Spam merchants?

  anon1 18:37 02 Jan 2004

My wife took her brand new unused email address to recently and placed an order. Within 2 hours she was bombarded with spma emails advertising porn. Several different (apparently) senders. Her email address was unknown to anyone at this point except the isp. I have not had this problem so I can only assume its an amazon problem (not keeping emails secure). My wife emailed amazon to point this out and all that they replied was that on line ordering is safe and secure, no mention of the fact that their website is being used to harvest email addresses. Buyer beware if you order via amazon use a throw away email account.

  Sir Radfordin 18:41 02 Jan 2004

I would be very surprised if it was from Amazon that she had got her spam - that is, unless she ticked the boxes to say she was happy for her email address to be sold. Amazon are one of the best online traders who seem to do things 'right' most of the time.

  anon1 19:11 02 Jan 2004

I did not say that amazon spammed. What I was implying is that amazon do nothing to protect email addresses left on their website. Web masters can use tools to protect email addresses left on their sites. It appears Amazon do nothing.

  IClaudio 19:31 02 Jan 2004

Don't blame Amazon: their site is indeed 'safe and secure' and nobody can 'see email addresses left on their website'.

I've been a customer of Amazon for many years and never received spam I could trace back to them. Look elsewhere for the culprit, Newsgroups are the worst...


  mikef. 22:31 02 Jan 2004

Who's her email provider some providers seem to be very prone to spam eg my old freeserve address was deadly. Also if she has an obvious email address it doesn't take long for spammers to hit her as they just generate addresses at random, I just hope she hasn't replied to stop them as all she'll do is get even more.

As the others have said I use Amazon very frequently and receive few emails on my present address.

  Sir Radfordin 22:33 02 Jan 2004

I am certain that Amazon don't do "nothing" to protect their customers details. They would not be in the postion they are today if that were the case - they would also have had many legal cases to fight. The are the least likey source for anyone to harvest an email address.

Most spammers send out thousands of email's a day.

The dont just sit there typing addresses out.

They either go to websites like news groups etc and pick up details that way, or do a mass mail.

say for example

me @
me1 @
me2 @
me3 @

And so on, basically until they go right through the whole possibilitie's.....

So i wouldnt go blaming amazon, as i would guess that they are the most unlikely cluprit's for the spam, just pure bad luck that your wife's address was picked out.

The best way to stop this though is just get her some spam filtering software....

  Jester2K 14:01 03 Jan 2004

Also Spammers have a new tool which can interrogate mail servers to confirm which e-mail addresses exist. Thousands can be checked and verified in an hour and then this list is used.

I think you and your wife are experiencing the worst side of the web and it has nothing to do with Amazon I'm afraid.....

Incidently i have used Amazon many many times over the last 3 years. I have had 2 ISP e-mail accounts (BT Openworld and Telewest Blueyonder)in that time and neither has had any spam at all (unlike my spare Hotmail accounts)

  anon1 14:47 03 Jan 2004

No I have no problems whatever. My wife has never given her email addy to anyone except amazon I guess i put 2 and 2 together and somehow came up with 4. I am an experienced user and know better than using a main email addy to go just anywhere especially newsgroups. Our isp does include spam filtering for emails and they do trap a lot of spam. MY original post stated that her email was unknown until she went on amazon. The account has not been used for anything else and is only known by amazon and the isp. Her account is a sub account of mine. So pray tell what would you suspect?

  anon1 14:53 03 Jan 2004

further here is a result from a quick search
click here
this may give you some idea of what i am saying. You may also find click here useful

  Jester2K 15:13 03 Jan 2004

"her email was unknown until she went on amazon"

The e-mail address can be determined by using software to ask mail servers which e-mail addresses exist! Even if the address hasn't been used before but has been set up, Spammers can still get the mail server to identify it as a live account. Also there nothing to stop Spammers using "dictionary attacks" on ISPs so i think your wife would still have got the spam regardless of the use of Amazon.

"So pray tell what would you suspect?"

I would suspect the e-mail address has either been guessed (as per Pilch's thread) or found using the Mailserver interrogation techniques i mentioned above. I don't think Amazon has much to do with this... I think its co-incidence..

As for your link.... Elocator is for stripping out e-mail addresses from websites that are foolish enough to display them in the source code. Also this software searches search engine pages such as Yahoo, Google etc. Your wifes e-mail address will not be listed there from Amazon - try it yourself. Go to Yahoo or Google and try to find your wife e-mail address. If you can't then Elocator can't....

Amazon keeps your details on a secure server - not on a page that is open to view with such software.

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