Posted by Penny on February 3, 2004, at 8:03:30
In reply to Calling computer Gee..um, Hack....um, Experts...:), posted by shar on February 3, 2004, at 0:44:01
Well, I can't tell you how to stop them, as I work for a computer science department and still get them, especially at my work email. But I can tell you what not to do - don't ever click the links 'to no longer receive these emails' - typically these links are not valid but instead let the spammer know that your email address is.
Most often these emails are sent out from a false email address, sometimes one belonging to a real person who has no idea that their email is being used for such a thing. Spammers use web crawlers to search for anything that resembles an email address (hence never putting your email on the web in the firstname.lastname@example.org format, and not even in the yourname at aol dot com format) and will start sending emails to all of them. So, certainly don't take it personally - most of us are getting them.
I've found that certain email programs have a better way of filtering messages than others. I used to have a free hotmail account, but closed it when I was getting so many spam messages that my inbox was filling up every day and I wasn't getting my legitimate messages. I switched to Yahoo and I'm still getting a fair number of spam emails, probably due to my using the address in registering for this thing or that, but Yahoo has done a pretty good job, for me anyway, of filtering those messages to a bulkmail folder.
At work, I receive emails in my inbox from several email addresses - my 'real' address and several aliases (as I'm the publications manager, so I have several work-related aliases), and the aliases are what are all over our website. Thus, I get soooo many stupid emails, like the ones you mentioned, that are probably from web crawlers finding my address on so many pages. I set up my email to filter as many of them as I can to my trash folder. I get a lot of the "URGENT: PLEASE HELP" emails from someone in (insert foreign country here) who wants me to help his/her father/brother who was killed/taken prisoner by some militant group and needs to use my bank account to do something with their money - of course I would be rewarded generously for my assistance. Thank you! Yeah, right...
Anyway, I'll be interested to hear what others have to say on this topic, but my recommendation would be, if you have the ability to do so, to set up message filters for common words in the subject lines of spam mails (don't use the sender name, as those are always different), which might filter at least some of the emails to your trash. Of course, the spammers are always changing the subjects as well - leaving out letters, like with 'larger beasts' so your filters won't catch them. Sigh.
Some folks have too friggin' much time on their hands.