Educational CyberPlayGround ®


SPAM is always with us, there's nothing much new under the sun in the world of humans wanting to make money.



James Veitch: The agony of trying to unsubscribe - computer programs pinging one another for eternity.

Forward Spam Text Messages to 7726 to Report Them most carriers will let you report it by forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM). How to block unwanted txt msg. on your stupid smart cellphone.

Danger of Email Scams An overview of possible email scam dangers.

Email Dangers Suggests on how to avoid email dangers.

Email Frauds Information on email frauds and other online dangers.

Frauds and Scams Overview for consumers who need to be aware of of online and email frauds and scams.

Email and Text Fraud What to look for in possible fraudulent emails and texts.

What is an email Hoax? The various kinds of email hoaxes.

What is email Fraud? Outlines what email fraud is and why it is dangerous.


  • The first instance of the telegraph being used to send unwanted advertisements was in 1864
  • It took an act of Congress in 1991 to curtail fax machine SPAM
  • 2012 Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance: Google, Microsoft and other companies are working together to combat email "phishing" scams. They've formed an organization to design a system to authenticate emails from legitimate senders and weed out scams. The group's founders include email providers like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google, Internet security firms and big email senders such as Bank of America, Facebook and LinkedIn. Google uses it already, both in its email sender and email provider capacities.

TIPS on dealing with SPAM





The Biggest Spammers Comcast, Verizon, Hotmail, MSN, Earthlink, Yahoo, very one of those major ISPs should have personnel whose job consists of nothing but monitoring NANAE, and other anti-spam/abuse forums 24x7 and using the information found thein. Especially because they are absolute goldmines of useful research *done by other people using their own time and money*. Enormous amounts of abuse could be stopped very quickly with a very small investment just by doing this.

AOL (800)-827-3338 Technical Support (800)-771-8267 Customer Support
YAHOO (408) 349-3300 (main number)
(no telephone support for free subscribers)
HOTMAIL (877) 606-9433 (Executive escalation group)
EARTHLINK (800) 890-6356 (customer service) (800) 890-5128 (Technical support) (live chat) 7 a.m. to 2:45 a.m. ET. (same as earthlink)
MSN (877) 606-9433 (Executive escalation group) (888) 262-6300 (Customer care) 1-800-654-5866 Human support is $1.95 per/minute (1-866-491-5866) (Click live support) (if you are a member) (live chat)

These first tips on dealing with SPAM are from Bob Appleton.

One thing that you do *not* want to do is to reply to one of those ***ADVERTISING*** aka SPAM messages.

When you reply to one of those messages - the sender knows that they have reached a valid email address... Consequently, you are likely to continue receiving those garbage messages. However, one thing that you *do* want to do is save that message! You might need it later to identify the sender. The original message contains the email headers that will help to identify the sender. If you can tell who sent you the message, you can send it to their ISP asking them for assistance in stopping the sender from sending more SPAM. Many ISPs will cancel internet accounts for users when they are reported as abusers... The biggest problem in dealing with Spam is identifying the sender. Many people who send SPAM are using email services like Juno or Hotmail or other anonymous email services. Consequently, identifying Spam senders can be almost impossible at times. The email header is where you can see where the message really originated.



Jodie Bernstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection

Spam is not unsolicited commercial e-mail. Spam is correctly defined as unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE for short). There are three reasons for this:

(1) inclusion of non-commercial spam such as religious, charity, non-profit, educational, etc.
(2) exclusion of any distinction on the basis of content. In other words, the definition of spam is deliberately content-neutral, or perhaps more clearly, content-blind.
(3) exclusion of single messages. A single message, no matter how wanted/unwanted, no matter what its content, cannot be spam: it's not bulk.

spam Law
For an up-to-date run-down of state-by-state laws dealing with spam, and Federal bills (not yet enacted) proposed to deal with spam.

Opt-out e-mail marketing - let the spammers do all the work for you.

