Aptus Communications Inc. (”Aptus”) wishes to clarify a number of issues concerning unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, also known as Spam or junk mail. This page explains what Spam is and the views and responsibilities of Aptus on the subject. For more information about Spam in general, please see the Links provided at the end of this page.
Aptus does not condone or allow Spam.
Spam is not merely annoying: it is also a serious drain on the resources of ISPs, other organizations, and Internet users. Sending Spam mail may seem like a cheap and convenient way to amplify marketing efforts, yet honest businesses rarely employ this questionable marketing tool.
Firstly, nobody wishes to receive unsolicited junk mail.
Secondly, it is considered both an annoyance and an intrusion of privacy.
Thirdly, each sent e-mail message contributes to Internet traffic and uses up bandwidth. An e-mail message does not reach its recipient instantaneously; instead, it is relayed by any number of systems en route until it reaches its final destination. Spam mail is often sent out in thousands or hundreds of thousands of copies, to huge numbers of unwitting recipients. This large load of messages often causes network problems and congestion, meaning that third parties as well as message recipients are suffering because some inconsiderate person or company has pumped half a million copies of a message through the Internet.
For more information on Spam, refer to the links at the end of this page for some excellent reviews of the problem.
Who is responsible?
This is a difficult issue. Spammers rarely use their regular e-mail addresses for the following reasons, among others:
- Their Internet Service Providers will realize they are Spamming, and will take steps to prevent future Spam (for example, by deleting Spammer’s e-mail accounts).
- Spammers could become the victims of mail-bombing, as thousands of irate Spam recipients strike back with messages of their own.
Spammers therefore rely on anonymous e-mail addresses such as those available from free e-mail providers.
Sometimes the addresses you see on Spam messages are invalid (faked). It is important to realize where the responsibility for Spam lies. Make no mistake: Spammers are often reasonably skilled frauds and thieves as well as highly annoying. Many Spammers have developed specific strategies of Spamming in order to avoid responsibility for their actions, or to avoid mail blocking and filtering:
- They relay Spam messages off the mail server of an innocent third party, in which case even more damage is incurred by the on-line population in general.
- They use the “drop box” strategy. This consists of sending mail out from an account that allows Spam, but putting another address in the “Reply to:” message header, so that anyone replying to the message is actually sending mail to an account that did not originate the Spam. Many Spammers want to send out ads or sales info and do not expect a reply. By drop boxing they are forging their e-mail addresses and relieving themselves of accountability. Recipients of Spam should always check the full message headers to determine the origin of the Spam.
- Spoofing. This fairly complex technique makes a message appear as if it is coming from an address that did not originate the message.
- Including a paragraph claiming that the law sanctions Spam as long as there is a “remove from list” address in the Spam message, or similar variations of this obtuse argument. Do not fall for this trick, as the “remove from list” address is almost always a sham. Not only do you generate useless traffic if you try to remove yourself from a large number of “lists”, but in some cases Spammers will be delighted to put an “active” mark next to your name on their address databases upon receipt of your complaint. Spammers are dishonest people employing dishonest tactics. Don’t trust them, report them.
Aptus does not associate with organizations that promote Spam
Aptus does not link to organizations that endorse spam. If you receive spam from organizations that we associate with, please contact us.
What to do?
The most important thing is to examine your full message headers to determine where the message really came from. The “From:” header that is commonly shown in basic message header displays can be easily faked! It is harder to fake the complete message header, which can provide useful information about the message.
You can also contact us at support@PragmaticInvestor.com
Spoofing and drop boxing are usually beyond the absolute control and responsibility of Aptus. Aptus will do the utmost to prevent Spam, but we ask the recipients of junk mail to understand that very often Aptus is not the originator of such messages, but one of the victims! The solutions to spoofing and drop boxing are complex and involve co-operation between a number of Web sites and ISPs. Refer to the links below for more information.
http://www.cauce.org — the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE), one of the valiant organizations dedicated to fighting Spam. Includes information on Spam and how to prevent it. Lend your support to this worthy cause or one like it!
http://www.mail-abuse.com — Mail Abuse Prevention System, a non-profit organization whose mission is to defend the Internet against Spammers. Take a look at their Realtime Blackhole List (RBL) information
http://www.tincher.to/antispam.htm — Comprehensive links and information on Spam