I’ve run across a new spam technique which is puzzling me. I’ve started getting bogus signups on some of my newsletter forms for email addresses like Richard@gmail.com, Derek@yahoo.com, Jackson@gmail.com, Miguel@upmail.com, Tom@hotmail.com. When I send out my newsletter of course these emails bounce back to me and I remove them from the list. In a few days, though, they pop up again.
On my large site I have several email entry points and they come in either from the front page or from the newsletter page. I have the same problem on a smaller site where the user actually has to create an account.
Initially, this doesn’t make any sense to me as I can’t imagine what good it would do the spammer. I do have two theories, however….
It could be that the spammers are hoping to so dilute good lists with bad emails that it the free email services will be forced to loosen their controls to let good mail through.
Another possibility I’ve just started considering, however, is that possibly the email providers themselves are adding these bogus addresses to lists to test for lists that don’t use an opt-in functionality. That would be sneaky and reasonably effective.
Has anyone else had this problem? Any thoughts or theories as to what is going on?
Filed under: Internet on December 23rd, 2007