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Exposing Spammers For All They're Worth 548

llywrch points out this interesting story at Art & Farces in which a "guy fights spammers by occasionally sending an email telling the spammer to leave him alone or he'll bill for time & services. Some take him off their mailing list, some pay the bill, but most don't respond . . . except one guy who was so incensed at receiving this invoice he had his lawyers send a threatening note. Makes it easier for Fraase to collect on his invoice."
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Exposing Spammers For All They're Worth

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  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @02:55AM (#2583472) Journal
    Empty threats are nice... but until large numbers of people go to court to fight against spammers, well, you lie in the bed you've made (or have done nothing to stop).
    • by Overcoat ( 522810 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:17AM (#2583526)
      Wahington State went after spammers. The state was the first to pass anti-spamming legislation. More info here: mail/home.html []
    • by dytin ( 517293 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:33AM (#2583559) Homepage
      Legislation is not what we need to stop spammers. The real problem is that spammers actually make money off of spamming us. There are enough dumb people out there that actually buy crap from the spammers. Just quietly delete all of you spam, and when spammers stop making money then they will eventually stop. Or if you don't want spam, just don't use email.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        What help will it be if we the "smart people" don't buy from spammers? We already don't but the "dumb people" do so the money flow will remain unchanged.

        I'd prefer legislation against spam so that marketers can still sell to "dumb people" through classic methods like infomercials, home shopping networks, and advertisements in tabloid magazines.
        • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:53AM (#2583611) Homepage
          I hate spam, but I don't really think the government should be getting involved. They take enough liberties away from us. If they make more crap illegal then it'll be turned around and used against otherwise normal activity and pretty soon we'll have tons of law telling us what we can and can not do with the internet.

          The only law that I think should be allowed concerns the requirement of those doing business on the net do so with full disclosure. If someone is going to mass e-mail they should not be allowed to misrepresent their e-mail address or host of origin. I consider that forgery and it should be punished as such.

          Not only does it make finding those guilty of the forgery difficult to act against, but it also makes it hard to trust them enough to do business with them. It's for this reason that I do not do business with spammers. It's not enough that the products they are trying to sell to people are about totally worthless, but if you add to that the fact that they can't even tell you who they really are then one can only wonder who the hell WOULD want to do business with them in the first place.
          • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:21AM (#2583683) Homepage Journal
            I hate spam, but I don't really think the government should be getting involved. They take enough liberties away from us. If they make more crap illegal then it'll be turned around and used against otherwise normal activity and pretty soon we'll have tons of law telling us what we can and can not do with the internet.

            Drop the Republican anti-government hate mongering. The federal government passed a law against junk faxes years ago and it hasn't lead to the confiscation of fax machines, innocent people being fined or jailed, or any violation of anyone's liberties. The law simply recognized that junk faxes, like e-mail spam, cost the recipients. In the case of faxes, the costs include toner and paper while spam e-mail costs include higher ISP fees to cover the cost of bandwidth, storage, and the salaries of the abuse department personnel.

            The only law that I think should be allowed concerns the requirement of those doing business on the net do so with full disclosure. If someone is going to mass e-mail they should not be allowed to misrepresent their e-mail address or host of origin.

            Your time isn't worth anything, is it? Well mine is and I don't want to have to wade through multiple spams per day. I don't want to have to opt-out 20 times a day. I want to be able to use a pager to tell me when I receive e-mail -- and not have it go off every two minutes because some loser sent me spam. It's my e-mail. I've paid for it, and no spammer has a right to use it for his advertising.

            Collect calls from telemarketers are illegal. Junk faxes are illegal. E-mail spam should also be illegal.
            • Your time isn't worth anything, is it?

              It's worth quite a bit. I dispise spam and receive so much I've resorted to using a private e-mail address for real communication with just a few poeple and forwarding all junk to a box that I never check. Other semi-important stuff (such as site-registration etc) goes to a third... and yet still I have other mail addy's for other things.

              It's annoying and I shouldn't have to do this.

              But I think the more laws that we pass the more screwed we're letting ourselves get. If we are allowed to track down spammers we could fight them much easier. At the moment however everybody like you wants to just cut them off immediately with the legal system instead of using current laws to help us fight them without having to resort to piling on more and more laws every day.

              And one other thing -- my anti-law feelings are definately Libertarian, not Republican. If you're going to call me names, get your shit straight. Nobody likes a twisted turd.
              • But I think the more laws that we pass the more screwed we're letting ourselves get.

                Why would you be against a law prohibiting theft -- which is what spam is? Laws aren't bad. The anti junk fax law that I pointed out is an example of a perfectly good law that hasn't hurt anyone (other than junk faxers).

                If we are allowed to track down spammers we could fight them much easier.

                So laws are bad but lawsuits are good? You and I are definitely not on the same page.
            • We still get junk faxes, despite the laws. Most laws passed by the U.S. legislature aren't worth the effort that they take to pass.

              You know the old joke? "If con is the opposite of pro, then what's the opposite of progress?"
      • Eh, well, that reminds me of a (salon?) article a year or so ago. Do you know how many of the spammails where you cannot in any way give them money however much you try?

        I mean, yes, there are loads of dumb people available, but those dumb people actually have to be able to find out where to send the money.

        Of course, that says loads about how smart those spammers are...
      • The real problem is that spammers actually make money off of spamming us
        No I don't think so, but a lot of Lusers think they are. It's probably more like welder-spark + disposable-butane-lighter = 15,000 lbs air-fuel bomb.

        There are enough dumb people out there that actually buy crap from the spammers. Lusers who are dumb enough to buy the crap are also dumb enough to believe that their CC data is more likely to be stolen off a SSL connection to the transaction house than they are to be muggged in the mall parking lot.

        Just quietly delete all of you spam I actualy take some time once in a while, read it and compain to the person who benefits and CC the host, if it involves a regualated profession I also complain to the states board of professional liciensure or if it looks like fraud, to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

        I'd like to see a law prohibiting falsified header info, punishing broken opt-out links, and perhaps giving recipients a more convienint way of sueing spammers for dammages. Punnishing affiate programms that pay for click-throughs from Email would help a lot

        when spammers stop making money then they will eventually stop.
        Your implying that the spammers are making money, posibly the only ones that are on the internet perhaps? More likely they are dreamming of make one big hit that'll come from the next scam
        • by scoove ( 71173 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @01:35PM (#2585458)
          One effective way to deal with this is maillist pollution with the Jam the Spammers Maillist Game.

