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Knife-based email SPAM

Oct 3, 1998
Not sure where to post this -- should I be raising spam issues in the good, the bad, and the ugly forum instead?

I got some spam from an online knives place, and judging by the
"To:" list, they could very well have gotten the names off of
bladeforums. I make it a policy never to support spammers, especially
when they resort to scumbag tricks like the following. If you feel
the same, please avoid these guys.

The first email I got was from "Steve Bramucci" from a hotmail
account. This is likely a front email for the online knife place.
It reads as follows:

-------------- beginning of email
Dear Knife Man,
I don't know how you got my e-mail adress but thanks for the message. That
is quite a site. i did some price comparing and you do have my personal
favorintes: the knife center, discount knives & blowout knives beat in
price. I would suggest that you carry more brands but I love the way that
the site is set up. It was easy to browse and tour. Good luck in the knife
business put me on your mailing list. i hate to see it but you were right
you do have other sites beat with your prices. Good Luck

Steve B
-------------- end of email

So basically, I'm supposed to be so stupid that I don't realize that
this is the knife seller himself, trying to send out a fake endorsement.
This was sent to a fairly large "To:" list of prominent knife netters.

This was followed up by an email from the knife seller himself, using
the exact same "To:" list. He calls himself "The Knife Man". I'm
thinking I should avoid posting his URL so that no one else finds
out about this guy with his slimey sales tactics. What do you think?


PS just did some price comparisons, some of this guy's prices are good, but he gets beat on most things by discountknives. sheesh.

[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 04 August 1999).]
Most likely, your email was harvested off of the rec.knives newsgroup, and not the forums themselves. The entry pages to the forums are all CGI based, as are the member profiles and as a result are immune to most email harvesters.

There may have been a change to some of the harvesters to get by this, but I haven't heard of it at this time.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
Most of hte people on the list are both from the forums and rec.knives. But there are a few people on the list who post to rec.knives only, so I think you're right, Spark -- the names were harvested off the newsgroup.

You know..I didn't realize it but I think I was just "spammed" aswell...however it was from a real email address of a net dealer. It didn't make any since to me at the time, but now I think it was spam. -AR

- AKTI Member ID# A000322

- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.

I welcome unsolicitated emails from legitimate dealers or other collectors, but I am also really put off by these dishonest con artists trying to peddle their junk. Thank heaven for the delete button.
Joe, I got a bunch of messages too. Some of them were from POed people about the spam. For some reason, they were routed to me.


I see your email address in the email list, so you musta gotten both the Steve Bramucci fake review and the Knife Man followup. I haven't seen any spam complaints though, which is why I started complaining
I lurk at Rec. but hang out here qute a bit.
"The Knife man did not get me."
Wanna hear something ironic? After I posted this rant over in rec.knives, on my server the very next post was from the Knife Man. Heh, bad timing son!
The following is from a post on rec.knives made by Fred Whitlock of Knife Outlet

"I got a lengthy e-mail from Knife Man. I'm convinced he
sent the spam innocently. I know, I know but I believe he
made an honest mistake. I explained to him that
broadcasting unsolicited e-mails wasn't a good way to
promote his site and gave him some other suggestions. He
appears to be new to the internet and he's certainly new to
the newsgroup and, yes, he took the e-mail addresses from
this newsgroup. I doubt he will do it again. Take care."

Knife Outlet http://www.knifeoutlet.com

I hope this is the end of the spam
Be careful as to the definition of Spam. If you send an email to a company, they can use your email to send out mass mailings to anyone ho has ever emailed them. This is not spam. You may not like it but it is not spam.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

Click here and read about SPAM, everyone (EVEN YOU, MIKE) should read this.

I personally find UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) to be one of the single worst marketing tools ever. Not only does UCE *not* help, but often times it hurts your buisiness.

Too bad some people just don't learn.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
You got someone's reply because they likely clicked "respond to all"...which ends up spamming all over again by sending the message to everyone the original spammer sent to.
Here's another useful resource:

This site will decode the header of an e-mail and figure out who actually sent it, then it'll look up the proper person to complain to at that site.

Never reply to the Spam, but ALWAYS complain to the postmaster or abuse person at the spammer's ISP.

If the spam includes a web site, go back a few days later and make sure that site has been taken down. If it's still active, complain again and again.

If they give a toll-free number, call and complain. If they ask for your e-mail address, refuse to give it or give a bogus one. Then, call again. It's their nickle.

If they're foolish enough to give a toll-free fax number, well, I'm in heaven. If they though I might be interrested in their e-mail so they took the liberty of sending it to me, I've got some really long manuals I think they might be interrested in, so I'll just program my fax to remove my header and to only connect at 2400 baud, then, as I'm getting into bed I'll drop a couple of hundred pages on the old fax and let her go.

The point is that people spam because they think it's free. Make it cost them something.

I got a SPAM a few seeks ago from a company offering six-cent a minute long distance. The header was forged and it had been sent through an SMPT server in Japan. I checked the website and the company is a manufacturer of industrial pumps. It's very unlikely that an e-mail from a long-distance company in America would get routed to an American addressee via a small company in Japan just by the randomness of Internet routing. So, I sent a very polite note to the postmaster at the company in question. He responded that, as I thought, they had no knowledge of this long-distance company and they were going to close their open SMTP port. That's one less open port for spammers to hide behind. Meanwhile, I called this long-distance company up on the 800 number they foolishly gave and strung 'em on for about five minutes. Finally, I said, "I have just one more question. The e-mail I received from you had a forged header. It was deliberately sent through a mail server in Japan to make tracing it difficult. But, I did trace down your e-mail account. The postmaster at the site tells me he closed your account because of abuse. Would you enter into a business relationship with a company who's very first gesture toward you was a fraud wrapped in a deception? I don't think so." End of conversation.

To make it clear, it isn't the SPAM that bothers me so much. I don't like it, but I know it's going to happen, and I usually don't complain so loudly about it.

What I really didn't like is the preceding SPAM email, that was trumped up to make it look like a review from a real user, rather than the commercial that it was. I can believe Fred that this particular SPAM was a one-time error in judgement, but I have to think that sending a false positive review of yourself begins to border on the unethical. And it makes the already-annoying practice of SPAMming even more irritating.
If he faked a review and pretended to be someone else he was lying. In my book that is well beyond the borders of unethical.

This tells me that the only "honest mistake" he made was in not realizing the hostility with which spam is greeted. The rest was a calculated deception.
Mike, that's an unusual definition of spam ... some spammer told you that and you believed him???
Unless you specifically asked him to put you on his mailing list it is mailspam and he won't have that account long -- if his system administrator doesn't yank the account the whole system will get the IDP (Internet Death Penalty).

-Cougar Allen :{)
So, who is this guy? I did look in rec.knives and saw no post from a Knife Man.