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Where are the Spam Senders?

When you see a load of spam come in you might wonder where it's all coming from. Initially, of course with the Internet being the International Net, spam was coming from all over the world, but as the number of spam lines of merchandise reduced because of the ineffectiveness of spam marketing, the range of people sending spam reduced, perhaps a little bit like the way that you see fewer lines of business advertised with business cards stuck in phone boxes than you do with the small-ads in the local newspaper?!

There was a good reason why the market narrowed, because for spam to work at all, people have to be clever enough to have got themselves a computer, but stupid enough to be fooled by really stupid advertising done really badly. So, that limited it to a few isolated areas within the United States, and perhaps one or two other places around the world, but these weren't cost-effective enough to allow spam to work because of the meagre yield. So, with the limited market, the spam sending genre adapted.

What's less understandable is where the spam senders are. Think about it: If you were going to set up a business sending out millions of ridiculous spam messages, where would you live? Not in the USA, that's for sure! With a war on this and a war on that and a war on just about everything, your spam sending company could end up with you in jail! So no, you'd set up a spam sending company in Belize, or Nigeria, or Benin, or, anywhere they don't make a big fuss about what you get up to, but not the USA because spam sending is illegal and they like to have a zero tolerance on such things.

So, Where Are the Spam Senders?

The current theory is: most spam senders are in the USA! What? How can that be? Well, for a start, they have American vacations. How much spam do you get on 4th July, and on Thanksgiving Day? Also, most spam senders take the weekends off, and you can see this because there's not so much spam on Saturday or Sunday.

If this theory is true, then it will only be a matter of time before the senders of spam are tracked down. There's no point tracking down criminals if they live in a jurisdiction where they're allowed to get away with it (eg. Nigeria scam), but it is well worthwhile police time to pursue criminals if they are living in a jurisdiction which is in agreement on the matter of illegality of the offence being perpetrated.

Most cybersquatters (domain hijackers) also live in the USA, and as soon as the system gets its act together on the illegality of that, they will also be in trouble.

There is a myth about spam sending which is significant here: It's generally believed that spam is sent from a spam sender's computer to all of the recipients directly. This is not true. What actually happens is that the spam senders utilise a network of ordinary folks' computers around the world, computers which they have previously hijacked with viruses and spyware. Then, at the word of command from spam sending central, the message is picked up and re-transmitted.

So, there's no point in catching someone whose computer has just sent a few tens of thousands of spam messages, because they are not the spam sender. They are just some muggins who was foolish enough to open the attachment in some stupid message, and then their computer got hijacked and became a spam re-distribution point.

I believe that the few remaining spam senders will ultimately be caught by someone sending a decoy in. That's how a lot of dodgy business these days is ensnared.

Other useful things: How to defeat spam , How to hide your email address to stop spam harvesters getting it , Dodgy goods on sale by spam , Scams and how to avoid them