          Step 1. Start filling out online registrations (probably something you already avoid) and seek out folks that are looking for this type of marketing data (e.g. Radio Shack, Best Buy).

          Step 2. Jam their marketing radar with noise. Noise can be incorrect zip codes for you, creative names and addresses, even brand new people that live in exotic places. For instance, I've always figured that the post office at Manville Wyoming must be quite bored, being in the least populated county of the least populated state. Zip code is 82227, which makes it easy to remember. And best of all, General Delivery helps your mailman by letting him toss the junkmail in a tall pile that can be left for a long time. (For a pretty picture of Wyoming's Niobrara county, see this site. [])

          Remember, the more garbage you dump into their maillists, the less effective those mail lists are that they're selling.

          Looking at an recent maillist quote for my metropolitan area [], InfoUSA wants $5,000 for a list of businesses complete with fax, email, etc. Imagine how frustrated list buyers get when they discover half of these leads are garbage. The greater the background noise, the less effective the marketing campaign, and the more likely other means will be sought in locating customers.

          Start your jamming!

          • by scoove ( 71173 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @01:42PM (#2585486)
            I neglected to mention Step #3 that is particularly helpful inducing noise into the email spam channels:

            Step 3. Develop noise email identities, particularly focusing on notably abusive spam domains. My favorite here is (make up your own value for someuser - common names like admin, hostmaster, root, etc. are good to try) - per my experience with Spamcop assessments, Chinanet is about the most frequent spam abuser (and they almost always lie about their email origin identity). These guys literally provide safe harbor to spam terrorists.

            Sure, it's fun to route chinanet IP's to a null interface (and probably wise too - countless rogue script-laden emails that fire up a browser and open you up to numerous issues come from chinanet solicitions).

            Obviously, chinanet likes spam - so be sure to put them down to receive some!

      • spam hunter (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Alien54 ( 180860 )
        The real problem is that spammers actually make money off of spamming us.

        Actually we need a way to make money of the spammers. If there is a legal system to make money off spammmers, they will go away.

        Solutions I've advocated in the past included spamm licenses, complete with cute orange ear tags for the spammer, and a culling program. This may even make a good kids games; "Spam Hunter! Can YOU catch the spammer?"

    • You know, you're probably right. Spam IS theft -- theft of service and time -- and should be treated as such.

      I was raised thinking that sueing is "bad" and I have always detested the way many in our society are so litigeous. But spam is making me just mad enough that I think I'd be willing to jump in that game if there's any chance i could win.
    • I hope not... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:21AM (#2583681) Homepage Journal

      I think it'd be a big step backwards if we went to court and somehow got laws against this stuff. It's fun to mess with these guys, who are obviously assholes, but I don't think it's a good idea to encourage legislative regulation of the internet. Think: CDA I, II, DMCA, ....

      Spam is just not that bad! If you set up your e-mail client properly and don't publish your e-mail address, it's hardly noticeable. Still, I'd rather press 'd' six times per day than have my email regulated by the government.
      • Er! Not quite (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CaptainZapp ( 182233 )
        and don't publish your e-mail address, it's hardly noticeable.

        This might be true for you, as a private entity. For me, running a business this is no option. I do have a website and the whole idea is to publish my contact information, with as little hassle as possible for prospects.

        Do I publish my cell-phone # ? Sure as hell, no! But I make damn sure, that if you dial the business # published on the site is routed to my cell phone, if nobody is in the office with the caller not even noticing.

        This is not so easy with an e-mail address:, doesn't really sound too professional, now does it ?

  • Ha, I just wish I could have seen their faces...someone didn't back down in fear!
  • Spammers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WickedClean ( 230550 )
    Speaking of spammers, I have gotten more junk mail this past month, trying to trick me into changing registrars for a couple of domains that expire in November and December. I have gotten 4 different letters from, as well as about a half dozen emails from or their affiliates. I had always thought they were a big company and above sending spam, but I guessed wrong.

    One thing I would like to see is to make it illegal for these so-called 'companies' to sell mailing lists. They are selling people's personal information! I know, I know - wishful thinking....
    • I've gotten these same emails and snail mails, they're definatley not cool ...

      interestingly enuf last year I registered a set of com/net/org domains for a project and got a phone call at my home from some business wanting to sell me their web services cuz they "noticed" I registered these domains ...
  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:04AM (#2583504)

    There's an outfit called "Private Citizen [] that helps you receive less (snail) junk mail and fewer telemarketing calls. The sell a book called So You Want To Sue A Telemarketer []. I sure hope that they come out with the "Sue A Spammer" edition of this book soon. Even though I think too many people are quick to sue in this country, I can't think of anybody who deserves a lawsuit more than the spreaders of spam.

    People too cheap (ok, "frugal") to spend money at Private Citizen can try following the advice at Junkbusters [], and they even have a page concerning spam [].

    • Alternatively, you can get yourself a Law Degree:

      A University Diploma is waiting for you.

      Obtain a prosperous future, money earning power,
      and the admiration of all.

      Select your field of study from business, computers,
      engineering, education, the sciences, liberal arts,
      fine arts, social sciences, history, literature,
      languages, or any other discipline.

      No required tests, classes, books, or interviews.

      All levels of diplomas awarded - including bachelors,
      masters, PhD's, and MBA's.

      Diplomas from prestigious non-accredited universities
      based on your present knowledge and life experience.

      Open enrollment means that you are already
      accepted into this unique program.

      Someone is always waiting to take your call -
      24 hours a day, 7 days a week including weekends.

      All you have to do is call to insure your future!

      1 - 2 1 2 - 2 1 4 - 0 6 6 9 (U.S.A)

      OR CALL

      1 - 4 1 0 - 5 1 0 - 1 0 7 8

      All calls kept strictly confidential.

