Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Sometimes it's difficult to understand why spamming is considered one of the most vile sins on the internet. After all, what harm does an extra email or two cause? And even if the spammer is reported or caught, who cares? I mean, what happens to a spammer anyway?
We've all heard people say, "well, why not just hit the delete key?" I used to take the time to try and explain the problem to these people, but I've since realized that there is a brand of ignorance which cannot be penetrated by reason or logic. Now I just nod and smile, and change the subject.
Spam would not be so bad if it was just one or two emails now and then. Unfortunately, it's not just one person sending an unsolicited advertisement once a month - it's hundreds or even thousands. And the emails are virtually always regarding some scam, a useless product or, very often, some pornographic or money making scheme. I've received tens of thousands of spam emails over the years, and not once has any of them ever been of value.
I don't understand why spammers don't get the message that their emails are unwanted. Why do they keep sending out their useless advertisements? Do people actually purchase anything from them? Do these people really make money?
Okay, so what happens to spammers anyway?
Your amateur spammer must feel very much like a criminal does. You see, they must hide their identities in any number of devious ways to prevent their ISP and web hosts from shutting them down. New laws are being passed which make these people into real criminals, making it even more important that they remain hidden.
1) When an ISP or web host begins receiving dozens of spam reports on someone using their services, they will typically cancel first and ask questions later. Thus, your average spammer is constantly losing his hosting services and always searching for another ISP. He has to - he keeps getting kicked out when his misdeeds is discovered.
2) Spammers, if they can be identified, can be sued. This is fairly rare, as it is difficult to prove actual damage, but you can sue them and win. And if you are an ISP or host, you can definitely get them to dig into their pockets for the resources they wasted.
3) If a spammer annoys the wrong person, he could find himself harassed. For example, people have been known to send back email bombs, perform denial of service attacks or simply get phone lines canceled.
4) If a spammer gets his domain added to any of the various "black holes", then he may find that he cannot send email at all.
5) Depending upon how vile the material, the law can come down upon a spammer. This is especially true with scams and pornography of the most degraded kind.
6) Most spammers do not realize there is always a way to find out where the email came from. It does not matter how well they attempt to cover their tracks - they do need to make it possible to order something and thus they can be tracked - even if it means physically visiting their business with a search warrant.
I hope that helps clarify what happens to the spammer in the short or long run. Spam does cause damage, and spammers, especially the largest and worst offenders, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at (http://www.internet-tips.net) - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.