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A Spam, A Scam or Legit?Views: 1309
Aug 22, 2006 10:54 pmA Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Nancy Houle TrainingBusinessPros.com

I have to admit, I am happy to delete. I don't get annoyed when I get spammed. I don't get angry when people cold call me and pitch. I don't get frustrated when I'm getting sold to.

In fact, I analyze the spam when I have time (to see what may be working and what doesn't work). I am polite to cold callers because hey, they may be trying to make an honest living. You never know! And I don't mind a good pitch...in fact I can always learn from a good pitch.

But, I think the definition of Spam is getting wider. And I think the line between Legitimate business advertising and promotion methods and Scammers is getting smaller.

So, as the definition of Spam grows in the consumer mind, or in the business community mind, it's getting harder and harder to navigate the boundaries.

Therefore, I'd like to tell my clients what the "percieved definitions" of spams and scams are. Please post your thoughts here!

Nancy Houle

Private Reply to Nancy Houle TrainingBusinessPros.com

Aug 23, 2006 1:25 pmre: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Chuck Dennis

I'm a pretty simple guy, so I deal with pretty simple definitions.

Spam is *any* unsolicited email. Period. Which means there can be good spam as well as annoying spam. That said, any time anything enters my in box without my approval, it is spam.

A scam is any offer that has hidden clauses that make the reality of the offer not as good as the subject line suggests. Some would call this a definition of marketing, but I have too much respect for honest, customer-focused marketing to confuse that with scams.

- Chuck

Private Reply to Chuck Dennis

Aug 23, 2006 3:58 pmre: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Scott Stratten
spam is pretty basic: UCE, which is unsolicited commercial email.

Someone trying to sell you something through email that is unsolicited.


Private Reply to Scott Stratten

Aug 23, 2006 7:11 pmre: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Jennifer Wright
Hi all,
While we are on this topic, how can we rid our own accounts of the "virus" type of spam that takes over your "account' , reconfiguring the name, etc and sending it over and over again...these are European accounts and are all investment oriented. There are no places on themto opt out, of course. I asked my provider who has no answers!..however, the BIGGER issue is getting blacklisted..since I do send an ezine, and use email to correspond to clients, I have found thtat some are bouncing due to what appears to be a black list of sorts...thanks


Private Reply to Jennifer Wright

Aug 23, 2006 8:20 pmre: re: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Chuck Dennis
Hi Jennifer,

We've had the same problem with our domain for about six months now. Reading the headers, I can trace it to Brazil, but nothing more specific than that. But all these spam mails go out using bogus email addresses with our domain name. My wife and I have the only legit email addresses with our domain, but every day, many spams get sent out under the bogus names. We, too, send out an e-newsletter, and I would hate for us to get blacklisted becasue of this crap.

If anyone has any ideas (aside from changing our domain name, which is our business name), I would love to hear 'em.

- Chuck

Private Reply to Chuck Dennis

Aug 23, 2006 10:02 pmre: re: re: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Judy Kettenhofen
There are two different things that might be going on; in order to help you, I'd need to distinguish between the two types of problems you might possibly be describing:

1. Is someone actually getting into your account and sending emails from your server (a problem that can, relatively, be easier to fix than the next one)


2. Are people spoofing your email address, but not actually sending from your email server.

You should be able to tell the difference by looking at the headers, and maybe with a tiny bit of consultation with your email hosting company.

Unfortunately, just about anybody, if they are sufficiently malicious, could get your site blacklisted. This happened to internet marketer Jeff Walker -- all quite innocently -- no one was trying to be malicious.

If you are not familiar with the story, Jeff Walker had never sent out email from his domain; but when he went to do so the first time, his email was caught up one or more of the major blacklisters. The reason? The folks promoting his program had sent out emails with links to his site. There were enough of them, and, apparently, enough people clicked the "spam" button in aol or wherever else, and got his domain name banned.

Live JoyFully!


Private Reply to Judy Kettenhofen

Aug 23, 2006 10:26 pmre: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Michael R Clayton
Hi all,

We are never going to stop spam.

I never read it or visit any sites suggested. If everyone did this these spammers would make NO MONEY and eventually have to stop sending. But new spammers will come along.

There is an email program called mailwasher pro which I used for many years. It allows to to block or bounce spam or tag email addresses so you never see the email. This is all done on your email server before the email gets to you in box.

Now I use a really good firewall so get no email viruses which many spam emails contain (spyware & viruses.

We just must have an attitude that we do not let spam rule our lives. It just a 10 minute part of my day to delete spam unread.

