KLM: the spammer’s airline of choice

KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines (or someone pretending to be them) routinely sends me spam. For some unknown reason, their ridiculously banal press releases keep arriving in my inbox, no matter how I strengthen & tweak my spam filters and blacklists. The one thing I refuse to do is click on the “unsubscribe” link in their e-mails. Why? Call it common sense.

By sending back a ‘remove me’ opt-out request you are confirming to the spammer that your address is live, you are confirming that you actually open and read spams, and that you follow the spammer’s instructions such as “click this to be removed”. You are the perfect candidate for more spam.

Bottom line: KLM is run by disreputable fools. Any company that sends unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail deserves all the bad P.R. it gets.

Hopefully this post will add one more data point to the search engine results, so that word will begin to spread: KLM sends spam.

Just say the magic word

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting spammed by a fancy restaurant in Miami. Mind you, this isn’t my Yahoo inbox I’m talking about. I expect to be spammed there. This fine establishment somehow found out my private e-mail address, the one my friends and family use. I never, ever enter it on a form online, so up ’til now it’s been almost completely spam-free.
I knew better than to click the handy “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the message. Doing so alerts the spammer to the presence of a human being at the other end of the spam pipeline, making one’s e-mail address much more valuable. Clicking “unsubscribe” guarantees that your address will be sold to every spammer known to man, and the tidal wave of penis enlargement and home mortgage refinancing will hit your inbox quicker than you can say “yes, I’ll help you hide your ill-gotten Nigerian gains.”
Being a semi-cagey netizen, I instead looked up the restaurant in the phone book to verify that the place actually existed. No sense in calling a phone number on the spam message if the whole thing’s a complete scam, right? I found that the restaurant actually existed, and I verified things by finding several reviews written by local newspapers.
I called to complain, and the runaround began. Every time Chez Fancypants spammed me, I called to politely complain. Every time, they told me that the person in charge of e-mail marketing was unavailable, had left for the day, hadn’t arrived yet, was busy, or had perished in a tragic blimp accident.
Today, Chez Fancypants excreted spam number nineteen into my nice clean inbox, so I decided to up the ante. Again I called the oh-so-smarmy maitre d’, and discovered that the Spammer-in-Chief was off on a pilgrimage to Yemen. I asked to be removed from the spamvertising hotlist, and again I heard the blasé brush-off beneath the pleasant response.
Ah, the power of the word “blogger.”
When I casually mentioned that I’m a blogger who’s well aware of how tenuous a good business reputation can be, and when I reminded the maitre d’ of what happened to Dan Rather, his tone immediately changed from oily condescension to palpable fear. These days, the spectre of Mike Wallace at the door pales in comparison to “John Hinderaker just sent you an e-mail.”
Said my new best friend, “I’ll get on the phone to our Marketing Director and I’ll send a fax to the e-mail marketing company we use, and tell them to remove your address from the list. What is it, sir, so I can send you confirmation of my success?”
I guess there’s a red phone to Yemen in the kitchen after all.

UPDATE: Just imagine the damage that Wizbang’s Jay Tea could do.

British political spammers target Clark County

Arthur Chrenkoff reports on Brits targeting my fellow Ohioans with anti-Bush spam. Who put them up to it and helped them find voters in Clark County? The Guardian newspaper.
Talk about an effort doomed to failure. If it weren’t so pathetic, and if I didn’t live elsewhere in Ohio, I’d be annoyed. Instead, I’m mildly amused at the thought of undecided voters in Clark County deciding to vote for Bush just to annoy the bejabbers out of some stuffy British busybodies.

Clarification: I realize that The Guardian doesn’t explicitly advocate sending anti-Bush messages to Clark County voters. However, when you know that the newspaper’s slant and the biases of its readership tilt way over toward the left, you can bet the ol’ homestead that the vast majority of messages will be anti-Bush.

UPDATE: Take that, you nosy foppish twits.

Spammer flood

Hey, fellow bloggers: am I the only one noticing a significant spike in spam comment attempts? I think I’ve had an average of about 20-25 attempts per day over the last three or four days.
Kudos to Jay Allen for his wonderful blacklist plugin. It nuked every last one of ’em!

UPDATE: Nope, I’m not the only one. Read the comments for some very thoughtful insights into the future of the “bloggers v. spammers” arms race.