These are probably not new, and scamming/spamming has been around for a while now – however this is something I’ve noticed over the last few months (only because I say that getting SPAM is a good thing – read the post here I Love Spam – And So Should You ).
Let me put another SPIN on SPAM.
Do you run CPA or are you learning how to get into the CPA game for affiliate programs? There are two classes of individuals out there that will try and make money on this – the first will spam every bloody address that they can get no matter what and then there are those that drive traffic using CPC like Google AdWords, MSN AdCenter or Yahoo Advertising). The spammers are in the first category… but they don’t last long becuase it’s pretty simple to find out their “id” and report them. Most CPA networks don’t allow spamming so if they get caught they lose their accounts…
You see when they spam you, you should look to see what their e-mail message is like – read it, look at the headline – they tend to send out spam that they know will get opened based on the senders name OR the subject of the message.
Once you’ve analyzed the message take a look at their landing page - if it is their own (though not likely otherwise you could have them shut down easily) then you can see what they are doing to get people to sign onto the offer. Sometimes some spammers will actually point to a site of their own to LOG the click then quickly forward you to the actual landing page — but nothing is that quick you can easily (with a little sleuthing) find out what you need to try and shut them down.
…now that leads me into my topic of spamming tricks and something that’s probably not new but is targetting an entirely new group of individuals that may (or may not) be as computer/internet savvy as you and I. Using “trusted” senders names.
My name – Mohamed Bhimji – is a mix of Middle East and Indian. The “Bhimji” part is Indian and the “Mohamed” part is Middle Eastern (you’re wrong on both counts – I’m originally from Uganda — that’s in Africa). Lately I get spam e-mails from names that I may recognize, such as Arif Zaidi, or Zaid Ibrahim, or Gabriel Hira – these are all names that I could relate to — more so than someone sending me an e-mail with the name Carlene Rosales, or Linda Raymond only because I know my friends and those people are not on my contact list — however the Middle Eastern names or Indian names could very well be someone that either I know or in my circle of friends.
Regardless, those e-mails tend to get opened because they are names that I can associate with.
How are the spammers doing this? They probably have hundreds and thousands of names and it’s quite easy to do a look-up and try and separate names based on an e-mail address into European sounding names, Asian, Middle Eastern etc., Most people will use either their first name, or last name as part of their e-mail address – there are others that don’t but that’s probably a small number (names like Twinky2468, or CoolDJ1970) but then they can target those addresses with a mix of names or multiple e-mails.
As a side note, it’s also interesting to note that I get 10x the amount of SPAM on my GMAIL address as I get on my YAHOO address yet my Yahoo address is the one that I use everywhere and only give out my “real” personal e-mail address to close friends and family who I hope won’t spam me with stuff.