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January 13, 2004 4:05 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to receive a lot of SPAM quickly? [more inside natch]

My office is evaluating a new content filtering SPAM eliminator. They've set up a temporary mail address and have put out a call for SPAM.

How can we go about getting this address placed on spammers lists?
posted by DBAPaul to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
If I remember correctly, a few spam fighters offer a tarball of a few thousand messages to check filters against, but since spam is always changing, it'd be hard to develop a reference set. My guess is to sign up a hotmail account and wait a few hours.
posted by mathowie at 4:10 PM on January 13, 2004

Posting on newsgroups works for me.
posted by holloway at 4:13 PM on January 13, 2004

Do you need it all to come to the same address? More hotmail accounts = more spam. Also, I've been told that having your address appear somewhere in an ebay auction is the kiss of death.
posted by gleuschk at 4:14 PM on January 13, 2004

Set up e-mail accounts on well-known hosts with account names that could be guessed by a dictionary attack. I know two sisters who set up hotmail accounts at the same time: one used her full name, the other used something long, cute, and Spanish. The former started getting spam within minutes; the latter, never.

Put up a web page with that address in the clear.

Respond to those "take me off your spam list" links in the spam you get.
posted by adamrice at 4:17 PM on January 13, 2004

Look for "FFA" sites-- you can submit a link there for people to see it briefly (as if anyone actually depends on those sites for content), and as part of the sign-up, you have to include an e-mail address. It essentially puts you on perhaps fifty "opt-in" lists that they conveniently don't mention.

Also, just try putting the mail link ( on a high-traffic web-site, if there's one available, and wait for the spiders to harvest.

Then sit back and wait for the fun to begin.

Signing up for anything Yahoo or Microsoft pretty much assures you'll get spam, also.

Try making a couple of posts to newsgroups, also.

Reference: Why am I getting All This Spam? Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Research Six Month Report
posted by precocious at 4:18 PM on January 13, 2004

I'm amazed nobody has mentioned the absolutely perfect way to get as much spam as you could ever want: Put the address in WHOIS.

And yes, there is at least one huge corpus (and likely several) of spam available for testing your spam sniffing algorithms. I've got a small one here, with only 6700 messages (it's only about 9 months' worth of spam sent to one account), but there are plenty bigger.
posted by majick at 4:27 PM on January 13, 2004

I've heard there are a lot of "websites of ill repute" that offer you "free daily emails" if only you type your email address into their web form. They shouldn't be hard to find, but are most probably NSFW.
posted by Jimbob at 4:47 PM on January 13, 2004

Response by poster: We/they are using a specific pop-3 email account. Perhaps just hooking it in to an existing hotmail account that already gets gets a lot of spam will work and auto-forwards from other accounts that get a lot of spam should work too.

I'll hit some news groups and since NSFW was not excluded (in fact they have caused the most complaints) I'll also start to sign up at some porn sites where they solicit your e-mail address in step one of their 'free trial' and stop at step two where they ask for credit card info.

Now, if I had something I wanted to auction. . .

posted by DBAPaul at 5:03 PM on January 13, 2004

I'm getting almost zero spam on my various Hotmail accounts these days, after a peak of dozens a day (up to over 1000 in one account one glorious day last year). I haven't changed any settings, so I assume MS has tightened things up somewhat.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:05 PM on January 13, 2004

Brad over at Bradlands has saved all his incoming spam since 2003 -- about 500 message per day. He'd probably share the archive with you if you asked nicely.
posted by Aaorn at 5:15 PM on January 13, 2004

Opt in to all the "newsletters" when signing up for a hotmail account.
posted by modofo at 5:24 PM on January 13, 2004

Enter contests. Sign up for free things.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:33 PM on January 13, 2004

I use Spam Assassin and have all my spam redirected to a separate e-mail account. I've got quite a spam archive (I save them for the names) if you're interested.
posted by oissubke at 7:05 PM on January 13, 2004

stavros: My brother and I noticed the same thing, that the spam at our Hotmail accounts has dropped to almost zero. I'm not talking about improved filters, because the Junk Mail folder is virtually empty -- I'm talking about virtually no spam. We were puzzled.

Then I read in this NYT article that one of the world's leading spammers, Alan Ralsky (who lives here, BTW), has stopped sending spam due to technical problems and figuring out what to do about the CAN-SPAM law. He stressed that it's only temporary.

The timing seems awfully coincidental. I've concluded that Ralsky is the man who ruins Hotmail with spam.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:44 PM on January 13, 2004

Hit those joke-of-the-day sites and put your email address in as many places as you can find.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:48 AM on January 14, 2004

That ecrush website or whatever that sends the "Some one's got a crush on you!" emails. eMode. Any website that's designed to offer you discounts and coupons and super savings. Any website geared towards teenagers. Use it for a global ezboard account. Sign up for updates on where to get cheap inkjet cartridges.

I'll have to call my mom and ask her for some ideas. She's the spam queen. ("Oh, look, I can get a free email telling me when to find the best deals at my local grocery store!" MOM! Nooooooo! *submit*)
posted by jennyb at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2004

go to craigslist and respond to all the "hot 18yr old asian looking for unattached encounter" ads, and then watch the pr0n mail roll in.
posted by Hackworth at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2004

That is a hilarious story, jennyb.
posted by adamrice at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2004

something you may wish to consider is that once a spammer gets ahold of a domain name, they spam every single address on that domain that they can come up with.

This means that not only with be getting a pile of spam, but everyone else on the server will be getting more spam.

just a heads up.

'course, if the spam filter is any good, it won't matter....
posted by jaded at 11:40 AM on January 14, 2004

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