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Am I getting paranoid or... (Spam mail)
Thread poster: Heike Behl, Ph.D.

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:27
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Jul 7, 2007

Do you experience something similar?

My e-mail provider is yahoo.com. In the past, their spam filter was close to perferct. For a while now, the amount of spam mail that gets past their filter has increased, and more often than not, it's absolutely obvious spam with titles such as "Sexually explicit" and similar. How is it even possible that such mails get past the spam filter?

And here's where my paranoid - or devious - mind comes into play.
Since I can't believe that such obvious spam mail would not be identified by the filter, the only logical explanation seems to me that they are "let through" intentionally by Yahoo. Since I also receive lots of spam mail sent to groups of e-mail addresses that start with the same letters as my address and have the same domain (still from the very first, no longer existing provider that was bought up by a company that merged with Yahoo,), they must originate from a list of email addresses and it further would appear that one or several of the providers actually made/make(s) the list of their subscribers available (ie. sell(s) them).

Of course, you can imagine if somebody buys such a list and then the provider's spam blocker doesn't let any spam past, such a list doesn't have much value. And if I had paid good money for it, I would ask for something in return. Ergo: Yahoo lets a certain percentage of spam mail through into the regular mailbox of its subscribers - on purpose.

Is this just another conspiracy theory? What do you think?


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Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:27
French to English
+ ...
Just because you're paranoid... Jul 7, 2007

...doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

I tend to think you're right. I have no insider knowledge or evidence to back this up, but it makes perfect sense to me.

I believe hotmail has been particularly notorious for this kind of practice, though again, I have no proof.

In any case, my yahoo account is my "spam account." I only use it when I need an email address to sign up for something and I suspect the site/service is likely to sell my address. Having such an account really helps keep my legitimate mail box clean.


(here begins a mini-rant)

What really gets me about spam, more than the unfortunate practices of the businesses that spread it, are the people who support it.

Spam would not be the prevalent problem that it is if people didn't actually read those emails and then spend spend spend.

Someone somewhere in the world is desperate to become bigger, skinnier, hairier, sexier and richer and that idiot is filling my email accounts with spam and causing my legitimate contacts to be blocked from my inbox by an over-zealous filter.

This person needs to be found and made to see sense.

(rant over)

[Edited at 2007-07-07 06:02]


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Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 05:27
English to German
+ ...
Yep, I have noticed the same phenomenon Jul 7, 2007

Hello Heike, just recently I have noticed the same phenomenon, and I must say, I REALLY DON'T LIKE IT.

Perhaps the time is over for so-called free email accounts, because, after all, they do have to make a living...

So, if they don't get money from us, it will come from advertisers or the people they sell our email address to...

What's free in life, anyway? I am most suspicious if somebody offers me anything for free. A Moroccan proverb says: Offer your services for free, and you will have many clients.

Yahoo and Hotmail have many clients, but I cannot maintain that I have been enjoying using their sites lately, just because it takes ages to log in...

I have also noticed with Yahoo recently that my emails are delayed or don't arrive, particularly those with attachments. I always bcc myself to another email account (in this case hotmail) when I deliver my translation to a client, so I can check if the translation has arrived...


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 05:27
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Lets not hyperventilate Jul 7, 2007

Do you experience something similar?

Yes, oh yes. My employer - well, it's a pretty big (biggest in its segment) German company - gets 4M spams a day - mind you, recognized spams.
Is this just another conspiracy theory?

Yes. The fact is the addresses do get bought and sold. And it's not (only) some sickos, it's one of the budding services in this globalizing world. What kind of services? You name it, we do it: porno, drugs, penny stocks, Ponzi schemes of all kinds, zombie networks, espionage & sabotage, tailored to your needs ....

[Edited at 2007-07-07 08:14]


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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 13:27
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Is it a paid Yahoo! account, Dr. Behl? Jul 7, 2007

Just wondering because I have a premium paid account and I am not getting any spam via Yahoo!.

However, having said that, I am getting explicit spam - often unsuited to my gender - through my two work mail servers, and lately also through Proz Mail.

It is also possible that they are targeting particular profiles and regions and that is why the spam hasn't hit me yet. Then again, it is hitting prettyhard through the work addresses, often sent from what seems to be my own email to myself. Now that is a MAJOR reason for paranoia, nu?


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 22:27
English to Russian
+ ...
The pattern I have noticed Jul 7, 2007

I have a regular yahoo.com account as a backup and I also used to have hotmail.com. Hotmail is long gone but the pattern for both seems to be identical - the more I use it, the more spam I get. Most of it, like viagra and enlargements:-), goes to Bulk folder automatically and only less than half a dozen over a couple of weeks finds its way into the Inbox. Sometimes I do not open this account for weeks and Inbox stays clean or almost clean but when I start using it regulary for several days the amount of spam increases rapidly. Feels like the bell starts ringing somewhere - She's back, guys, go crazy:-)

I'm thinking about switching to Gmail but I didn't have time yet to figure out if it can be syncronized with my pocket PC.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Something has changed in spam pattens Jul 7, 2007

I use Mandic.com.br as e-mail provider. It's in Brazil, so there is no much use in going for it elsewhere. It's just to draw a picture.

I happen to know Aleksandar Mandic personally. He is a really clever player, began working evenings at his parents' home with one computer, and from that he grew his business to the second largest BBS in the world (I don't know if before or after moving it out from a residential apartment). Apparently he became a well-known business case in Harvard.

Skipping some years in history, his current business is focused on "the best e-mail service possible". Hence that includes what he calls "intelligent antispam".

It actually "learns" from your usage. It took me almost two years (in spite of my average being 300+ spam messages received per day, and increasing) to cut errors Type 1 (letting spam through) + errors Type 2 (classifying valid messages as spam) down to 1 message per week avg., which it kept for some two more years.