      That is always the best spam I get. Makes you wonder how many people actually use this service?
  • Google cache (Score:2, Informative)

    by Milinar ( 176767 )
    Seems slashdotted... try: :w
  • Mirrors? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wayne247 ( 183933 ) <> on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:12AM (#2583518) Homepage
    Well i found this article dated September 2nd which appears to be the one being submitted today. So happy caching []
  • How do you get it? I've always wanted to send them bills, but I always figured getting the real addrress would be too time consuming.
  • Many spammers are using bots to grab email addresses off of web pages. Why not use the fact that they are illegally copying the websites to get them?

    Of course the SPAM lists that some companies sell is a derivitive product.

    Remember Bidder's Edge v. Ebay, they argued using bots to collect information is illegal. Companies selling software to use open relays and collect addresses is as illegal as napster (if not more). Lets use some of these rulings against spammers.

  • by JohnG ( 93975 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:15AM (#2583523)
    If they are spamming an ad for a website, you can look at their registars whois database and find the owners mailing address.
    I say we all send a pizza to his house. After a few million pizza delivery guys after every spam sending attempt he'll give up.
    Not to mention the double effect that you can invest in Pizza Hut and watch the stock go WAY up!
    Disclaimer: The post was intended for entertainment. I will not be held accountable for any spammers who die from pepperoni overdose!

    • Not to mention the double effect that you can invest in Pizza Hut and watch the stock go WAY up!

      If anyone plans to implement JohnG's ingenious plan, please drop me an email. I'll send you a pizza after I make millions selling Pizza Hut stock short.

      Who do you think is going to end up paying for those "million" pizzas that are sent to spammers?
    • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:51AM (#2583818)
      I know this plan is a joke, but maybe there's a way to do it without causing damage to the pizza companies but rather to the spammers themselves.

      Maybe the key is to start ordering shitty products from one spam company and sending to another's whois mailing address. We can call this program like "Spam-Swap(TM)" and even make them opt-out of it.

      "Sorry if you've received this other spammer's product in error. Reply to be removed from our Spam-Swap(TM) List."


      (ps. this is a joke too...)
    • Sorry, not funny. (Score:2, Redundant)

      by jcr ( 53032 )
      This amounts to stealing from the pizza vendor, and that's as bad as spamming.

      Sure, it would probably make the guy unable to order pizza from anyone in the city as soon as they set up a list of addresses that get frequent bogus orders, but it would still be wrong to do it.

    • Or better yet, how about signing them up for magazine subscriptions. That way they'll spend as much time cancelling them as you do dealing with spam.
  • whore (Score:5, Informative)

    by ( 463190 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:18AM (#2583527) Homepage
    I didn't have a chance to get to the other link [] before went down, but here's the first page (edited to pass junk filter):

    A few months ago, I published an article outlining my opinion and experience with spammers in general and one in particular. That article, Fun with spammers, has drawn the attention of the subject spammer?s lawyer, and I am being threatened with legal action.

    I am publishing both the demand and my response without comment. Your comments are most welcome.

    Today I received the following letter on lawyer letterhead:

    Gary K. Kahn
    November 12, 2001

    Michael Fraase

    RE: Dispute Involving E-Core Technologies, Inc.

    Dear Mr. Fraase:

    This office represents Jim Hobuss of Portland, Oregon. Mr. Hobuss has called my attention to information you have placed on the internet regarding Mr. Hobuss. Specifically, you have defamed Mr. Hobuss in your posting and it is clear you are attempting to interfere with his business.

    On behalf of Mr. Hobuss, demand is hereby made upon you to remove any reference to Mr. Hobuss from your posting. If you fail to do so within ten (10) days, my client will consider all appropriate legal recourse against you.

    Sincerely, REEVES, KAHN & HENNESSY (signed)
    Gary K. Kahn

    To which I responded on my business letterhead:

    16 November 2001

    Gary K. Kahn

    Dear Mr. Kahn,
    I received your letter concerning Mr. Hobuss? claims of defamation in information posted on the ARTS & FARCES internet website. I believe the article in question can be found at:

    under the title ?Fun with spammers.?

    The piece accurately reflects my email experience with Mr. Hobuss and my opinion of that experience. I stand by the article and have no intention of removing it from publication. Nor do I intend to remove any reference to Mr. Hobuss in the piece.

    In fact, I expect to publish a follow-up piece including the text of your letter and this response.

    Your client?s account with this firm is now seriously past due, and I?d like to know what his intention is with regard to my unpaid invoice(s).



    Michael Fraase
  • by Yottabyte84 ( 217942 ) <yottabyte@so f t h> on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:19AM (#2583531)
    A while ago I got an account at (using a disposable email address []) making sure to select the "don't send me any email" box, and after I was disgusted at thier birbery for clicking ads forgot about it. Then they spamed me. I sent them an email telling them they'd be billed for any further spam. Here's what they sent me (personal details deleted):

    To Mr. [censored]:

    The Legal Department is in receipt of your message regarding an
    advertisement you allegedly received from NeoPets. We take all user
    concerns-especially those in connection with member privacy and safety-very
    seriously, and in this regard monitor the website around the clock for
    inappropriate content.

    To begin with, NeoPets unequivocally rejects your "purported" contract and
    refuses to enter into any agreement with you. Your demands are neither
    reasonable nor are they acceptable under any circumstance. As such, this
    message should not be construed as an admission of liability or acquiescence
    to your demands, but asv a complete rejection of your offer. Likewise, any
    transmission you may receive from NeoPets is not an acceptance of your
    agreement and may not be construed as an acceptance under any condition.

    Moreover, by registering on the website, you expressly agreed to
    NeoPets' Terms and Conditions, which states that NeoPets may send
    notifications and announcements to its users' e-mail addresses. Neither
    NeoPets nor its sponsors send unsolicited e-mails and will only send e-mails
    to users who have expressly requested, or consented to receive, such
    correspondence and have provided an e-mail address destination. As such,
    immediately upon the Legal Department's receipt of your message, we had blocked from our system to ensure that you do not
    receive any more unwanted e-mails. Additionally, we researched your e-mail
    address in the NeoPets database and located the account "yottabyte," which
    we immediately froze to prevent you from receiving any further unwanted
    e-mail communications.