In a ruling of July 18, 2002, in the appeal case of Internet Service Provider Xs4all vs. Ab.fab Interactive Media, the Amsterdam Court of Justice decided that e-mail spamming is OK, as long as the spammer provides a so-called means to opt-out. In most cases however, as any experienced Internet user knows, opting out will mean more spam, not less. MORE ABOUT HOW TO OPT - OUT


Another Court of Appeals upholds 4th Amendment rights in email. June 2007
A significant opinion was decided by the 6th Circuit Warshak v. US, upholding 4th Amendment protections for emails. The 6th Circuit ruled, agreeing with an amicus brief filed by EFF, that "A [government] seizure of e-mails from an ISP, without either a warrant supported by probable cause, notice to the account holder to render the intrusion the functional equivalent of a subpoena, or a showing that the user maintained no expectation of privacy in the e-mail, amounts to" a 4th amendment violation. This case is doubly important because the government primarily argued that the 4th Amendment shouldn't matter, as it complied with most (but not all) of the relevant administrative subpoena statute, with its lesser standards of proof. Details: US statutes offer some privacy for emails, based on distinctions like 'sent' vs. 'in transit' vs. 'stored' vs. 'read or unread.' These categories, their standards of proof and the protections they offer, are hotly debated themselves because the US has several statutes (the Wiretap Act, ECPA, etc.) that protect some emails and computer uses, most cases never have to address the 4th Amendment issue. The case can be decided just based on whether the statute was followed. A recent case, Councilman, may be familiar to readers as an example of a case that involved the intricacies of these statutes. But the issue has always been lurking as to whether or not there is additional 4th Amendment protection above and beyond the statutes - especially as amendments (like the Patriot Act) have pared back the protections or standards in these statutes. The court today signaled there clearly is independent 4th Amendment protection, and ruled that some portions of ECPA were constitutionally inadequate. ~ Ethan Ackerman

Spammer vs. Microsoft 2005
Robert Soloway hates Microsoft. Or so it seems. Soloway lost a court battle to the software giant, who accused Soloway of illegal spamming. According to Brian McWilliams, investigative journalist and author of Spam Kings, Soloway is allegedly one of the world's dirty dozen of top spammers.

2003 Spam Law PDF Burns-Wyden CAN SPAM Bill S.877 Passed 2003

Spam-maker loses bid to trademark 'spam'. The producer of the canned pork product Spam has lost a bid to claim the word as a trademark for unsolicited emails.

Congress New Federal mostly pro-consumer anti-spam law 11/2003 source Anne P. Mitchell, Esq of

  1. Makes illegal using open proxies or relays or any other form of resource misappropriation.
  2. Makes illegal any commercial message sent with false header information.
  3. Requires a working manner to unsubscribe which must continue to work for at least thirty (30) days after the mail is initiated.
  4. Makes illegal the sender or anyone acting on behalf of the sender sending mail to a recipient who has unsubscribed, *and* makes illegal the transfer or sale of such recipient's name to another entity. Meaning it makes illegal the old unsubscribed recipient shell game.
  5. Makes illegal the providing of spam support good or services where the spam support provider has a 50% or greater interest in the spamming vendor, *or* has knowledge of the spam and receives or expects to receive an economic benefit from the spam (goodbye pink contracts. It will be interesting to see how quickly this provision is used against service providers who fail to terminate spamming customers).
  6. Specifically states that the enforcing entity does not need to prove intent in order to obtain a TRO or C&D order.
  7. *Vests in state agencies and state attorney generals the ability to sue spammers, in Federal court, on behalf of the state's citizens who have been spammed.* Is this the same as a private right of action? Well, no. But it *does* mean that private citizens can petition/lobby their state agencies and representatives and attorney generals to act on their behalf, and I'd suggest that rather than wringing hands and nay-saying, people should start right now pushing their state legislators to create an "Office of Spam Enforcement" specifically for this purpose.
  8. Provides for attorneys fees to the state agency in any state initiated action. This is *really* important, because unbeknownst to many, a court *cannot* award attorneys fees unless there is a specific provision of the law providing for fees, and this section
    can help to convince state agencies that it is a feasible proposition.
  9. Provides that *internet access service providers* may also sue, on their own behalf, in Federal court.
  10. *Specifically* states that the law does *not* impact an ISP's ability to determine and enforce its own policies for transmission of email. This means that nobody can sue an ISP for blocking the mail they send, trying to claim that the ISP must accept and deliver it based on the Federal law.


