I don't like spam. I receive a lot of it, and I despise it. I see it as theft. My bandwidth and time are being used without my permission. Spammers steal bandwith and internet access in order to deliver their crap to my inbox. I don't want it and I don't like it. I report spam to ISP's, upstream providers, the FTC, and any reporting agency that I feel is appropriate, based on the content of the spam. Spam will not go away by processing it with the delete key! You have to fight it!
This isn't the first time spammers have made my life miserable, and it probably won't be the last. They think they have the right to shovel whatever they want down my throat, and I don't. I'm paying for my email services, they're not. They use hijacked, compromised, and unsecured servers to send their spam. They hide behind forged headers, false contact information and a veil of lies, I don't. They're criminals, I'm not.
The email below was received in my inbox on the 26th of Sep 2003. I believe it may be retaliation for reporting the individual responsible as a spammer to an ISP.
Earlier in the day (26th of Sep 2003), I received two emails from ACS International. Spam advertising their debt collection services. I forwarded the spam to the SpamCop.net spam reporting service, but I hadn't processed the spam yet. Perhaps someone else did follow through and report the spammer to their upstream provider/ISP.
Later in the day (after I returned home from work), I found the email below in my inbox (I've since received the email a second time). This outrageous piece of spam looks like an extortion attempt. It is an extortion attempt. I had never heard of this company before today, and I don't owe them anything. For that matter, I don't have any uncollected debts. Their threats are disturbing though. Being a debt collection agency, I'm afraid they might actually be able to cause harm to my credit rating.
Their veiled/implied threat is reprehensible, and some might consider it criminal. I have never had any direct communication with this company, and I do not use harsh language, or inappropriate discourse when reporting spammers.
After reading the email, I checked a couple of mailing lists. That's when I learned that I wasn't the only one to receive this email; others (with suespammers.org email addresses) had as well. It's my belief that someone on the spammers list reported them to their ISP for the earlier email(s). The ISP contacted the spammer/ACS International, and that upset the spammer in some way. As a way of retaliating, the spammer sent this extortion email to everyone on his mailing list. There is a possibility that this spammer has no connection to ACS International. ACS International may be the victim of a Joe-Job*. It seems to me that it's more likely that ACS International paid a spammer to advertise their debt collection services, and now that spammer has taken it upon himself to retaliate against the individual(s) responsible for reporting him to his ISP.
I can't quite figure out why any spammer would want to send email to someone with a suespammers.org email address. Aside from that, ACS International is based in California, where there are some pretty strict anti-spamming laws. Combine that with the location of the suespammers.org email servers, and this company is looking for some serious legal trouble.
I didn't appreciate the original spam, and I certainly don't like it when someone attempts to extort money from me. I've reported all the email from this spammer to his/her ISPs, and I've reported this extortion attempt to the FTC and FBI. Hopefully, someone will put the screws to this spammer.
Below is the rendered email, followed by the raw source. Note that I munged my email address in the raw source in order to protect it from email address harvesting web-bots/spiders. Note that I have altered the raw source to facilitate HTML display, but I have not changed the content of the raw source beyond the email address munging noted above.
Robert L. Vaessen
An email campaign/war waged by a spammer. When a spammer intentionally targets an individual or business for harassment. They forge emails/spam claiming to be the intended victim. Then they send the forged email to a list of spam recipients/victims. The forged email is usually marked by offensive language or content, in an attempt to elicit a strong response from the recipient. The resultant complaints and returns are directed at the victim (of the Joe-Job) in an attempt to harass or get them shutdown/disconnected from the internet.
From email@example.com Fri Sep 26 16:18:54 2003
Received: from acscorp.us ([188.8.131.52])
by plushie.suespammers.org (8.12.9-20030919/8.12.9) with SMTP id h8QLshxw023172
for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Fri, 26 Sep 2003 14:54:47 -0700
To: "Owner" <email@example.com>
Subject: Your Collections
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 06:02:38 +0600
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2462.0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2462.0000
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
<table border=3D"1" cellpadding=3D"0" cellspacing=3D"0" style=3D"border=
-collapse: collapse" bordercolor=3D"#111111" width=3D"100%" id=3D"AutoNu=
<td width=3D"100%" bgcolor=3D"#000080">
rsm.gif" width=3D"45" height=3D"45"><strong><font color=3D"#CCCCCC" size=
=3D"3" face=3D"Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> </font><font color=3D=
"#C0C0C0" size=3D"4" face=3D"Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> &=
<p align=3D"center"><b><font size=3D"7" color=3D"#FF0000">DEMAND LE=
<td width=3D"100%"><b>This notice is a formal demand for payment</b=
>. You owe
the amount shown below and have failed to pay after repeated attemp=
negotiate a settlement. In addition, your vicious attitude an=
irrationally abusive behavior toward the employees of this company =
enough that you have no intentions of paying. Therefore, you =
the sums shown below within 24 hour of receipt or we will start imm=
action against you. We will report you to all credit agencies=
any legal action necessary to assert the rights of collection we ha=
<b><font color=3D"#FF0000" size=3D"4">BE FOREWARNED:</font></b>&nbs=
p; THIS IS A
VERY SERIOUS MATTER. FAILURE TO PAY WILL RESULT IN UNFORTUNAT=
CONSEQUENCES FOR YOU.<br>
If you respond by 3 PM Pacific Time, you may pay
the settlement amount of <font color=3D"#0000FF">$837</font>. =
HOWEVER, if you fail to make payment, the full amount of
<font color=3D"#FF0000">$2,790</font> will be immediately due and a=
against you will commence.</p>
<p>TO MAKE PAYMENT, IMMEDIATELY FAX A SIGNED CHECK FOR THE PROPER A=
909-694-4300. BE SURE TO INCLUDE A COVER SHEET WITH YOUR SOCI=
SECURITY NUMBER, HOME ADDRESS, AND PHONE NUMBER.</p>
<p>IF YOU WISH TO PAY BY CREDIT CARD, FAX A PAGE WITH THE HOLDER'S =
CREDIT CARD NUMBER, CARD TYPE, EXPIRATION DATE, SECURITY CODE, and =
ADDRESS TO 909-694-4300. BE SURE TO INCLUDE A COVER SHEET WIT=
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, HOME ADDRESS, AND PHONE NUMBER.</p>
<div style=3D"width: 893; height: 42; ">
<p align=3D"center" style=3D"margin-bottom: 5"><font color=3D"#FF=
This is your last and final warning. Make payment or procee=
<p>If you disagree with this notice, then make payment anyway to st=
proceedings against you. Then provide us with the proof you d=
o not owe
this money. Frankly, after all the time spent in discussions =
and the numerous settlement offers we have made, you are quite fort=
have even this chance. So, we highly recommend you take it.</=
<p><font face=3D"Times New Roman"><b><font color=3D"#000066">Collec=
</font></b><font color=3D"#000066"><strong>ACS INTERNATIONAL</stron=
41743 Enterprise Circle North<br>
Temecula, CA 92590-5625</font></font></p>
<p><font face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D"#000066"><b>Phone<br>
<p><font face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D"#000066"><b>FAX</b> =
<td height=3D"23" bgcolor=3D"#000066"><div align=3D"center"><font c=
olor=3D"#999999" size=3D"1" face=3D"Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">COPYRI=
GHT © 2003
ACS INTERNATIONAL COLLECTORS, INC.</font></div></td>