    Unfortunately, we have no control over the sponsors our users register with,
    and this is a matter that must be taken up with each sponsor that sends you
    e-mails. As a practical matter, our sponsors are very responsive to
    "unsubscribing" users who wish to be removed from e-mail databases. As a
    courtesy, we will try to help remove your e-mail address from our sponsors'
    systems, although we can make no guarantees as to the effectiveness of
    preventing future unwanted e-mails. To do this, however, I will need you to
    send a list of the sponsors from whom you are receiving unwanted e-mails.
    Because does not pass along user information to anyone, we do
    not know where your e-mail address was registered and thus have no way to
    automatically unsubscribe it.

    Please contact us directly at if you have any
    further questions or if this problem persists. We hope the foregoing has
    addressed your concerns.


    The NeoPets Legal Team

    Now for some commentary.

    Moreover, by registering on the website, you expressly agreed to
    NeoPets' Terms and Conditions, which states that NeoPets may send
    notifications and announcements to its users' e-mail addresses. Neither
    NeoPets nor its sponsors send unsolicited e-mails and will only send e-mails
    to users who have expressly requested, or consented to receive, such
    correspondence and have provided an e-mail address destination.

    And yet they tried to get me to buy tickets to some event (I seem to recall it being some radio station held event of some sort)

    Unfortunately, we have no control over the sponsors our users register with,
    and this is a matter that must be taken up with each sponsor that sends you

    I definatly did not register for any annoying ads.

    I responded to this by telling them "whatever.... all further email to this address will bounce" then going to and deactivating the address.

    I'm sort of amused by this, I bet it cost them at least $100 to have thier lawyers tell me off.
    • by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:31AM (#2583705)
      "I'm sort of amused by this, I bet it cost them at least $100 to have thier lawyers tell me off."

      If everybody did what you did it might cost them some real money. Especially if you replied and argued your case. You could have argued that the spam you got was not covered by your agreement and that they indeed owed you money. Imagine if a thousand people did this?
  • by RageMachine ( 533546 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:34AM (#2583563) Homepage
    I would have to say the best thing to do is to use spamcop for the 1st or 2nd time, and then after that if the ISP still does nothing about the spammer, then find every address listed on the site, and forward the spam to it. That will make the admins listen.

    I repeatedly recieved spam from a site called, run by, and repeadidly asked them to stop sending spam, or to stop providing free dialups to spammers, and they still din't listen. I got tired of it and called them. They still did nothing. I recieved another one, and decided to just annoy the hell out of them untill they did somthing about it. I forwarded the spam to EVERY email address listed on abuse@ support@ noc@ billing@ etc... every one. Then I forwared the auto-replys back to them. And finally a REAL person emailed me and said they had found the spammer, and mentioned that several people were pressing charges against him, and asked If I wanted to, and gave me his email address, AND his home phone number.

    Now every now and then when im near a phone and bored, ill call the spammer and hangup, or play a recording of a Telemarketer; somthing along the lines of "Congratulations! You've qualified for the platinum card!". Every site that asks for an email address to download somthing, I just put his email address in it.

    I have over 1,200 lines in access file for sendmail, and STILL I get spam from overseas servers. Mostly I will just block all of, or, or somthing to that nature, to prevent 9/10ths of the spam that comes in.

    The best way to fight spammers/advertisers/telemarketers is to fight fire with fire.
  • Getting back (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wormyguy1 ( 266395 ) <hal@ha[ ] ['lbe' in gap]> on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:36AM (#2583568) Homepage
    Spammers really go to all ends to get you to open their email. I got an email the other day that said, in all caps, "BIN LADEN HAS BEEN CAPTURED", and it came from a coherent-looking MSN email address. Realizing that I didn't know anybody lame enough to send me anything in all caps, I opened it anyway. Well, to no surprise, it was porn, in HTML format, with some 300k of blinky, flashy, seizure-inducing images.

    If it's one thing I don't understand about spam (and this coming from the fact that my mother is in the advertising/graphic design business and I help them with tech support issues, I know how the corporate marketing machines work) is that you want to target a key demographic who is going to be interested in your product (in this case porn), you want to send it to the people who will be most likely to give you their money. Marketers spend millions of dollars on demographic databases to make sure that they aren't wasting money marketing to people who aren't interested. Now imagine how much it costs them to send 300k of images to the email boxes of, I'll be conservative here, a million email addresses. Imagine how much it costs when said email bounces. Witnessing the slashdot effect (especially right now, I haven't even been able to resolve the domain of the site linked above), I can't even imagine what must be going through spammers minds when they send an email with "BIN LADEN CAPTURED!" as the subject. After reading that subject, I imagine that most people would open the email, download all that porn, cost the spammers money, and then not even be interested as they weren't looking for porn to begin with. Same thing with them registering domain names... if you are looking for information on the White House (IE: and you come across porn, how interested are you going to be?

    The other thing that surprises me: if it wasn't successful, they wouldn't bother.
    • Re:Getting back (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sg_oneill ( 159032 )
      Actually I suspect the decision to title it "Bin Laden Captured" worked quite well. You opened it didn't you?

      Not that makes it ethical. (Now that said, wouldn't it be great to be able to tell Mr Bin that there is *PORN* with , like , chicks with no veils on *AND MORE!* being marketed under his name. *And yet the west STILL doesn't apreciate him!* The look on the guys face would be priceless. (grr infidels! etc)

  • un+with+spammers&hl=en []

    Very odd. I was reading this exact page ~2 hours ago(from nanae I think). Synchronicity?
  • by greysoul ( 62792 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:54AM (#2583619) Homepage
    Recently I got Spam from a company called Traffic Magnet, they provided me with a screensho of my webpage, and I sent them the following, feel free to copy, or comment on the points of my letter. thanks


    One thing I notice is that you are using my copyright images to sell a product and/or service.

    Please email the physical address of your legal department, or the location to which I should have an attorney contact you about this issue.

    If you prefer to contact me via mail please use my business address:


    As an artist I take my copyright, and privacy very seriously. While no laws yet exist in New Mexico regarding Unsolicited Commercial Email (SPAM) There are laws that protect Copyright holders. As a copyright holder it is my responsibility to protect my property. I do hope that you take this matter seriously and we can resolve this quickly. The normal process is I would have my attorney send a cease and desist letter, to which you would have a lawyer reply that the actions demanded (by me or my agent) have been followed out in accordance with applicable laws.

