Recent examples of spam that's been sent to addresses at MIT
We place examples of spam received at MIT here for all to see.
We edit the "To" lines to remove real addresses at MIT, but otherwise
these are exactly as they arrive.
We never do what they say, never send
them mail, never call them and never visit their websites.
Basically, as readers, we ignore what they say.
But, as postmasters, we deal with spammers in whatever ways seem
We put offensive, spam-like mail here for all to see. If it reaches
'email@example.com' and it looks like spam, it will end up here.
On a final note, just because you don't see something here doesn't
mean we haven't already seen, dealt with, and filed a complaint
about it. Really the best thing to so is delete it and move on.
accesses since January 18 1999.
- June 2001:
Britney and Friends
Various non-sequitor subjects. Yes, you and I could splice
our respective faces onto some porn queen's body but it still
wouldn't be Britney.
- December 2000:
An early Christmas gift, no doubt. Lots of famous endorsements
including from the government. Don't reply
with anything; you'll just be confirming their address list.
- November 2000:
Important Career Center Information
A new spin on a recent trend to spam MIT people offering them
job advice. We suspect we know the list used by these people.
We also have spoken with the company and they indicate that it
is against their policy to send out such solicitations. They
are following up to determine and correct the source.
- April, 2000:
The Internet Spy Guide! Find Out Info About Anyone!
It's been about a year since any spam passing through our mail hubs has
been worthy of much comment, but Miss Postmaster feels the need to
this one for the benefit of readers who are new to the Internet.
Basically, it is a cheesy pitch like the one
the radio commentator Jean Shepherd fell for when he was a boy.
For ten cents, you could buy a telescope that would
let you see the bones in your hand! He imagined it would let him see
So, this spam tells you how, for $24.95 US, you can find out anything
about anyone! Maybe you'll even be able the see the bones in your
- Dec 1999: LASER PRINTER TONER
Allright already, enough! Today it comes from UUnet, tomorrow
it comes from Level3, the next day it'll come from alltel.net .
This one keeps coming back like a bad penny. Don't waste your
time calling any phone numbers here as it won't do you any good;
You'll just get aggravated. For the record: the MIT postmasters
have left a message at 1/16/2000 2129 EST on the listed complaint
number (1-888-494-8597) requesting that all MIT.EDU addresses
be removed from their distribution. We'll see... Well, we
just got spammed again by these idiots. Onced again notified them
to remove all MIT.EDU addresses at 2/27/2000 at 23:10 EST. Since
you're wasting time reading this page, perhaps you'd like to hear
the erudite individual who's voice instructs you on how to
supposedly get your email address removed from their infernal
spamming list. Here's the 700K .au file
we transcribed on a recent call.
- Jun 1999: www.adultlogin.com
Annoying html for cheesy porn site.
- April 10 1999: The Hottest Site On The Net!!(270)
Hundreds of these came in to MIT addresses over a ten-minute period
today, with all the
characteristics of the worst spam: empty "From:" line, no "To:"
line, lame "Subject"
line with the classic exclamation points, a number that changes on
the subject line to prevent recepients from filtering successfully,
and cheesy, drooling content.
- April 1 1999: A non-funny, totally bogus "April fool's joke"
about the Meilssa virus, telling the
reader to "cease email transmissions".
The message is a hoax,
having nothing to do with MIT Information Systems. It contains
an "April Fool's" message at the very end.
- Feb 1999: Screen Printing & Digital Imaging
Newsletter It is hard to imagine that a legitmate business
would send hundreds or thousands of pieces of unsolicited junk mail
like this. It gives such a poor impression of the business. We
caught this one in progress.
- Jan 1999: ONE-POUND-A-DAY DIET Spam sent
to several MIT mailing lists. The side effect is if it did work
according to the spammers you would need to spend a lot on new
- Jan 1999: $1,000 for sending an e-mail Total
meta-spam, combining the now-classic elements of faked header lines,
lots of upper-case text and exclamation points, and a make-money-quick
scam that seems to involve your sending spam for someone else. Right.
- Jan 1999: SurfChina.com - Search Engine for China
These appear to have been addressed directly to individual email
addresses gleaned from... who knows? And don't the Chinese people
have enough troubles already?
- Jan 1999: Free Service A bunch of these came
in to MIT addresses with differing header lines, bogus "From" lines,
and so on. Some sort of money scam which you should ignore.
- Jan 1999:
New Book- "How To Juggle Women: Without Getting Killed or Going Broke"
That colon in the title is a hint at the cheesy ad-speak
in this piece of junkmail. The bogus header lines are annoying.
One can only imagine the quality of writing in the "book" itself.
- Jan 1999: What is in it for you? What's in it
for me is annoyance and the tedium of tracking down and reporting
the sender to their ISP.
- Jan 1999: A New Year's Dream Well, this is a
sad story, asking for money. And, of course, since it's email,
the content and the headers can't easily be verified.
- Dec 1998: Put your subject line here. This seems
to be an example of meta-spam, intended to attract readers who want
to send their own spam. Do not respond to this mail, it is simply
an attempt to gather email addresses of people who actually read
- Nov 1998: CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT!!, standard
electronic junkmail, fake headers, a cheap pitch, a holiday greeting
and lots of exclamation points.