Report to the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC wants copies of your unwanted e-mails and e-mails that have deceptive unsubscribe links. They use the unsolicited e-mails stored in their database to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive spam e-mail.
To report any unwanted e-mails you receive, simply forward the messages to Make sure that you include the header information in the e-mail. The FTC wants to know if you find an e-mail with an unsubscribe link that is not active, does not unsubscribe you or results in more spam. You can fill out a complaint form at

tracks the Internet's Spammers, Spam Gangs and Spam Services, provides dependable realtime anti-spam protection for Internet networks, and works with Law Enforcement to identify and pursue spammers worldwide.

Free Tool that will Intercept Spam

Allows you to filter and delete mail at the server, before you download it

The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email is an all volunteer organization, created by Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to the problem of UCE (a/k/a "spam") and a good place to learn about how to fight Spam.

The Network Abuse Clearinghouse
Abuse at is another helpful website where you can sign up to forward Spam to the administrative addresses of ISPs. That is, once you are registered (for free) at, you send your spam complaint to and the Spam gets forwarded automatically to all the admin addresses. Also see "Fight Spam on the Internet"

Nigerian Email Scam
You can forward the message to the Secret Service at this email address:
In addition to the link mentioned in the message below, here are some other places where you can find information:

Sam Spade Tools
Free Software Program that help in identifying the sender of email messages

Spam Cop
Free service that is also very popular for fighting Spam.

links page for a list of excellent spam-busting resources on the web. 2003 California wins first antispam judgment: Although the case was filed before the sweeping new legislation outlawing spam email in California, officials state that this $2 million fine will be a model for future spam injunctions. The lawsuit charged PW Marketing owners Paul Willis and Claudia Griffin with sending out millions of emails advertising "how to" guides on spamming and long lists of e-mail addresses. The injunction forbids Willis and Griffin from sending unsolicited commercial email and owning or advertising over the Internet any business for 10 years.

Junkbusters Corp

The OECD Anti-Spam Toolkit

OECD urges governments and industry to do more to tackle spam
19/04/2006 - Governments and industry should step up their coordination to combat the global problem of spam, according to a new set of OECD recommendations.
Spam is dangerous and costly for business and consumers. It disrupts networks, cuts productivity, spreads viruses and is increasingly used by criminals who steal passwords to access confidential information and often bank accounts. While there is no single solution, governments and the private sector should act fast on a number of fronts. The OECD calls on governments to establish clear national anti-spam policies and give enforcement authorities more power and resources. Co-ordination and co-operation between public and private sectors are critical, the report notes.
International cooperation is also key. Spam moves between countries and investigators have to follow the flow across borders to track spammers. To address this, OECD governments have approved a Recommendation on Cross-Border Co-operation in the Enforcement of Laws against Spam, urging countries to ensure that their laws enable enforcement authorities to share information with other countries and do so more quickly and effectively. They should also establish a single national contact point to facilitate international cooperation.
Educating people on the risks of spam and how to deal with it is also important. Governments, working with industry, should run nationwide campaigns to raise awareness. Lessons on spam and Internet security should be included in computer courses in schools and for senior citizens.
These recommendations form part of the OECD Anti-Spam Toolkit, available online at It gives policy makers a comprehensive package of concrete regulatory approaches, technical solutions, and industry initiatives to fight spam.
The Toolkit also includes a guide to best practices for Internet Service Providers and other network operators, and for email marketing. These were produced by the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), the business advisory group to the OECD, in co- operation with the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), an organization of Internet Service Providers. This is the first effort by the private sector to develop a series of common best practices at the international level.
For further information, journalists should contact Claudia Sarrocco (tel. + 33 1 45 24 96 93) or Dimitri Ypsilanti (tel. + 33 1 45 24 94 42) of the OECDs Directorate for science, technology and industry.

2011 Researchers' Typosquatting Stole 20 GB of E-Mail From Fortune 500 "Two researchers who set up doppelganger domains to mimic legitimate domains belonging to Fortune 500 companies say they managed to vacuum up 20 gigabytes of misaddressed e-mail over six months." The intercepted correspondence included employee usernames and passwords, sensitive security information about the configuration of corporate network architecture that would be useful to hackers, affidavits and other documents related to litigation in which the companies were embroiled, and trade secrets, such as contracts for business transactions.