    Thank you for your time

  • by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:55AM (#2583622)
    Two years ago, I walked out the door of my business one day at noon and discovered that a roofing contractor had strung a cord across the vacant lot beside my building and had plugged into an outside electrical outlet on the rear of my building. He was using my power to run his roof-tar machine.

    I immediately turned around and went back inside and turned off the circuit breaker for that outlet. After a while, though, I thought, "Hey, where does he get off plugging in without permission!" As the fax number for his company was printed on the door of his truck, I wrote up an invoice for one "asshole fee" at $50 plus $3.50 sales tax, and faxed it to his company.

    To my surprise, the following week I had a cheque in the mail from them, for $53.50. The payment stub that came with it said, payment enclosed for asshole fee, $50 plus sales tax.

    I was amazed. On the other hand, I hotfooted it right to the bank and deposited the cheque, too!
    • I wrote up an invoice for one "asshole fee" at $50 plus $3.50 sales tax

      That's all it costs??

      Man, I've been paying way too much for that privilege!

    • haha! Couldn't you please scan that stub and put it on the net, along with the story?
  • "except one guy [] who was so incensed at receiving this invoice"

    That link is already /.ed to death : how's that for spamming the messenger ?

  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:57AM (#2583627) Homepage
    Go to, and type in the keywords "farces fun with spam". The top hit is the page with the details about this. Click on "cached" to see what has in the cache, and you can read the whole thing.

    But I pasted a copy of the text in here. Well, most of it; the slashdot lameness filter won't let me paste in the whole thing.

    Warning: the spammer likes to use bad words.


    Every day I get roughly as much spam, which I define as any unsolicited bulk email, as legitimate email. It's a problem that doesn't have an easy solution. The proposed legislation generally misses the mark of eliminating either the unsolicited bit or the bulk bit. While the first amendment protects your speech, it doesn't include a requirement that I subsidize it--financially or with my attention.

    With that in mind, I think I may have hit on a formula that probably won't eliminate spam, but it sure makes the parasites think twice about doing it again. And it always seems to push the indignant outrage button that all of these vermin seem to have in common. So far, the formula has worked like a choreographed dance in each instance. Here's how it goes (please play along at home):

    Each day I select 2 or 3 of the more outrageous spam messages that serve no useful purpose whatever. They're almost always some sort of commercial scam. I do a traceroute and a whois with NeoTracePro (it's got neat maps) to determine who they really are, where the message really originated, and who their local and upstream bandwidth providers are. Then I send the following reply to the original message--complete will all header information from the original spam--with copies to the abuse, postmaster, and hostmaster addresses at the bottom-feeder's local and upstream provider:

    Remove this and all addresses within the domain from your distribution lists immediately. We have no existing business relationship, nor do I wish to establish one. I don't do business with spammers. Not now. Not ever. You are using my resources for your gain without my permission or compensation. Any further contact from your domain to any address within this domain will indicate tacit agreement to your use of our resources at our published billing rate of US$125 per hour with a 10 hour minimum.

    Clear enough?

    Invariably I get a quick response, singularly uninspired in its lack of originality:

    From: Jim Hobuss
    Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001
    Subject: RE: Save Money On Your Home Loan Today!

    Not really.

    Could you explain it again?

    Yeah, right!

    Except this idiot, dumber than most, actually sent a second retort, this time issuing a challenge:

    From: Jim Hobuss
    Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:43 PM
    Subject: RE: Save Money On Your Home Loan Today!

    Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. That email you
    received was an opt-out email ... Certainly legal.
    If you want to be removed from our mailing list,
    I suggest you follow the instructions on the email.

    Go ahead and send me a bill... And try to collect.

    Clear enough?

    Astute readers will recognize that I never claimed what scum like Hobuss was doing was illegal, only that I rejected his offer and counter-proposed one of my own. Of course, by responding, he's now agreed to my terms and is billed accordingly (with copies again going to his local and upstream providers):

    You received the following message on 1 Sep 2001 in reply to your spam and yet you continue to spam this domain. Accordingly you have accepted our terms of contract and are being invoiced under Minnesota state statutes and the Universal Commercial Code. Payment in full is due immediately. If you fail to pay in full immediately the invoice will be rendered for collection, appropriate credit reports will be prepared, and we will vigorously pursue judgment in the appropriate venue(s).

    For the record, our original offer is included below.

    Remove this and all addresses within the domain from your distribution lists immediately. We have no existing business relationship, nor do I wish to establish one. I don't do business with spammers. Not now. Not ever. You are using my resources for your gain without my permission or compensation. Any further contact from your domain to any address within this domain will indicate tacit agreement to your use of our resources at our published billing rate of US$125 per hour with a 10 hour minimum.

    Clear enough?


    [Professional-looking invoice for US$1250 removed thanks to slashdot's lameness filter. I particularly enjoyed the part on the invoice where it says "Thank you for your business."]

    In this case, Hobuss actually got two of these, differing only in invoice number. As you can imagine, this game of Invoice Ping Pong can go on for days, but it rarely does. It almost always immediately devolves into barely intelligible abuse:

    From: Jim Hobuss
    Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 8:18 PM
    Subject: RE: Save Money On Your Home Loan Today!

    Go ahead and try collect asshole.

    And if you even try to file one Judgement against me, I'll
    sue you and your LLC. There is no fucking tacit agreement
    here. Kiss my ass and fuck off. I've taken your name off our list.

    Clear enough?

    Oooh, I imagine the spittle at the corners of his mouth are not very attractive. But he's made the mistake of crossing over into clear abuse and maybe even threats, a second and more serious violation of his provider's Acceptable Use Policy. At this point, all I have to do is reply to the message (again with copies to his--they've always been male so far--local and upstream providers) with yet another invoice and the following tasty bit addressed specifically to his providers:

    NOTICE TO ISP AND UPSTREAM PROVIDER(S): As you can see this has escalated to abuse on the part of your client. Kindly take whatever action you find necessary with regard to your AUP and notify me directly of anything necessary on my part to expedite the process. Suffice it to say that I expect immediate action with regard to this matter.

    Most importantly, he's removed me from his spam list. And I'll bet good money he's at least thinking about the next spam missive he sends. From his next provider, of course.