- Nov 1998: What are these spammers thinking? I can't imagine anyone
would even read this, much less send money to an address in the
Bahamas for this
ONE-POUND-A-DAY DIET (Free Recipe Included!!!) scam.
- Nov 1998: I haven't been putting many examples in during November,
not because we haven't been getting hit by spam attack after
spam attack, but because we've been getting such nasty examples
that common sense prevents me from putting them here. This
recent one is a typical "get rich"
scam, boring and tedious in its text and method, barely worth
- Nov 1998: Get Rich Click Another lame
get rich quick scam.
- Oct 1998: An Important Decision You Must Make
It's actually a simple, unimportant decision...hit "Delete" without
looking. It has bogus To and From lines, but we will find the sender's
ISP and complain.
- Oct 1998: Please read ! This is not Spam !
Yes it is! And, a new form, sent to hundreds of addresses at
hundreds of different sites, to people who have "Anne" in their
email addresses. This is too much. You see we could never filter
such things out. Your postmaster is working on tracking down this
- Oct 1998: Free Shopping Cart For Your Website!
This is New England. People say "shopping carriage" here. This
ridiculous mail is full of typos and a suspicious-looking number
to call to "find out" about it.
- Oct 1998: The Winter Park Express Pass
Another junkmailing that contains bogus information about how to
remove your address, and which ends with a sanctimonious statement
about its compliance with some "proposed" US federal requirement.
But, guess what...the proposed legislation concerns
"slamming", not "spamming"!
- Oct 1998: 1004-toner Not only is it junkmail,
it's all in uppercase letters so it's impossible to read. I suppose
that could be considered a plus. And look, it's from the Benchmark
spammers way back in 1998!
- Oct 1998: UNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS (52200) Another
spam wave of the now-classic fake-diploma scam. I got thirteen copies
in my personal mailbox this morning. Plus all the bounced mail
and all the complaints that came in to 'postmaster'. This is starting
to annoy me.
- Oct 1998: Getting better all the time! I'm
beginning to think an exclamation mark in the subject line is
a good enough predictor of spam-ish content. I couldn't even bother
to read this one.
- Oct 1998: Finally at Last! Another ad for
video tapes from the folks at 208.166.10.x. The subject line is
amusing in its redundant enthusiasm. But the text itself ends
with a completely obnoxious paragraph about how to remove your name
from their "database". This shows the cynical intention of the
sender, which is simply to annoy as many people as possible.
Basically, since they send the message using bogus "To:" lines,
if their instructions are accurate, following the instructions will
not behave the way the recipient expects. This is a sort of
"double-spam", which can only be read as a deliberate nuisance.
- Oct 1998: INTERNATIONAL DRIVER'S LICENSE
Cheap-looking ad for some sort of fake-sounding driver's license.
These come in with different numbers in the subject line and at
the end of the message, so the sender is clearly determined to evade
filters and annoy the public.
- Oct 1998: Polite Request There's some
freeware called "Spam Hater" which seems popular among users
of a large, commercial ISP. When users run it, it sends this
"polite" message to what seems like every possible address
contained in a mail message. Being freeware, let's just say it's
worth what they paid for it. What it sends looks exactly like
- Oct 1998: Just read this! Actually, don't
bother to read it. This is a long-winded, old-fashioned chain
letter that actually tells the reader to send money through the mail.
In the style of mail itself, "Unbelievable!!!!!!"
- Sept 1998: Buddha images Ad for a "unique"
opportunity. For some reason, I can't think of "unique" and
"electronic junk mail" at the same time.
- Sept 1998: Medical Equipment Not really, it's
an ad for some sort of Macintosh-related hardware shop in Oregon.
- Sept 1998: INTERNET SLEUTH REPORT A breathless,
long ad for a pamphlet that sounds like it consists of screen
dumps from a few search sites.
- Sept 1998: US - Boersenbrief
This is written in German,
but it's got some inept html in it. How typical of spam.
- Sept 1998: 8.9 cent/min:...
Contains a phone number and detailed instructions on how to "remove"
yourself from their "database". Ignore everything they say.
It's spam through and through.
- Sept 1998: Dear Valued Customer
Looks like an ad for porno sites.
- Sept 1998: BOOST Your Website's Traffic
An ad for cheesy-sounding internet services.
- Sept 1998: No Hassle Offshore Merchant Accounts!
This looks like it has something to do with gambling on the internet.
- Sept 1998: ATTRACT WOMEN EASILY!
A breathless ad for pheromones. From the same folks
who sent the cheesy-sounding video spam in August.
- Aug 1998: UUNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS
This one shows up at MIT over and over. Diplomas from
"prestigious non-accredited universities" for "as little as $125".
What a joke.
- Aug 1998: 99 Toyotas as low as...
Short note including "appologies for your inconvenience". Right.
- Aug 1998: Meeting aand Charming Women
Long-winded ad for some cheesy-sounding videos.
Back to the prototype UBE page.
$Date: 2001/06/11 19:07:42 $ GMT