Yes there are legitimate and effective ways to do commerce on the web. SPAM is not one of them.
SPAM is U.C.E. (pronounced ucky) Unsolicated Commercial Email -- or, for that matter unsolicated bulk email of any sort.
There are companies that send millions and millions of pieces of the same "get rich quick" and other "be a sucker" promotions through email.
Your existence on the internet is not permission for any company that wishes to send you masses of commercial email. Given the millions and millions of users you can see how crazy it would get if this were considered license.
So we that care about the quality of life on the internet encourage commerce to find non-intrusive means of going about their business. And, we fight SPAM.
Here you will find a few references that should be of some help in penetrating the subject and perhaps doing something about it.
But first a couple words to the wise:
- DO NOT reply to SPAM asking to be removed. Many SPAM emails have instructions on how to be removed from the list. If you respond to these instructions they have a "verified" address -- an address that is known to go to a real email account. So, current thinking has it that you will end up on more SPAM lists rather than being removed. So don't bother. Besides more often than not the address is not a valid address.
- DO report spam to the appropriate ISP. It will take some looking to uncover who the spammer's ISP is. This info is held in the "email-header". Once you find the proper ISP report the spammer. If no one reports then the ISP can't do anything to help.
- DO NOT under any circumstance buy any product or use any service that you learn about through SPAM. If SPAM was not effective they would stop doing it. And at the moment it is only marginally effective. If only a few more of us make efforts to be a little less gullible the SPAM market might fall apart.
- DO reward those merchants and commerce-type folks who practice nice marketing. Give them a tiny bit more of your attention and a benefit of the doubt. If we refuse to be aware until bombarded in our mail box...you do the math.
- Coalition Against Commercial Email. A fine group dedicated to enacting reasonable and effective measures against SPAM.
- Boycott Internet Spam
- The definitive site, with lots of great info and links.
- Figuring out fake E-Mail & Posts
- A large, comprehensive FAQ about how to determine who is sending the spam. Many links and much information. If you ask me much to much information. Sometimes it looks like you need a Harvard degree to fight SPAM. We at Newbie dot Org are ever hopeful that eventually an anti-SPAM FAQ for us normal folks will surface.