    Now, I probably can't collect on all 3 invoices, but I can certainly make the parasite's life miserable with just one. A quick trip to the county courthouse (until they get their system web-enabled) generates a court date that subsequently renders a judgment that I can easily file with the appropriate agencies. Like fish in a barrel. I've never done it because I haven't had to; my intent is to stop the spamming of my domain, and it's working. A few of these bottom-feeders have, however, paid the invoices. I deposit the checks with a grin.


    Notes on my editing: To avoid the slashdot lameness filter, I used HTML "blockquote" for the quoted email messages; the original text used '>' characters. Also, some of the punctuation came through as question marks; I tried to replace it with correct ASCII punctuation. (The punctuation was apostrophes and long hyphens.) I did my best not to introduce any errors, but no promises!

  • I really enjoy it if the spammers have a telephone number I can call, or better still a fax number.
    One spammer I called I tied up his line demanding why I was being spammed for so long, he put the phone down on me.
    Another I faxed with an invoice for $300. I live in the UK, and this guy was in the States. About a month later, I received by **post** a print-out of my invoice, with hand-written notes (in orange highlighter pen) effectively telling me to get stuffed, and wishing my mother would die. A few people in the office suggested I reported them for threatening behaviour, but I never got around to it - after all, there's only so many hours in the day...
  • Hmm, terror (Score:4, Funny)

    by forgoil ( 104808 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:36AM (#2583715) Homepage
    If you could fool the goverment into thinking that spam is terrorism, I bet they would definitly do something about it;)

    [Disclaimer, don't even try to take that seriously]
    • Re:Hmm, terror (Score:2, Insightful)

      by moncyb ( 456490 )

      Actually, in the US, that may not be too far from reality. I do remember reading about an anti-terrorist law in the works that would categorize any sort of computer attack as "terrorism." I don't think it would be too far of a streach to classify spamming as a "distributed denial of service" attack under this law...

  • by liquidweb ( 154468 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:37AM (#2583717) Homepage
    I have simply initiated a policy of placing falicious phone calls to spamming organizations.

    The last one I made was to another web hosting corporation, I used a deep south accent and kept asking about how many pullups a 'gigerbyte' was.

    Ocassionally he's use a three syllable word, and I'd freak out saying, "Ya'll from the future?". It ended when I started calling him boy, and talking about how "I don't done know them fancy reading boy words" while fake yelling at various red neck named children and referencing the fact that I was "Sick a dem computer boys lording their electronic pants over me".

    I did this from the office with mixed reactions from employees.

    The only event beating this one was when I actually talked a lady into a telemarketing office into checking three cubes down for me. I had her convinced that I was from the same agency and the autodialer had errored out. My next goal is to start a dispute between employees at a given location. It's hard work even to break them out of the script, let alone get them this far.

  • I get mail all the time from spammers who not only send their message in another language whose charset my mail client doesn't accept, but whose email return addresses are invalid as well. If I give sufficient prior warning, do I attempt to bill the owners of the website advertised in these emails?

  • by vandan ( 151516 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:42AM (#2583732) Homepage
    Doesn't seem to work for me.
    However does wonders. A couple of weeks ago I contacted dodgy list-seller, and complained about them continuing to sell my details to others when I had emailed AND phoned (it's a local call - I'm in Sydney) and asked to be removed. I talked to a guy who said "Oh YOU'RE the bastard that reported us to Spamcop. We had a LOT of trouble because of that". He then bullshitted on about how he was going to sue me for causing him financial loss. So I called the Australian Direct Marketing Association and put in a formal complaint and haven't heard from either since. I assume he was talking shit at the time and got into trouble over it since.
    Anyway, the moral is that Spamcop does seem to do something, and it's a lot easier than personally emailing all involved with each piece of spam you recieve.
  • by Gery ( 13478 ) <.ta.edoni. .ta. .reuab_gnagflow.> on Monday November 19, 2001 @04:43AM (#2583733)

    i just wanted to mention that in Austria you have to give your admission to receive email. Only then, a company may send you an email.

    So even "first contact" may only be made if a prior acceptance is available (ex. with a tip-on-card where the user gave his email-adress or whatever...).

    Afaik, this is the strongest law in the EC (and of course by far stronger than US-laws).


  • Deth 2 Spammers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BillTheKatt ( 537517 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:04AM (#2583758)
    I'm on a personal anti-SPAMMER crusade. I'm just ticked that hackers waste their time launching DDOS attacking on corporate websites and writing virii. Maybe they should use their skills for a noble purpose, like pounding SPAMMERS. Just create a throw-away email account, post a few messages to USENET, and plenty of targets for DDOS or hacking. Redirect the SPAMMER's webpage to point to SPAMCop or I posted a single message to USENET with my real email address 5 years ago, and I still get 5-10 SPAMs per day. Hackers and crackers, do the world a favor, go after SPAMMERs. Find their real names and expose them for the world to see.
  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:05AM (#2583759) Homepage Journal
    Out of 13K mail boxes, I get 10K-15K e-mails per day not including those that don't pass our Internet MX (In otherwords, internal e-mail). About 3 in 20 are spam of one sort or another. So that makes about 2250 spams per day.
    Lets say it takes about 2 seconds per-person per e-mail to decide it's spam and hit delete.
    OK, that's 4,500 seconds, or about 1.25 hours. Lets say the average pay per person with an e-mail box is $221.00 per day.
    So, total, it costs my employer 276.25 per day just to delete spam.
    Now, let's say that 1 in 100 of those e-mails deleted really wasn't spam, but real e-mail. If the user notices they deleted a legit e-mail, and goes to get it out of the trash, lets say that it takes them about 30 seconds to retreive it. That makes 22 per day, at 30 seconds each, at 221 per day, that is another 41.50 per day.
    Grand total now is 317.25 per day completely pissed away because someone wants to sell some lady a penis enlarger, or some gay guy hot teen bitches.

    OK, now about content filtering. I've looked at quite a few, and all choke on the amount of e-mail we have. Others, running on unstable OS'es, are a complete joke. The only thing that does seem to work for a week at a time is to block based on IP. If I could find an IP distribution map by country, I'd be a happy camper. Sure, I could zot 202/8, 203/8, 210/8, 211/8, 64/8 and a few others, but more and more these netblocks are getting re-assigned to US companies that I don't want to block.

