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The Fake Contest Story

I [Aliza] got a spam from, advertising their web site registration package, and telling me that they were giving away free registrations to randomly selected winners. Well, I hate spams, but I went to check it out anyway, and submitted my name and e-mail address. (I no longer have the original spam letter, unfortunately; I'd appreciate a copy from someone who has one in their files...)

The letter claimed that they give away 1400 first-prize free registrations, and 700 second-prize discounted registrations, out of fourty-two thousand entries per week.

A few days after visiting the site, I got [this congratulations you are a winner] letter.

I was suspicious, so I wrote back [to ask what the odds where].

They wrote back [and said they were not in the USA].

I got suspicious, and did a little checking [determining from public records that they are in the USA].

From here it gets murkier. About 10 days after Aliza sent the last message, she reported that she was under attack. She had been subscription bombed - her e-mail address had been added to mailing lists all over the Internet. She was inundated in mail.

James Lick supplied the information that the attack had been conducted with a piece of software called UpYours, a program specifically designed for subscribe bombing someone. He also included a sample subscription message, which had originated with IP address, registered to Technical Services International, the same provider that the fake contest company was using. Mere coincidence, or an attempt to retaliate for having their scam exposed as a lie?

Postscript: they're still spamming. An amusing note from Australia.

Post-postscript: Now they're spamming New Zealand.

Back to spammers do more than spam

Scott Hazen Mueller / & Aliza R. Panitz /