Do Not Do Harm

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

A year or so ago, I started getting increasingly frustrated by people asking for info and then never even acknowledging receiving it. I am used that usually people get the info and forget to do it anyway, but I was surprised that it had been done by people I know.

When I am at home, I can't use my default e-mail and I am using one of my other e-mail addresses. I was surfing the Net and ran into something interesting, but did not want to spend time on that at this moment.  I sent it to my default e-mail inending to read it while I am in the office. Imagine my surprise when instead of getting it, which did not happen, in the evening I saw them bounced back with a message that they were blocked because this e-mail address was suspected in spamming.

Ouch, so people were sending me e-mails, and I was not getting them, and nobody ever told me about it!!!! I called Bellsouth (my default e-mail), and asked them how could this happen. The first question they asked me was whether I was getting jokes forwarded to me. I was.

Turned out that forwarding anything to people using CC field is an invitation to disaster. The e-mails are snatched and then used by spammers. How? Well, if you send mass spam, you would be caught. So, bastards figured that the best thing is to send them out using fake e-mails. However, this is not so simple, and the easiest way is to use real e-mails. So, they need to be harvested. How you do it? Simple. They would send e-mails to several real addresses, and they would have a joke there, or a chain letter, and they would ask you to immediately send to 8,10, or 20 people. Sure way to get a lot of valid e-mail addresses.

Do you ever delete the tail of e-mail addresses, when you are forwarding the message to your friends?

Then they send mass spam allegedly from these harvested e-mail addresses over and over and there are angry people who report you. Of course, when people were getting Viagra/Cialis/Levitra offers from me, some were reporting me, and I was blacklisted.

Guys who use Yahoo, AOL and the like are not likely to be hurt, as these providers may have filters, or other protection, I do not know. Small guys like us, who are using our own domains and e-mail attached to that domain, do not have all this protection.

At one time I was getting bunch of norices of undelivered messages, that I have never sent. You know, all that MailerDaemon, etc. I could see the subject line, and that's how I know that they were about Viagra and all that stuff. If I was getting 10-12 a day, that were not delivered, imagine how many were delivered from my e-mail address! Bellsouth guys unblocked me but warned that next time I would suffer severe penalties.

This is not innocuous. the may be sending porno using your e-mail, and you may hear a knock on the door and have FBI with handcuffs.

So, what if you send out Holiday cards, or Newsletters by e-mail. Is there a way of doing it safe? Yep, and it is simple. (Even I can do it = even a caveman can do it)

1. Do not get lazy and always delete the tail of names and e-mail addresses and everything else, except for the message. Nobody needs to know that first it was sent by Jane Doe to this group of people, and then sesended by another Jane Doe, and so on.

2. Address the message to yourself. Then in BCC field put all the addresses of people you want to send to. This way nobody will see that this message goes to anybody else.

3. If there is a call for you to send it to 20 other people, or another emergency to get it to the world so that they can have a good laugh, just delete.

You do not your friend to laugh through tears. You do not want to harm them, do you?

funcoast realty logo
Jon Zolsky, your Daytona Beach Connection
www.BeautifulFlorida.com

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Edward Wadsworth 11/29/2008 11:03 AM
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Rainer
21,838
Linda Pitts
Sue Wilkinson Real Estate, LLC - Brandon, MS

I occasionally get an e-mail returned to me that I didn't even send. I had one returned to me in some foreign language one time that I couldn't even read and my address was on the original message!  Kind of scary!  Someone else uses my e-mail address.......I report it and it doesn't happen for a while.

Nov 29, 2008 10:24 AM #1
Rainmaker
388,619
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Thanks for the reminder.  My wife started making me cut and paste emails because of this.

Nov 29, 2008 10:36 AM #2
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Linda - I had trouble to report. It is very confusing, nobody to talk to. I was also told that this may be a hoax, when they send it to you on purpose to validate your e-mail.

Nov 29, 2008 10:47 AM #3
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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John - and how does cutting and pasting help?

Nov 29, 2008 10:48 AM #4
Rainer
54,488
Rob Kelly
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville, CO
Louisville Colorado Realtor

I think this should be required reading to anyone who has an Email License (or a Realtor designation)

Nov 29, 2008 11:08 AM #5
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Rob - It is part of life. We are on the Internet, and we are open to spammers. When I receive a congratulation from a fellow agent or broker, or from a friend, and I see all the addresses of people who will receive the e-mail, it is scary.

Those jokes cost me more tears than laughter.

Nov 29, 2008 11:31 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,977,717
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

This sure cut down on the amount of spam that I recieve.  Everyone should do it!

Nov 29, 2008 11:38 AM #7
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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William -Would it a be a dream to get to a computer and not get hundreds, literally hundreds of spam day after day?

Nov 29, 2008 12:01 PM #8
Rainer
70,555
real estate real estate
Providence, RI

Jon, very good advice. This is the easiest thing to do to avoid spams.

Nov 29, 2008 01:41 PM #9
Rainmaker
655,832
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Yes, you are right - never leave the cc list of names on an e-mail if forwarded -- it is not wise.

Nov 29, 2008 02:27 PM #10
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Huiting-Thanks for coming. that was a hard learned lesson for me. I did not like that "Joke" stuff sent to me by my client, a very good man, and I did not feel comfotable to tell him that. The result: I still had to tell him that after I hurt my business. Should have done it earler.

Nov 29, 2008 02:50 PM #11
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Bob & Carolin - It is easy to make a mistake. You would think that when yu send it to your sphera of influence, you a know them and they are not spammers. Just wait to see how it may hurt. Just a prudent business, hide the names and addresses.

thanks for commenting

Nov 29, 2008 02:52 PM #12
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Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Retired

Jon, It's a lesson I forget from time to time... or when I'm in a hurry.  These folks love to collect emails and sell them to folks who just fill our inboxes with junk... lots and lots of junk.  The bcc field works perfectly! 

Nov 29, 2008 07:36 PM #13
Rainmaker
2,189,295
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I get so much crap in my email box. One morning I woke up to find thousands of emails arriving. Fortunately, I was able to put an immediate stop to it by quick thinking. The newest scam now is sending email that comes from yourself. You can't set up a rule to block it from the sender, so I set up blocks on the message itself.

I'm lucky that I rarely forward emails. When I address email, I also do not use the CC box because I'm too lazy. But I do make use of the BCC.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Nov 30, 2008 01:58 AM #14
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Jesse - When you can get $0.50 for a valid e-mail, and you have over a 1,000 e-mail sddresses, it is tempting to have a small business on a side. So, even when yo send it to your extended circle, it may end up in the spammer's hands easily.

I am not even talking about forwarding jokes. People are so lazy to delete anything, that I can trace it from the first guy/gal who sent it.

Now, because they often send it with their electronic signature, I have a pretty good idea of what this crowd is doing and what their social status and income and a lot of other conclusions, having nothing to do with the message.

Nov 30, 2008 02:44 AM #15
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Elizabeth - looks like you do everything right. Did I tell you that this was expected? (LOL)

Seriously, e-mail is a great invention of the mankind, which apekind (who think they are part of mankind) is trying to destroy

Nov 30, 2008 02:46 AM #16
Rainmaker
235,088
Vadim Zolotarevskiy
FunCoast Realty & Management, LLC - Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Oops, I did not think about it. You tend to think that people would not do it, but things happen. Good to know

Dec 03, 2008 04:56 PM #17
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