a valued TravelSmith customer. If you prefer not to receive future e-mails from TravelSmith, please click below.<xxx>

To view our permission marketing policy, please click below.<xxx>

TravelSmith Outfitters, Inc., 773 San Marin Drive, Suite 2300, Novato, CA 94945

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