Should we send feedback to spammers?
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:29
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Nov 12, 2014

On a normal day I receive half a dozen or more mails with subject titles like
Top-quality translations into German Swedish and English (sic!)
or
ItalianEnglish Freelance Translator

Up to now I only clicked on the spam-icon of my mail agent (Thunderbird).

But now I started to think, what would happen if we all started to send a reply like:

"You have been selected for my automatic spam filter"

Then spammer mailboxes would be filled with these replies and the spammer would find it difficult to find any positive messages from the bulk.

If only Thunderbird could do it automatically.

What do you think?


 

Salam Alrawi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:29
English to Arabic
+ ...
Depends Nov 12, 2014

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

On a normal day I receive half a dozen or more mails with subject titles like
Top-quality translations into German Swedish and English (sic!)
or
ItalianEnglish Freelance Translator

Up to now I only clicked on the spam-icon of my mail agent (Thunderbird).

But now I started to think, what would happen if we all started to send a reply like:

"You have been selected for my automatic spam filter"

Then spammer mailboxes would be filled with these replies and the spammer would find it difficult to find any positive messages from the bulk.

If only Thunderbird could do it automatically.

What do you think?


If the spammers are actually looking into their mail inbox, as most of them now are actually attaching a link and ask you to follow.
And since most of their emails are somehow automated, I don't think they check their mail inbox at all.

I could be wrong though.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:29
Member
French to English
+ ...
Unwise! Nov 12, 2014

More importantly, if you do reply in any way whatsoever, you only serve to confirm that your e-mail address is valid, which in turn my lead to its being disseminated on yet more lists of 'qualified leads' — so I believe the best thing to do is to keep stumm!

 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:29
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Best to ignore them Nov 12, 2014

Tempting though it is to respond tartly to spammers, I think it's best to ignore them.
Otherwise, it's a bit like agreeing to converse with an annoying drunk. Once he's got some kind of reaction from you, he'll never leave you alone!

[Edited at 2014-11-12 09:57 GMT]


 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:29
English to Czech
+ ...
How to do it Nov 12, 2014

Agree with the previous answers.
However if you really wanted to answer, there's a way to do it semi-automatically in Thunderbird.
First you make a special Tag, e.g. Spammer and a template where you write you message. Then you make a filter: If a message has the tag Spammer, reply with a template....
I haven't tried it, just briefly looked into Manage Message Filters section but looks like it should work.

[Edited at 2014-11-12 09:23 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not a good idea Nov 12, 2014

Tony M wrote:

More importantly, if you do reply in any way whatsoever, you only serve to confirm that your e-mail address is valid, which in turn my lead to its being disseminated on yet more lists of 'qualified leads' — so I believe the best thing to do is to keep stumm!


This is all they want, a confirmation of your email being valid.

The only time I replied was several years ago, knowing the the email provider will go out of business. It was some real estate sales with mortage offer. So I told them that I'd gladly take the house if they paid the mortage without me paying a penny.icon_biggrin.gif Ner heard from them again until the email "died".icon_biggrin.gif


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:29
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not quite sure Nov 12, 2014

In the case of those freelance translators who think it a good idea to buy thousands of email-addresses and send their ads regardless of the nature of our business I will continue to reply in the way I told in my initial posting.

And it is not true that spammers do not scan their mail. Once I responded to one who promised I don't remember how many million GBP and very soon I got a response with more details.
Technically, if someone sends let's say a million messages and would receive in the next few seconds a million replies into his/her mailbox probably would get into trouble with the mail service provider.

My mail provider uses a filter that removes all the most obscure spam-mails, but those that come through are people who really want a positive response. Getting 99 percent negative response would maybe put them off.


 


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