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11. Spam Removal Service?

Or, "Chicken Soup for the Spam-Sick Soul"

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Ah, blessed relief! Finally, there is a service that will help remove your name from the spam lists. It seems like a great idea. Or is it? Let's check this one out.

1. This came to us as spam and thus it is immediately suspect.
2. It is marked as "high priority". Why?
3. It identifies a problem and offers a solution. Just remember that it came as part of the problem.
4. It claims to be able to identify spam, registering it in a database. Since spam is always adapting to spam-fighting tricks, how will this database help eliminate spam?
5. The link provided jumps to a .Org Website of the same name. Why would this letter provide a link to the "wrong" Web address?
6. Perhaps the jump is used to hide the extra domain name servers that the .Org address uses. See below.
7. This is spam but it carries no opt-out address from future mailings.



So, just what is this offer? We visited the linked Website and learned that for only $21.95 per year (with the $15 set-up fee waived "until March") we can have a "Control Panel" that helps us manage our unsubscriptions to spam.

The site has legal references to "Can Spam" and to the Federal Trade Commission. On the sign-up page there are logos referencing various companies that supposedly make using your credit card on line safe.

There is diagram of how the spam filter works, complete with notes that this system is powered by Apache Web Server and MySQL Database. It is all quite impressive but one must wonder if it means anything at all.

Relevant portions of the header from the e-mail are reproduced directly below. Header show where the mail originated. Headers can be seen by viewing "Properties" or "Headers Information" for the message.

This e-mail originated in Jiangxi Province, which is in China.

As you will see below, the holder of the domain is in Kiev, in the Ukraine. At least part of the hosting operation is in Florida, in the United States.

 

The information about the person registering the domain is found in the public "Whois" record. In this case the domain registrant, domain contact, and technical contact for this domain are all the same.

  1. The domain name is registered in the Ukraine through DirectNIC. Com.
  2. The name servers at SWQJ (required for hosting a Website) are registered to a company in Venice, Florida, which is in the USA and which uses a free Hotmail account.
  3. That Florida company's domain was registered through NameCheap.
  4. The .ORG version of this domain was registered through R48-LROR.
  5. The .ORG version uses the same name servers plus two others at Elogic.CC.
  6. A Whois query of Elogic.CC did not respond.

Elogic.CC is an interesting outfit. They provide Web hosting at attractive prices. They use a free Hotmail account for real-time technical support. They offer a few special services, as noted on their Website (quoted with grammatical errors):

  • Offshore Bullet Proof Web Hosting - Try our Bullet Proof Hosting to ensure your marketing successful. We are the only ISP providing affordable Bullet Proof Hosting, full featured Bullet Proof Hosting, firewall secured Bullet Proof Hosting, most stable and reliable Bullet Proof Hosting, for small businesses.

  • Legal Adult Bullet Proof Hosting and Dedicated Servers

  • Bullet Proof Mail Box Hosting
    $55/Month 100MB, POP3 for Outlook, or other standard POP3 Client, No Mass UCE emails off this email account, only used to receive sales leads, click here to order.

Two other items on their Web page should be of interest. What we have here appears to be a direct marketing machine of no small proportions. To quote from their Website (quoted with grammatical errors):

  • Offshore Legal Direct E-Mail Marketing Services
    Take advantage the most cost effective way of marketing of this e-age to legally email to your potential customers and boost your sales during the great Chinese Monkey Year of 2004.

  • Check out the news of the CAN SPAM ACT signed on 12/16/03 by President Bush. Effective on Jan 1, 2004, this federal Law legalized UCE in the United States and overrides any contradictory state laws in the country.

You will also learn that you can send up to 100,000 spams for $1 per 1,000; it's $1 per 2,000 for more pieces. For $600 you can send a million spams and also have Web hosting services. You can obtain quotes for more than a million pieces.

This looks like a spamming mill of epic proportions that operates with impunity using off-shore servers. So, should you register with this outfit to have your name removed from spam lists?

We think not.


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