The Burton Tech Journal

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Reporting Spam

by on Nov.23, 2008, under Email, Spam

We would like to begin by stating that you should NEVER reply to a spam message, attempt to use the “unsubscribe” link in an unsolicited email message, or click on any links in the email.  You should also not download any images or files embedded in the email message.  By downloading the content or clicking on any links, spammers may detect that your email address is active and either send additional messages or sell your address to other spammers.

By reporting spam, you are taking an active effort to shut down the businesses behind the spam and remove a problem the impacts everyone.  If you receive spam that you would like to report, you have a few options:

  1. Look at the email message’s header to locate the true source of the spam and email the spammer’s ISP’s “abuse” address directly.  Generally we do not recommend doing this since the service providers supporting spam operations will either ignore the complaint or they may actually supply your address to the spammers themselves.  You can use the Network Abuse Clearing House to look up abuse contact addresses.
  2. Use a third party to submit spam complaints and supply the spammer’s information to spam feeds and realtime block list services.  We often use and recommend signing up for a free account at SpamCop, since they allow you to report violators.
  3. Report the spam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for inclusion into their spam database. The FTC and its law enforcement partners use the database to pursue cases against spam operations.

If you have been a victim of a computer or Internet related crime, such as fraud or indentity/financial theft, you can find help at the following places:

  1. Contact your local police department and ask for assistance with a cyber crime.
  2. File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center
  3. Contact any of the financial institutions or service providers involved in the incident
  4. Review the information and resources provided by the United States Secret Service’s Financial Crimes Division.

If you are careful and use the right software/services, you can avoid many of the problems surrounding spam, phishing scams, viruses, and spyware.

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