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Question: Spam with dead URLs - what is the point?

My address has been forged and I am getting tons of "undeliverable message" notices. My question is - what's the point? The spams contain various urls none of which can be found. Why send out solicitations with no way for the potential mark to respond? What am I missing here?


Hello Robert,

First, you have my sympathies - there's not many things more frustrating than realizing that someone is sending out emails in bulk and forging your name/email address.

Now, I'm going to tell you something that may seem obvious, but is worth saying anyway. Anyone who forges your email address is a crook. (Of course, since 99.99% of all spam comes in on forged email addresses, that in itself tells you something worth considering!)

What kind of websites do crooks run? Crooked ones! They are websites that sell non-existent products, sites that pretend to be bank or credit card sites, sites that collect login/credit card information, and many other things.

Sites like this do not last very long. ISPs and web hosting services are careful and quick to crack down on sites that are involved in criminal behavior. And even if they weren't, the crooks themselves can't keep their sites available for very long, otherwise it would be easier for the authorities to catch up with them.

It's a hit and run business.

If they send out a hundred thousand emails, and just one victim makes it to the site and gives their credit card information, it makes it worthwhile for them. And if 99,999 victims arrive after the site has already been yanked from the internet...they really don't care.

Of course, you're getting the emails late in the game, because it's first going to yahoo, or msn, or hotmail, or some other email provider, and then getting turned around and shipped back to you. By the time you get it, it's no surprise that the site is already gone.

There's one scammer out there that claims to be a mortgage refinancer. He sends out a couple emails every day, and every time he sends it, it's to a new site.

Hm. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen one of those in quite awhile...maybe the authorities finally caught up with him!

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