Recently, 5-10 spam messages per day began creeping through. So something must have changed in the spam pattern, and Mandic's system is learning again. One interesting thing is that most of these messages are written in German, a language in which my knowledge is zilch. Another novelty is blank messages with a PDF file attached, which contains the unwanted ad.

Maybe other filters are having a hard time as well.



[Edited at 2007-07-07 15:15]


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 22:27
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It doesn't matter if it s paid or not Jul 7, 2007

I have several paid and not paid accounts and they ALL get spammed! I was wondering how some spammer have learned how to bypass the filters and get into my inbox..its just incredible...

Now I´m really thinking in having it enlarged, buying Viagra and taking pills for a Diet and all with the British Lottery I keep winning!!

ha ha


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 00:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
you are not... Jul 7, 2007

Heike,

You are not paranoid, they are doing it.

Try not to get paranoid either, try to keep on filtering, send it to spam, etc. or contact them.


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:27
English to Italian
yahoo Jul 7, 2007

I have a yahoo account as well and I am experiencing a similar problem. Lately the number of spam emails that end up in my yahoo bulk folder have increased. I have also noticed that now spammers have become pretty sneaky because a lot of these spam emails are disguised as greeting cards bearing the title of "you have received a greeting card from a family member (or your friend). I almost opened one but then I thought "wait a minute, there is no one that I know who would send me a greeting card now, it's not even my birthday". It was a good thinking as later on I received other 4 emails of this kind with different headers and somebody told me that they are all spam emails bearing a virus.

In the past I used to forward every single spam email to the FTC by sending them to this email address: spam@uce.gov, but to no avail. I kept on receiving them and even more. So I stopped forwarding them to spam@uce.gov and I don't know why, the number of spam emails decreased....(go figure). So now I get about 10 spam emails a day, 99.9% of them end up into my spam folder and I simply erase them without even opening it. The 0.1% end in my inbox from time to time.
I wish some authority could really and effectively take some steps in fighting spamming as it's a sore in the b*** for everyone.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:27
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Can't think of a new title... :-) Jul 7, 2007

Liliana Roman-Hamilton wrote:

I have a yahoo account as well and I am experiencing a similar problem. Lately the number of spam emails that end up in my yahoo bulk folder have increased. I have also noticed that now spammers have become pretty sneaky because a lot of these spam emails are disguised as greeting cards bearing the title of "you have received a greeting card from a family member (or your friend). I almost opened one but then I thought "wait a minute, there is no one that I know who would send me a greeting card now, it's not even my birthday". It was a good thinking as later on I received other 4 emails of this kind with different headers and somebody told me that they are all spam emails bearing a virus.


I'm not at all concerned about the amount of spam that ends up in the bulk folder, but the increasing number of spam mails getting past the filter.

BTW, regarding those greeting card e-mails, it alsways cracks me up how they don't even know the name of the sender, but know that he or she is a family member, a neighbor or a friend!

Liliana Roman-Hamilton wrote:
So now I get about 10 spam emails a day, 99.9% of them end up into my spam folder and I simply erase them without even opening it. The 0.1% end in my inbox from time to time.
I wish some authority could really and effectively take some steps in fighting spamming as it's a sore in the b*** for everyone.



It's those 0.1% that concern me, or rather fact that this 0.1% has become something closer to 5-8% recently.

As Vito said, it's just part of the free market economy of supply and demand (I hope I rephrased you correctly, Vito).

And it's probably not by accident that the increased number of spam in my regular mailbox coincides with Yahoo's introduction of annoying banner ads on top of my inbox... Which they were so kind to announce in an e-mail as "ads that might cater to my interests". Big time BS! "Congrats. Today is your lucky day" is there right now...

Sam, yes, it's a paid account. I don't know whether premium, but it's definitely not free. The ISP rates have gone down quite a bit in recent years, probably due to more competition. And they probably need to make up for the lost revenue this way (plus it's always nice to make big money).

Although it is a fact that addresses are sold, to my knowledge it is illegal to sell those addresses without their owner's consent. But God knows in what tiny smallprint in what modified terms of use they have hidden your implicit consent. I think I'm going to call Yahoo up and make a big stink about this sometime next week, just for the fun of it and to see what they have to say about it.


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Regi2006
Indonesia
Local time: 10:27
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
My client's e-mail ended up in spam folder Mar 23, 2008

Hi,

You are not paranoid.

My client's e-mails, requesting translation services for a very big project, ended up in spam folder of my gmail account. I only realized this when my client posted a job in proz.com. When I quoted for that job, they told me that they had sent a request for translation to my e-mail that morning, but got no reply from me.

xxxIreneN, you are correct, it also happens with gmail. The more you open your gmail account, the more you will get spammed.

Best regards,
Regi


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Daniel Todorovski
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 05:27
Macedonian to English
+ ...
Yahoo is definitely not innocent May 21, 2008

They call spam "web beacons", turned on by default and the switch is burried deep into preferences.

In one Yahoo account I opened, it was on for like five minutes - just until I found my way to turn it off; never gave that address to anyone - and still receive spam. (also turned off all 'marketing notifications' and everything remotely resembling spam.)

Spammers trade addresses and once yours is out, there is no stopping it.

GL


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Ch. Hamim
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 05:27
Albanian to Macedonian
+ ...
My opinion is that they wanted to earn money from you in this way! Jul 25, 2008

I have the same problem in: gmail.com I almost every day I take from 100-200 emails. There are a lot of people that wants to earn money in advertizing using spam, draft etx.
There is a rezolution, and that you need to unsubscibe the all emails that you will accept for example the next week and after that they will send emails but not forever, these emails will stop no later that 15 days!


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