Turning Tables on Spammers
By Leo Notenboom
Why spamming the spammers is not practical and very problematic.–PC Pitstop.
Can’t we just spam the spammers to death?
I received a rather lengthy question that mentioned a specific service that claims to turn the tables on spammers either by spamming them back or by somehow using the content of their spam messages in an attempt to harm them in some way… or at least annoy the heck out of them.
Now as much as spam angers us, besides ultimately being ineffective, vigilante justice just isn’t the answer.
Spamming the spammers
One common idea is to take incoming spam email and reply to it with thousands of messages in return.
There are so many problems with this idea that it’s hard to know where to begin. The biggest one is simply that the spammers don’t pay attention to the email that gets returned. Either the “From” address is forged and you’re actually spamming an innocent bystander, or the “From” address is completely fake, in which case you might just find yourself the recipient of thousands upon thousands of bounce messages.
In either case, what’s happened here is that you have become a spammer, or perhaps this third party service you used for this has.
The fact is spam is spam, whether or it comes from a spammer, or from you, or from a service. You are causing thousands of unsolicited email messages to be sent, which makes you a spammer.
Depending on how things are set up, you actually run the risk of losing your email account, or your email provider being placed on blacklists, and your legitimate email not being able to make it out. You even run the risk of running afoul of the law since what you would be doing is, as I understand it, quite illegal.
So it’s illegal, it’s ineffective, and the only person potentially impacted by your actions is you.
Don’t do it.
This excerpt appears with permission from Leo Notenboom.