    One thing that's helped quite a bit is blocking all of DialSprit's assignments, and a few others. The RBL helps, but it's too easy to get off and too hard to get on.

    • Don't forget about those important emails that are mistaked for spam, deleted, and never recovered. For example, I'm sure quite a few employees get emails from potential customers and accidently delete them. How many disappear do to spam filters? What about lost productivity due to server crashes? Spam contributes to that last one too doesn't it?

      How much money do you think this causes your company to lose (on average)? A hundred dollars per day? A thousand? Ten thousand? I'm not trying to argue, just trying help you get a more accurate estimate.

    • by Anonymous Coward



      Unless all the people behind the 13000 mailboxes make 221 bucks per hour, your off by about an order of magnitude.
    • Yep, it takes up a load of time sorting out, but spam can also seriously hog system resources. I'm not just talking about routers and switches all over the net....this morning when I checked my Hotmail I had 1741 mails in my junk mail folder. They were all from the same address. If they had spammed my work address instead of my Hotmail I'm sure our poor little mail server would have fallen on it's ass, thus causing our business untold headaches and costing us money.

      To anyone who says spammers have the right to do what they do, I would say they should also be held responsible for their actions.
    • Sure, I could zot 202/8, 203/8, 210/8, 211/8, 64/8 and a few others, but more and more these netblocks are getting re-assigned to US companies that I don't want to block.

      I don't understand this part. The implication is that all spam comes from "other countries". As someone in another country, I find that more or less all my spam comes from either the USA, or (for reasons I've yet to decide) China or Taiwan.

      The US spam typically is for products I couldn't buy even if I wanted to (call a 1-800 number, don't ship outside US) or that it's illegal for them to sell (financial products). The chinese spam could be for nose flutes for all I know, since it's in big5 - I'm not sure why they bother.

      I agree with your general point (I run a similar sized mail server), but why those netblocks?
    • 13K e-mails is very few. What software have you tried that chokes on such a small amount? You should try procmail. It has a very good message scoring system that I use for a spam filter. It catches 90% of incoming spam, and I haven't had a false positive in over two years. Also, on a relativly modest linux box (I use a P2 233Mhz) you can filter tens of thousands of messages an hour. You should be able to incorporate such a filter into your environment even if you are windows based without changing your client setup, and using your existing server software.

      I would be happy to send you my rules file if you are interested.
  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:10AM (#2583768)
    I'm working with State Rep. Carl Bearden to get our spam laws up to par. We're currently adopting a several sections of the Washington laws, and hopefully coming up with some of our own in the near future.

    I've submitted the details of my success twice to slashdot but my stories are always rejected.

    I strongly encourage people in other states to contact their state reps and ask for better laws! It really IS that simple!

    I was amazed at how willing my State Rep. was to learn about the problems and what possible solutions can be put in place.

    For all you people complaining about Spam, if you haven't done your part and tried to make a difference, quit all the fuss.
  • by xenoweeno ( 246136 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:13AM (#2583773)
    I've used this method for a couple of years with great success. What is this magic? Setting the href in your "email me" links to:

    javascript:window.location='mailto:tda'+'vis@tda '+ ''

    ...doing appropriate substitution for your own email address, of course. It would probably also be useful to include an explanation [] in case someone doesn't have JavaScript enabled.

    The only problem I have now are legitimate mailing lists, like the PHP lists, which archive stuff to the web without obscuring addresses similarly. sigh.

  • How about we grind up all the workers of those stupid little nothing companies that spaM all the time and put them in a can so we can sell it to their geriatric relatives.... No matter what laws they'll make, there will always be ways around rules and nothing will change. How about those clever applications for credit cards? Anyone know how to stop the banks from sending me 8 a week, and without going postal?
  • by 21mhz ( 443080 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:33AM (#2583798) Journal
    ... with their provider's contact persons.
    Usage in procmail:

    * From .*\.spammer\.com
    * Received: .*\.carelessisp\.net
    | spam-forward -s 'Oops, they did it again' \

    Here's the script itself:

    # Procmail helper to redirect spam messages.

    [ "$SENDMAIL" = "" ] && SENDMAIL=/usr/sbin/sendmail

    subject='[SPAM ALERT]'
    while getopts s: opt; do

    shift $(( $OPTIND - 1 ))

    if [ -z "$dest" ]; then
    echo "Usage: $0 [-s subject] recipient ... <message" >&2
    exit 1


    ( cat <<EOF
    From: $LOGNAME
    To: $to_line
    Subject: $subject
    X-BeenThere: $LOGNAME@$HOST
    Precedence: bulk
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


    This is an automatically generated spam alert.
    Feel free to contact me if you have any issues related to this.
    The (partial) listing of the message that triggered it
    is included below.

    head -n 100
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work for a credit card company that does much advertising on the internet with ads which Im sure all of you must have seen many times.

    One day on the phone this guy called me up asking for a billing address. At first I assumed it was just another guy asking where to send his payment to. But then he clarified that no, he wanted us to pay him.

    Asked him for what.

    He said a pop up ad appeared on his screen and he charges a dollar a minute for when its on his screen.

    As much as I hate advertisements I really had to explain a few things to this guy.

    I told him charging by the minute is useless since its up to him how long its on his screen, all he has to do is close the window. I also advised him that its the website he was visiting that decided to have ads on the site and suggested he complain to them.

    I then just had to ask him if hes ever ACTUALLY gotten any money doing this. He of course said no, but he just started.

    After that call I really felt sad for the guy. He obviously hadnt thought this little plan of his through. Not to mention what a pathetic creature he is that he had nothing better to do in his free time than to find our customer service number and explain his scheme to me.

    I figure anonymous email may be different of course because theres no matter of controlling it. For pop up ads, you can not see the ads simply by visiting websites that dont decide to make money by having them. But I still doubt in the long run this "charging" for precious valuable time is going to work.
    • "As much as I hate advertisements"... they're fine so long as I'm the one making money out of it.
    • actually, he won (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonbrewer ( 11894 )
      The guy who called likely cost your company a dollar. Unless you were very poorly paid, in a conversation lasting long enough for you to "lay down the law" he actually achieved his objective.

