Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE)
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How did they get my email address?
- There are many methods used to obtain an email address. Programs are available that crawl all publicly available web pages and UseNet newsgroups to harvest addresses. Some companies sell their mailing lists. Some spammers just generate name combinations against the major free mailbox addresses. Some people suspect that the main purpose of the rampant Outlook viruses is to gather email addresses.
- How can I stop them from using my address?
- You probably can't at the moment. But there is growing support for laws against spam. In fact, Michigan has enacted a law to deal with this issue.
- But it says it was sent according to "S. 1618" or "Title III"?
- According to this page neither were never enacted into law. If you read that on any email you can be confident that it is not a legitimate mailing.
- What can I do about it?
- Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) have policies against using their services to spam. Below you can learn about how to track down and report the source of the mailing.
- I've just received the raunchiest email, what if my co-workers see this?
- Relax, take a few deep breaths, we're going to give you 3 easy options:
- Just delete the message, knowing there will be more.
- We know you didn't ask for this message. Forward the offending email along with the internet header information to Plantops Spamcop.
- Track the message down and report it to the ISP. We are preparing some information that will help you do this on your own.
- Why did they send me such a dirty message?!?
- They really don't know who you are, they probably don't even have your real name. In fact, it would be a good bet that they never even read your email address, they just bought a CD of addresses and fed it into their mass-emailing program. It's nothing personal, some people just like that sort of thing, and this is how others separate them from their hard-earned cash.
Important Email Addresses:
- FTC's Unsolicited Commercial Email: UCE@ftc.gov
- Make sure the FTC gets a copy of each spam for their records. Forward with headers any spam you receive to UCE@ftc.gov.
- Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The SEC page here states "Investors are encouraged to report suspicious Internet offerings (or other suspicious offerings) via e-mail to email@example.com."
- Use this for SPAM stock offerings.
- Governor Granholm signs Michigan's anti-spam law
- Compilation of Laws Related to Unsolicited Bulk and Commercial E-mail
- Cnet News Article about Law Professor David Sorkin
- FTC Spam Information
- Microsoft suggestions for reducing spam from your e-mail
- Anti-Spam Techniques (Wikipedia)
Content modified: April, 2010