Spam vs JunkMail

Spam vs Junkmail, by Vena McGrath

How could I ever have conceived of anything worse than the myriads of junk mail that is stuffed in my letterbox, thrown in my garden, tossed on my driveway and dropped at my front door? Do I look at any of it? Rarely. I'm one of those people who hate shopping, and yes, I am a female and I'm told one of a kind because I don't like shopping and I don't like window shopping and I most definitely don't like leaflets and the like dropped around my haven for me to dispose of. Seems to me if these stores have so much money to waste on advertising why don't they lower their prices instead and do away with the junk mail? However, one of my sons loves junk mail so I guess some mothers do have them.

I've emptied the letterbox, picked up the papers from the driveway, the garden, from around the front door and tossed them all in the recycle bin. I unlock my front doors, enter my haven and sigh for there's no junk mail lurking inside. Or is there? Oh yes, there certainly is but of a different kind, a sneaky kind that I can't see until I turn on my computer and download my mail. Oh oh, here it comes flooding in. It's even worse than the junk mail because there are some pretty disgusting pictures that greet me with some of my spam mail. And since when did I need viagra pills or penis enlargement creams? The schoolgirl pornography mail really makes my blood boil, as do the hundreds of other pornographic pictures that I receive. I got into the habit for a while of sending them on to my Internet provider and asked the question 'why'? 'I pay $65 a month to be online and have all this unsolicited filth invade my life?' Of course they didn't bother answering but perhaps I did have a little bit to do with them closing down a particular port that was allowing a lot of this garbage through. Since it closed I haven't received any of that type of mail. However, now I'm inundated by unsolicited mail trying to sell me goods that usually are for the USA market only. When is someone going to realise that .au mean Australia? When/if they ever do my spam mail will almost be zero. Perhaps it is too much to expect that someone might have the brains out there to work that out.

There are so many 'get rich' schemes flooding the email system and they are fast taking over from the other type of spam. I have to admit getting sucked into a couple of them myself only to find all I managed to buy was a book of 'how to do it' with no guarantees of success unless your worked very hard. What a joke! Another form of misleading advertising directed at people who very often are housebound and spend a lot of time on the Internet and grab hold of anything that could perhaps make their lives better by bringing in the cash. I was caught with an envelope stuffing scam and a few other assorted rip-offs before I realised that all I was doing was buying junk mail disguised as spam!

"Become An Instant Millionaire. I did it, so can you" screams out the headline. It seems plausible too, considering how many people now surf the net but I live in hope that the spam mailers are shooting themselves in the foot by flooding our email systems with their junk. No wonder the Internet is so slow for anyone with dialup; the lines must all be flooded continuously with mail going around the world and most of it misdirected. I could conservatively estimate that from ten spams I receive probably only one would be relevant for Australia, so part of my evenings are spent disposing of junk mail off my computer that I should never have received.

Back to the claims of how easy it is to become an 'Instant Millionaire'. It appears there are a couple of 'gentlemen' working very hard at spamming, both boasting to be noted authors - authors of what we may ask. Scams via spam. Mr Abrahams has started sending me his spam and I'm getting very good at the left foot kick too. He and his cohorts are making their millions, if they are, by flogging their so called best selling books to people like me, specially aimed at the people at home wishing they could make money from using their computers. Well, come up with an idea like Mr Abrahams and his co-conspirators have and you will be laughing all the way to the bank because some mothers do have them.

Another form of spam that riles me is the people involved in horoscopes and fortune telling. This is a special interest of mine, I love reading my 'horrorscopes' as I call them and often go surfing around sites sussing out someone to tell me I'm going to be rich, beautiful, young, desirable, in love and loved etc etc. But be warned, once you purchase something from one of those sites you will never be left alone. The spam mail comes fast and furious and always with the line 'if you don't act now you will miss out on this amazing chance of good luck and fortune that will only come once - you have only twenty-one days left to take up this offer'. Now I didn't take up the offer, and strange as it is, the person concerned who I first became tangled up with, manages to work magic spells once the twenty-one days are up and miraculously I have another twenty-one days grace to act in or sometimes even more days! And so comes all the spam mail continuously, trying hard to suck me in to outlay some more dollars for some more rubbish. And to top it off suddenly they have all these friends who have this wonderful book, this amazing spell that you just won't make it without, oh and free gifts too if you take up the option. They all give you the options that if you don't wish to receive any further mail, 'click here'. How many times have you clicked here only to find the link doesn't work? Or even worse, if you do access the site all of a sudden you receive a barrage of other mail from sites you have never visited, never heard of. All wanting to sell you something give you something, and yes, most of them for USA residents only!

Oh and the site that offers you a free psychic session. You spend 15 minutes going through the various steps to find at the end to get an answer you have to sign on the dotted line and yes, you can pay by mastercard, visa, bankcard, cheque etc etc. Now that is a scam!

I even rang a dialup provider to request for my email address to be changed to try and stop the spam it was letting in, and I was refused. So I closed my account with them and went with another provider and I had another email address. So don't play games boys, let's get real. People pay for a service for an online connection, they have the right to change their email address or totally close one that is a problem, or if they don't then it's high time they did. My advice to anyone meeting a brick wall from a provider is to do like I do with any type of provider of a service I pay for - close your account and go elsewhere. It's time we all stood up to be counted and time we stopped allowing the 'big brothers' of this world from ruling our very existence. We are lucky to live in a world where there is competition for our dollars, and lots of it. So do some searching and surfing, until you find companies that value your patronage and treat you with respect, as a client should be treated.

And send all that spam to your Internet providers and keep complaining. Flood their mailboxes; let's see how they like it. Let them get rid of some spam junk mail too, after all we should share the good and the bad.



Vena McGrath


When will spam be banned, by Greg Tingle

The net effect - 24th April 2004

ACCC Joins Global Fight Against Spam - 30th January 2004

Junk email laws apply - 6th April 2004

Dr Spamlove - 1st May 2004

Paying For email - 4th February 2004

Google to offer free email in fight for web supremacy - 2nd April 2004

On the trail of the web scammers - 6th April 2004

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