I get a
lot of mail.
On Tuesday, June 15th, I decided to take a close look at it all.
I received a total of 325 email messages that day, but only 25 of those were real emails from people. The rest were garbage.
every citizen of the internet, I'm learning to be quite efficient at
scanning and deleting junk mail.
I can spot them from miles away: Random characters, tricky headers, too-generic or too-specific subject lines. Still, I spend at least 20 minutes per day sorting the garbage from the real email. I find this very annoying, in large part because I feel helpless to stop them.
The return addresses are faked and the unsubscribe links aren't trustworthy. It is almost impossible to investigate any of them without using a credit card.
What can I do?
Please take a look at the chart below. This represents an actual count of the spam mail I received at cockeyed on that one day.
A glance at this chart impresses me with one thing: All this spam is for
As I went back through my garbage email pile, sorting through this junk again, I pulled out two false positives - real emails that I had deleted accidentally.
I do not have a solution, but I do have one suggestion for everyone, and one plea for help with a plan:
Never, ever buy anything, not even free things, or follow instructions from an unsolicited spam email.
People send spam because it is a profitable thing to do. If it wasn't profitable, fewer people would do it. The same goes for pigeons, panhandlers and telemarketers. If you don't want them around, don't encourage them by making them successful. Disappoint them.
Plea for Help with a Plan
In the last few months, an increasingly large number of spam mails have arrived flaunting seemingly genuine street addresses.
I would like to know if these are genuine street addresses, or if they are just post office boxes. Are they homes or business suites?
If you live in Tarzana, Houston, Thornhill, Los Angeles, Austin, Haverstraw or Rock Island, and you are also curious, please let me know if you are in a position to check out these potential spam headquarters.
Update! July 6th
Readers responded with photos from Houston, Thornhill and Haverstraw!
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July 5th, 2004.