Just What Type of Person is a Spammer?

by Maurice Clarke - Date: 2006-12-21 - Word Count: 813 Share This!

Who is a spammer?

Spammers are pretty faceless people, the kid next door could be one, or his dad, maybe the whole family. Chances are someone you know is, was, or is going to be a spammer, that is just how big a problem spam really is.

Many of us imagine a spammer to be some nerdy, quiet guy, but in truth spammers come in all ages, sexes and types and can live just about anywhere. Spammers are best seen as types rather than individuals, see the reasons and motives as to why they are spammers and we can better understand why spamming is such a complex, ongoing and ever growing international problem for internet users like you.

The profiteer

By far the most prolific of spammers this guy is out to make money, big time, and so he can as a spammer. Look at the things in his favour;

cost - he can reach millions for a few dollars
home based - he can work from his bedroom or shed
vast market - a BILLION internet users to go at, and growing
international - he can sell worldwide
no stock - he can sell stuff electronically, so he has unlimited "stock" that he can replicate forever for free.

What can he sell you?

get rich quick programs
software programs
pornographic literature, films and images
sexual aids
memberships and subscriptions
advertisements in newsletters and on web sites
access to web sites
business programs and more...

What else can he do?

steal your credit card details
steal your bank account details
take over your identity
sell your email address to other spammers
email you again under a new identity time and time again

The loner

This fellow is a withdrawn, depressed individual who has loads of time on his hands and tends to "play" at being a spammer. He is the one who sends out messages with no special aim or purpose. He is not trying to sell us anything, or covert us all to a new god or religion, or offend us with sexual picture or indeed close our computer down with viruses.

His message may be just a blank space or a missive "have a nice day", pretty simple and innocent but nevertheless useless to the receiver and something that has to be detected, identified and removed.

The pervert

Sex is foremost on this guys mind and he revels in promoting the strange, weird and obscene. Highly offensive to both adults and children this type of spammer is the most disgusting.

Child control software helps restricting access to adult and pornographic web sites but perverted emails are harder to stop and everyone needs to be constantly alert.

Due to the language used in sexual issues pornographic spam email is the easiest to detect as offensive keywords used in the subject or main body of emails is usually sufficient to identify the email as spam of this type.

The religious nut

This spammer has a message about who should rule the world, or how the world would be a better place under a different god, or religious ruler. His message varies but tends to be his view that he want to get across to the world at large.

He may convert a few to his way of thinking but as he does so he annoys millions of others who are not interested in his message and offended he should thrust his views on to them in the privacy of their home via personal email.

The expert

This guy is clever, he is out to beat the system, to be the best programmer in the world, the one who can beat the best programmers by inventing a new virus, a fresh malicious code that downloads onto peoples computers. Some have even got into government, police and business systems.

The expert in theory at least can bring down the entire internet, but for every one serious expert there are tens of thousands of other experts and software programs out to detect and stop this guy.

Common elements

Whatever type your spammer is, he will share a few common elements with all other spammers which combine to make spamming a serious threat to us all

# he keeps innovating, creating new code and identities so the world needs to be always alert

# he in hidden and hard to track down, solutions are aimed at what was done rather than who did it, the internet world are fire fighting a growing problem.

# he is universal - he can be anywhere, any place, anytime - all you need is a computer and an internet connection to be a spammer, there are already over 1 BILLION of those and any one can be a spammer.

# they can do it for free or cheap - many use computers of schools, colleges, universities or business firms to send spam email, or for a few dollars a month unlimited online time with a little bit of electricity.

If spamming cost more money to run it would stop, trouble is so would the internet generally!

Related Tags: online business, spam, email, spamming, newsletters, bulk email, address book, spammers, ezines

Maurice S Clarke is founder of the wearable goods trading web site www.whatweusedtowear.com and lives in Rugby, UK. This article may be freely republished provided it remains intact.

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