Regards Michael Clayton (rexiedexie)
For information on Firewall or Mailwasher

Private Reply to Michael R Clayton

Aug 23, 2006 10:44 pmre: re: re: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Angelo Cerase
DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with any of the companies/products listed below. Nor do I profess to be an expert on internet security or computers. This is just what works for me.

That sounds more like a virus that was sent via email, rather than your regular spam.

Do you currently have an anti-virus program? Specifically one that monitors incoming email? If not, there are several name brand anti-virus programs that will do that, and some free ones as well. One free program I like is AFG anti-virus:


Note: Do not have more than one anti-virus program running on your computer at the same time, since they may cause some conflicts.

As well, if you think your computer may be currently infected, or you just want to doublecheck to make sure it's not, there are some free online virus checkers. I like to run them once every so often just to make sure nothing has slipped by my antivirus program.



Note: These do NOT replace an antivirus program on your computer that protects you in real time. As well, they require something in Internet Explorer to run, so they will not work with Firefox.

Since Spyware/Adware is becoming a larger problem than viruses, you should make sure you're running some anti-spyware programs as well. Unlike anti-virus programs, it is recommended to use at least 2 anti-spyware programs on your computer (since none of them has been seen to catch everything). Here are 3 that I like (all free) and they all play together nicely:

Microsoft Defender

Spybot Search and Destroy

Lavasoft Ad-Aware

As well, you can use an email client that is more secure than Outlook or Outlook Express. Even though I use both of those programs mentioned (for various reasons), I have heard that Thunderbird (from the same people that brought you Firefox) is more secure than the Microsoft products. And they have some nice features as well.


Even though it was not mentioned, I assume that with the virus problems you had, you are using a Windows PC (what else would you be using?). So lastly, to give yourself a heck of a lot more security AND make your life easier, you can do what I personally plan on doing in a few months - Get a Mac. No viruses, no hassles. And it can run Windows for the few Windows-only programs that you may still need.


Private Reply to Angelo Cerase

Aug 24, 2006 4:34 amre: re: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Angelo Cerase
Micheal Clayton hit the nail on the head.

The reason Spam still exists is because it is still profitable. If a company sends out 1 million emails and if even just ONE person responds and buys the product, then it is profitable.

The best thing we can do regarding spam is to NEVER EVER buy anything from them, or even respond to them.

Once Spam is no longer profitable, then it will disappear. And in the meantime, the less profitable it is, the fewer the companies will be that distribute it.

(Of course, there is a good chance that these companies will find something else to do instead, but we'll have to worry about that later)


Private Reply to Angelo Cerase

Aug 24, 2006 5:06 pmre: re: re: A Spam, A Scam or Legit?#

Paul Strauss
Actually, the best thing we can do to prevent SPAM is make it more costly to send SPAM. (I'm going off into the philosophical now, so if you're not an abstract / conceptual thinker just tune out to avoid frustration now)

The basic concept that we've gotten away from is that of individual soveriegnty. It begins with the question of "Who owns me?". There is a correct answer to that question and it is ME. I own me.

My ownership of me necessarily includes access to me. Picture if you will a property-- your own home, or even your apartment because if you're paying rent you are buying the certain rights to that property and within bounds you effective own or control that space.

Now let's bounce out to another concept-- the concept of fees and fines. Ideas like the CAN SPAM Act, etc. The need for these is irrelevant when we embrace the idea of the soveriegn individual.

Freedom of speech is irrelevant to this concept, too because while you have a right to free POLITICAL and RELIGIOUS speech you a) Do not have a right to commercial speech, and you b) Do not have a right to be heard, or listened to. You just can't be PUNISHED for saying it.

So very simply-- it's been correctly stated that SPAM is there because it's profitable. IF I own me, including all access to me-- you'd have to pay for the right to contact me and you'd think twice.

The practical means of setting this up is simpler than it's ever been. Conceptually, I'd be my own gated community-- if you attempted to access me you'd be STOPPED electronic gate keeper. You would then have to place a bid for access. Depending on what you pay you'd either be granted or denied access. It's all very simple when you ***THINK*** about it. Nobody should own you but YOU, and nobody has the right to intrude on your property, or access YOU unless you've FIRST granted permission-- not the government, not commercial interests, nobody.

This is the concept our country was founded on. If we could get back to that we'd know that government didn't bring you into existence, so government has no rights over you. Government has no authority over you that you do not grant.

Private Reply to Paul Strauss

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