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April 22, 2013

F.U. Spammers and Google

As I've written previously, when an email message arrives professing CAN SPAM compliance, you can be sure it's lying. Case in point:

Subject: iTunes Email Lists


Greetings of the day, I was reviewing your website and thought might be intrested in our iTunes Email Lists. We maintain contacts with complete information.

Data Quality and Details:

Data fields on each record contains: Contact Name (First, Middle and Last name), Mailing Address, Age, Gender, Income, Interests, Hobbies, Opt-In emails.
Accuracy Guarantee: 75% accuracy on data
Legal Compliance: We are in compliance with the CAN SPAM Act, 2003 and DMA

Please let me know your thoughts towards procuring or using our iTunes Email Database.

To Your Success!
Mary Jackson
Lead Expert

We respect your privacy, if you do not wish to receive any further emails from our end, please reply with a subject “Unsubscribe”.

Sorry, but without a postal mailing address of the sender, this message violates CAN SPAM. Oh, and if you really reviewed my web site, you'd know I don't sell anything directly, so an email list is of absolutely no use to me. Besides, I would never in a hundred million years send out unsolicited email (as any due diligence on my various sites would reveal instantly). The bullshit is rising.

The offer, too, is highly suspicious. Where on Earth—other than Mother Ship Apple itself—could accurate information about iTunes customers originate? I don't think even Apple has details you claim to have accumulated on its customers. Does Apple know about my model train and ham radio hobbies? Impossible.

Then I checked the email message more closely. It arrived to me from a google.com mail server, taking full advantage of its DKIM signature to get past spam filters. The return address, however, is not to a gmail account, but to an address at the registration privacy-protected switchways.com domain. If you attempt to visit that domain in a web browser, you get a page that imitates a Google 404 page, complete with appropriated Google art files.

OK. That room is now filled to the ceiling in bullshit. Time to report this activity to Google.

Another room starts to fill with Google bullshit after I finally (and I mean finally) locate a reporting form. After carefully filling it out and attaching a text file with the message's source code per their instructions, submission results in an error. It says it could not send the form and gives me no indication what the error is. No fields are highlighted. No further explanation is offered.

So, fuck you, Google. Enjoy letting crooks abuse your services and reputation. I won't waste any more of my time trying to help you from being played.

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 06:55 PM