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Spammers have been impersonating us


At Jump Development Group, we do not send, and take measures to avoid relay of, Unsolicited Email (the common cases are know as UCE and Spam). Unsolicited Email is against the contractual policy of one of the major Internet backbone services (UUNet) used by our Internet Service Provider.

However, there have been a number of occasions when Spam has been sent by unscrupulous individuals who have impersonated our company. Thankfully, the most recent case was investigated by the Internet Service Provider of the spammer, and the user has agreed to stop impersonating us.

How can impersonation happen? Click here for details.

We are sad that some individuals have been getting Unsolicited Email that appears to come from us. However, we did not send, nor facilitate, this mail. Since it has neither coming from our site, nor through our site, there is little we can do; we are a victim. The only appropriate action has already been taken in the case "Web Systems Corp. v. Cyber Promotions, Inc." (alt), which contains a class action clause covering our exact situation (there is probably other similar litigation underway as well).

This forged email has triggered many complaints from AOL users. In these cases the "real" mail header info has varied. This is a very strong sign that these messages are being forged in an attempt to avoid "spam" blockers. 

We are not the only group that has been impersonated, and inappropriately berated by spam recipients. Another fine example is documented at CyberNet (alt). Please visit their site for an alternative description of the problem to help in understanding of the situation. 

Concerned individuals might wish to contact their Internet Service Provider (like AOL) on the matter. Going back to the original message they may be able to trace the "Received" and "Message-ID" given the "real" mail headers, and verify if these actually identify the spammer. Then, individuals who have been spammed might be able to direct their efforts appropriately.

AOL recommends that you send the entire message to "abuse@aol.net", and other Internet Service Providers (ISP) will usually welcome feedback as well. Visit your ISP's home web page to find out how to contact them.

For further information please visit the specific web pages:

AOL PostMaster FAQ - JUNK E-MAIL (Items #6 and #7)
http://members.aol.com/postmaster/junkmail.html (alt)

AOL - Combating Junk Mail-Tracing the Senders through Headers
http://members.aol.com/postmaster/headers.html (alt)

Symantec - Deciphering Email Headers
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/security/spam/headers.html (alt)

If you have time to expend efforts to thwart Unsolicited Email, please take the time to examine the above resources to help you learn how to determine where mail has actually come from. In this way you can avoid sending Unsolicited Email yourself, and stay within your goals by not becoming a pawn for spammers.

Why don't you sue them?

Despite it being very difficult and expensive to trace spammers, have you ever been to court? Remember how long O.J. dragged it out? How about the 40 Million Ken Starr spent? We've been through litigation before; though it is not exactly like the cases I cite, they are good enough approximations. Going after the real "Spammers" is a task well beyond our means, just like going after the Unibomber, and it is better left to the big guys like AOL, Congress, and the Justice Department. Fortunately, CNN, on this page,  reports that AOL is having some success, and our most recent problems were investigated by the Internet Service Provider of the spammer, and the user has agreed to stop impersonating us.

Plenty of litigation is already in the works. You may enjoy the pages:

http://www.jmls.edu/cyber/cases/spam.html (alt)

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