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 Split from "Closing lad accounts..."

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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It seems to me that if the free webmail providers were truely serious about stopping 419s, fake lotteries and romance scams that they would search through websites like this for accounts used in the committing of these criminal acts and close accounts listed here or, at least, send them warning letters or some sort.

In my own history of trying to get accounts closed, I noticed a trend that I found disturbing:

1) Yahoo and Hotmail being the most commonly-used webmail providers, they received the most complaints from me in any given week;
2) about a third to half of all reports resulted in a closed account, which left the rest to continue scamming;
3) a second report on the same address resulted in a closure about a third of the time;
4) when I had received several scam letters within a week and would spend one day reporting them all, Yahoo and Hotmail would respond to the first report or the first two and ignore the rest;

So, using a roughly scientific method, my conclusion was that reporting a scam letter to get the account closed does nothing to stop scammers in any way. Half to two-thirds of reported accounts will remain open anyway and the person who sent the initial report is not removed from any "master list" of potential targets by scammers.

Keeping my own list of scammers' addresses that I received messages from, I acqquired a total of between 300 to 450 addresses. In any given month, about 30 to 50 would get closed for some reason. However, more addresses would get on my list to replace them. So, it was like trying to hold back the ocean with a mop. Yes, you'll get some of the water back to where it belongs, but they just keep coming and most of the accounts I reported remained open regardless. I realized that closing accounts was pointless and I took up baiting instead.

So, as I said, if the webmail providers would engage in some massive campaign to stop scammers, it would be more effective than individuals trying to have accounts closed. Despite the massive financial and other losses inflicted by scammers, as well as the news coverage of its occurance, they will not engage in any such campaign.

An obvious conclusion that I soon came to was that, while the webmail companies realize that scammers use their services, they 1) don't feel that its as serious a problem that news reports make it out to be; 2) if you get scammed, it's your own fault; 3) they bind themselves to some sort of procedure that makes it difficult to impossible for them to take any sort of action (e.g. they need reports of emails, with headers, before they take any action) and 4) since they aren't losing any money, it's really not their problem.

That last point is really the prime factor here. Yahoo and Hotmail don't lose any money from scammers using their email services. In fact, having such a large number of users is good for their bottom line, regadless of what is done with the account. Unless Yahoo or MSN get scammed themselves, they don't care and won't care.

So, after a lot of time spent fruitlessly reporting addresses to be closed, I gave-up.

Not that I was an easy convert. It took me a long time to come around.

Yes, if every scam letter that was received was immediately reported, the scammers might be hurt. But, they aren't and that's working in the scammers favor. Most people simply mark them as spam or delete them. A few report them, with most reports going unheeded. A few will bait them.

Scammers know that the odds are in their favor. They don't just think it, they KNOW it.

So, the only thing that actually hurts them, short of an actual arrest, is baiting them.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 7103
Location: Yes

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow -- just two more weeks and you could have had a necro of exactly two years....

Anyway, I'm glad you agree with our thoughts on not having free webmail accounts closed down.

Split from here


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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry, been busy building my new business. An earlier attempt failed and I'm on my second, and more successful, try.
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