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So who really is this dumb?

That's the question many of us ask when we see particularly stupid spam: who really is dumb enough to fall for this stuff? Well, maybe not so many after all.

This Washington Times article (Spammers make profits without making a sale) explains how spammers make money without actually selling you anything. By getting you to reply to the email or visit a website, they get paid by advertisers. This is is probably not how most of us envisioned that world at all, but it makes sense. The person who sent you the *redacted* ad isn't shipping blue pills from his basement, and the the invitation to view Tiffany's webcam of course doesn't come from Tiffany. No, these things come from people who specialize in sending spam, and have sold their services to advertisers. Of course, it probably isn't even that direct: there's likely another middle-man who is brokering ads to the spammer.

Maybe the really dumb people here are the advertisers themselves.

In the meantime, the Direct Marketing Association dithers about trying to decide what makes all this junk any different from what their members do: http://boston.internet.com/news/article.php/2243381

I've said before that Spamassassin is the best way I know to stop spam (short of a dedicated Spam appliance, of course). Spammassin works by assigning points to email. Apparently that has caused a new game for those who use it: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,59859,00.html reports on hunting for email with high Spammassin points.

The Kerio Connect Mail Server that I sell includes Spamassassin filtering.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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