      I personally value my time too much to fuck around with spammers or telemarketers (aside from adding myself to DMA do not mail and do not call lists).
  • by FunkyRat ( 36011 ) <funkyrat@ g m a i l . c om> on Monday November 19, 2001 @06:14AM (#2583871) Journal

    The general concensus seems to be that spammers do their thing because there is at least a small percentage of recipients who actually send these people money.

    Can this really be true that there are enough people out there who are so gullible as to make this profitable...!? or is it that the ones who are really making money in this game are those selling lists of e-mail addresses to spammers? I know that in the online porn industry, the real money to be made is not in the porn sites themselves, but in selling services to the people setting up porn sites. I would expect something similar is going on here, especially since I've gotten a great deal of spam lately telling me how lucrative a business 'mass e-mail marketing' is, and how I should act now to 'get in on the ground floor' by buying their CD-ROM's full of e-mail addresses 'for the low, reduced rate of $99.95.' It looks to me like spam mailing is just another get rich quick scheme.

    I'm asking this as a legitimate question. Do people really make money by spamming or are the only ones making money those who are supporting this "industry?" I mean, if .025% of the population is stupid enough to send you money for something like fake Viagara work-alike pills at $25 a pop and you send e-mail to 1,000,000 addresses, that's $6,250 -- well, with those kinds of numbers I'm tempted to start spamming too. After all, if the idiots are willing to pay...

    Disclaimer: Before you flame me for admitting to the same thing you've likely thought of yourself, rest assured. I am not about to start spamming anytime soon. However, I think the question is relevant. Is there anybody actually making money at this game?

  • by Erik Hensema ( 12898 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @08:30AM (#2584065) Homepage
    When you're running a system with procmail (don't we all?) and better yet: use a mailer which supports piping messages to stdout, you can use these [] scripts to report spam to spamcop semi-automatically.
  • by Yuioup ( 452151 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @08:36AM (#2584077)
    What I don't understand about spammers is that they expect you to buy their products after you've been annoyed by them. I never buy any products from advertisers who:

    1) spam my mailbox
    2) use popups
    3) annoy me with flash animations that take up 80% of the webpage I'm trying to read
    4) have floating flash animations which seek out your mouse pointer
    5) etc..

  • by camusflage ( 65105 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @08:44AM (#2584097)
    Declan McCullagh's Politech has a post with a reply from the spammer []. In it, he says "Therefore,
    consequential and more severe actions will now be initiated and followed through to conclusion. An acceptable conclusion is no longer a removal of the Web page."

    Want some cheese with that whine?
  • by Multics ( 45254 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @08:44AM (#2584098) Journal
    I have on my website two mailto: addresses that are in html comments. Sitting next to both are comments that these shall not be used for SPAM. They are do_not_spam1@ and do_not_spam2@. According to my terms of use, anyone who uses them is up for (us)$10,000 per use + cost of collection.

    An email address harvester apparently from:
    came through took them then used them.

    I sent them a bill with a 30-day deadline to pay. Bidmain's information, BTW is:
    302, 1008-2, Daechi-dong,
    Kangnam-gu, Seoul 135-280

    But more interestingly, their phone numbers are:
    822-564-3404 fax: 822-539-0925

    So far, for my complaint, my spam per day has trippled. They don't use the above addresses, but they sure do use the address I used to send them the bill. The 30 days is up in about a week.

    My take on all of this is SPAMMERs are criminals. They are taking huge amounts of money from us (us == owners of systems).

    If anyone wants to join in class action against the criminal above, I'd like to hear from you. Reply below.


    -- Multics

  • by Snowfox ( 34467 ) <snowfox AT snowfox DOT net> on Monday November 19, 2001 @09:17AM (#2584182) Homepage
    I buy a few things online each week, and I create a different mail alias at my domain for each online retailer, and tack a random 'apartment' on as well, for example, if Slashdot had a store, I'd be "slash@mydomain", and I'd add "Apartment sdt" to my mailing address.

    I always make it abundantly clear that I don't want my contact information shared. If there isn't policy on the site explicitly promising not to share my information if that's what I choose, I don't buy there.

    More than a dozen times, I've gotten mail advertising the original store, followed by a flood of random spam to the same address. When I contact the store owner, they insist that they had an agreement with the 3rd party that they wouldn't use the list of addresses for anything else. "Then why am I getting mail to UglyShoes@mydomain when you're the only one who ever got that address?" They lose a customer, and I cancel a mail alias.

    Then again, not all retailers are honest either.... God forbid you share your name with Radio Shack.

    Three years ago I bought a soldering iron at Radio Shack, the address including an "Apartment RSHK", again requesting no mailings or address sharing. Now, if I had a dollar for every shit mailing and magazine I'd been automatically subscribed to at "Apartment RSHK", I'd be a rich man by now.

    Again, it doesn't seem to stop with Radio Shack sharing. I think many of the companies Radio Shack shared with turned around and sold my address as well, because it went from Radio Shack mailings to Columbia House to Playboy to Victoria's Secret to Lillian Vernon to Fingerhut to god knows what. Half my specifically targeted junk mail comes to "Apartment RSHK", and about half comes to "Apartment SN", from my long-ago subscription to Science News.

    • by camusflage ( 65105 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @12:31PM (#2585108)
      God forbid you share your name with Radio Shack.

      At least Rat Shack will let you not give your info, when you say you'd rather not. When pressed, I usually start "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue". Most of the time, they take a clue and stop asking. One guy at an appliance store once, however, just didn't get it. "Washington DC, huh? You just visiting here?" It somewhat pained me when I told him that he had the choice of bothering the president, not bothering me, or not making a comission. Needless to say, he took option B.

      A more reasoned response would be to do the homework ahead of time. Find out what their corporate headquarters address is, and what the CEO's name is, and use that.
  • by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @10:30AM (#2584403)
    When they start into their script, yell STOP until they stop. Then say something like this, "This call my be recorded for contractual purposes. I must politely inform you that I perform most of my work on the phone and I charge an hourly rate of US$100 per hour with a 3 hour minimum for any and all non-personal calls. All calls past 6PM (insert your timezone) are considered overtime and will be charged an additional US$50 per hour. To agree to these terms, please do so by saying yes now . . ."

    Take that and run with it. Buy a cheap recorder and actually record it. If they have someone stupid enough to say yes, then you just scored 300 maybe 450 dollars!

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin