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You are the anti-spam: Never Unsubscribe

Are you getting a bunch of emails that tell you they are legit and you Opted-In to an email subscription? Don't remember subscribing? Most likely, you did not. Oh look, they included a handy link to easily unsubscribe and stop receiving these emails. How nice of them, I'm sure this is all a mistake.

If you did not subscribe to anything then the email you received is a Phishing scheme and possibly spam. The trick here is not unlike Part Two in this series. A spammer has harvested your email address and is trying to qualify it by verifying that the email address is active. To a spammer, a qualified email address is worth much more then an unqualified or unverified one.

Once you click on that Unsubscribe or sometimes "Opt-Out" link, your verifying to the spammer that your email is active, you received their message, read it and also told them how often you check your email. Worse still is that the web server their unsubscribe or opt-out link was on has collected a whole lot more information about you such as the general location of where you live, what kind of computer/operating system you have, what internet browser you use, who you get your internet access from... etc. All this information is stored in a database and sold to the highest bidder. The more information they have attached to your email address, the more that information is worth.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can do to stop these types of emails is to delete them. The longer your email address goes unverified the less it is worth and eventually it will be removed from the spammers email lists. In the mean time, get some decent spam blocking software and follow all the tips in this series. Many email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla ThunderBird offer built in spam protection.


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