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You Mean Mrs. Sese-Seko Doesn’t Need My Help to Move Her $10M?

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FTC says 2/3 of spam fraudulent:

    Two out of three “spam” e-mail messages contain false information of some sort, according to an analysis of unsolicited e-mail pitches collected by the FTC.

    Of a random sample of 1,000 spam messages, 44 percent used a false return address to hide the sender’s identity, or a misleading subject line such as “re: lunch tomorrow” to trick the recipient into opening it, the FTC found.

    Once opened, nearly as many of those messages contained come-ons that were likely to be false, the FTC said, basing its judgment on its experience prosecuting fraudulent business practices. A full 96 percent of spam touting business or investment opportunities such as work-at-home offers was deemed to be fraudulent.

    Altogether, 66 percent of the spam surveyed likely violated federal law through some sort of deceptive business practice, said Eileen Harrington, an associate director at the FTC.

    “Spam is a big fraud problem and one that needs an aggressive law-enforcement response,” said Harrington.

    The volume of unsolicited, unwanted commercial e-mail has skyrocketed over the past two years, according to most estimates, and commercial Internet providers say they now spend millions of dollars each year fighting the problem.

    ….Virginia became the 27th state to enact an anti-spam law on Tuesday when Governor Mark Warner signed a bill that prohibits bulk e-mailers from hiding their return addresses or other routing information. Those caught violating the law would face a prison term of one to five years as well as fines.

    While many other state laws require commercial e-mail to carry an “ADV:” tag in the subject line, only 2 percent of the spam surveyed contained such a tag, the FTC report found.

    Congress has not yet passed a national anti-spam law, but observers say the odds are better now that direct marketers have dropped their opposition. [Reuters]

More on spam here, here, here and here.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • AntFreeze

    Someone should make an e-mail application that can RETURN TO SENDER any message that you don’t want. The resultant load on the scum’s servers at about 8:05 am every day should suffice to get the message across. Non-working unsubcribe and selling my address to the next piece of crap down the line should be punishable by death.

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent ideas, spamming the spammers seems to really piss them off.