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January 22, 2008

The "You Registered" Lie

Second to the "this is not spam" lie, the insistence that I received a spam message because I had registered from a specific IP address is perhaps the most aggravating lie a spammer can use. By issuing that statement in the message, he might as well dance naked in the street while singing, "I am a spammer, and I think you're an idiot!"

Today's installment comes from a shoe spammer. After telling me I can save 70% on a laundry list of brand name shoes (yah!), he includes this little gem:

You registered from IP 152.163.[removed].[removed] on 1/18/2006 from  to receive special promotions and supplied email address dannyg@dannyg.com.

This guy is counting on the fact that 90% of his recipients don't know what an IP address is, nor would they have a clue whether the stated IP address really belongs to them.

Well, jerko, I do know what an IP address is and how to check to see whether it could be mine. In this case, the supplied IP address belongs to America Online. While I had an AOL account in January 2006, I never connected to it during that timeframe through its dialup or other connectivity service. Moreover, I had signed up for the account months earlier to perform some work for a client, and never did any kind of surfing or viewing of outside web content. Therefore, you are lying about that IP address.

I then compared the supposed registration date against the domain name of the sender. Not surprisingly, the domain name of this sender was created in December 2007 (last month). I could not have possibly signed up with you nearly two years before you existed.

Note, too, that there is an extra space after the "from" following the date, where your lying piece of crap software failed to fill in the site where I never registered.

What really pisses me off about this trick (which has been used for years—I mention it in Spam Wars) is that most recipients believe this technobabble lends authority to the claims. "Ooh, I don't know what an IP is, but the numbers look important...they must be true." Recipients might, therefore, believe that the unsubscribe link in the message will really cleanse their email address from the spammer's lists. Fat chance! Once this emailing list merchant gets your address confirmed, you'll get plenty more spam sent from this company that changes domain names like you change socks, and from other companies who buy his "confirmed" address lists.

Mr. shoe spammer, put on your Pumas and take a hike.

Posted on January 22, 2008 at 11:51 PM