Spam Offers: Some Legit, Most Not

Thursday, 13 February 2003, 5:36 AM EST

The human gene pool should be incapable of producing enough idiots to financially support the vast number of spammers whose scat litters so many inboxes.

So how do spammers make any money when no one with even half a clue admits to doing business with them? Are there legions of poverty-stricken spammers out there who are slowly starving to death?

Unfortunately, no.

A significant number of spammers apparently aren't at all interested in whether anyone buys their wares. Instead, they feed off other spammers in a bizarre cannibalistic pyramid scheme.

Turns out, most spammers make money selling e-mail addresses to other spammers, who then sell those same addresses to others. It's like the legendary snake eating its own tail.

Wired News tested the nature of the spam spin cycle by replying with a request for more information to a randomly selected sample of 75 recent junk messages, using a dozen free e-mail accounts from six different services.

[ Read more ]




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