How to Fight Back and Stop Spam from Australian Web Design, SEO, etc. Companies?

EDIT: See clarification in the post below from the individual in question, who has been the target of spammers using his identity.

A handful of Australian Web Designers, SEO specialists and the like are repeatedly spamming my business email address.

To be clear, I don't care about random spam from overseas that I can't do anything about (and I get surprisingly little of that). But these are actual Australian Companies that have taken it upon themselves to repeatedly spam me. I know about reporting to the ACMA and the like, but these are obviously small fry and reporting them is unlikely to lead to anything.

So far, I have repeatedly emailed them back asking to be de-listed (unsubscribed), but NONE of them have done so as I continue to get spammed by the same people over and over. It is the principle of the thing.

I just want to kick back a little to get them to remove me from the list, and would welcome any ideas you have on how I could do that.

Here is what I sent to one persistent spammer from Melbourne. I have obscured the email address, name and links to protect the guilty.

————— Forwarded message ————-
From:
Date: Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 11:59 AM
Subject: Pxxxxxk Jackson, LinkedIn
To: <[email protected]>

Please desist from sending any further commercial s.pam to the following address:

[email protected]

S.pam emails were repeatedly sent from the following address:
[email protected]

Your LinkedIn profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pxxxxxkjacksonkps/

Comments

  • Make sure you choose the privacy option when registering your domain.

  • +4

    Highlight message. Right click 'Junk' - 'Block sender'.

    or, just give Patrick a call?

    • They're already going to junk. Especially Patrick. His seems to be a (mostly) legit operation too.

  • +1

    Username checks out? lol

  • +3

    I’m not sure if a business with a gmail address would care about a desist email

  • Zero chance the spammer is reading your email.

  • +8

    I've had success by shaming them on Google and Facebook reviews by giving them 1 star. Considering most of the smaller businesses have only a few reviews, it affects them more so than larger businesses.

    A call to their listed business number with your request might also work.

  • +2

    I have obscured the email address, name and links to protect the guilty.

    You did a terrible job at obscuring his identity. In case you're interested, here's his Twitter profile. Maybe send him a message about the spam you're receiving.

    https://twitter.com/partic

    The other possibility is it's not him doing it, but a spammer using his identity. Happens all the time. Do the links in the spam messages go to his company website? If not, then it's not him sending the spam.

    • +1

      I think it's the Master-spam-baiter himself :) He seems all about web pages and joomla and stuff.

      • Err, maybe not :)

        • Honestly it should have been obvious it wasn't him. Spammers using Gmail accounts is common. And spammers using identities and emails belonging to other people is also common.

          Never reply to, or click "unsubscribe" in an email, unless you recognise the email as legitimate and something you signed up to in the past. Otherwise you are only helping spammers compile lists of quality recipients. A quality recipient is someone who reads an email even though they don't recognise the sender. Because you replied, expect more spam from different sources in future since your email address is now on the "likely to read junk" list.

      • +2

        well spam to businesses is not allowed, but if your business email address is published on your website or in a directory then anyone who sees it (or scrapes it, or buys it from someone who scraped it) can infer that you have given consent to be contacted about business. all the rules of the spam act still apply so if you ask to be removed and they don't they are in violation.

    • +1

      Spam to businesses is not allowed, in order to send an email selling a product or service there must be a prior relationship or proof of knowing who you are sending an email too. If your business email is public listed and they are providing a service your business could use that is inferred consent, however that does not permit bombarding your email box.

      If you are providing a service or a product the business you are emailing must be a business hat would you your product eg. a baker and you are selling medical equipment would be regarded as spam.

      https://www.acma.gov.au/avoid-sending-spam

      Avoid sending spam
      If you send or have someone else send out your marketing emails or messages, you need to know about spam laws.

      The Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations set out your responsibilities under Australian law.

      On this page
      How to comply
      Get permission
      Identify yourself as the sender
      Make it easy to unsubscribe
      Other actions that may break the spam rules
      Ask for or provide information
      How to comply
      If you plan to send marketing messages or emails, you must first have permission from the person who will receive them.

      Even if someone else is sending out your marketing messages for you, you must still have permission from each person who will receive your messages.

      After you get permission, you must ensure your message:

      identifies you as the sender
      contains your contact details
      makes it easy to unsubscribe
      Get permission
      There are two types of permission:

      express
      inferred
      Express permission
      A person who gives express permission knows and accepts that they will receive marketing emails or messages from you.

      People can give express permission by one of the following:

      filling in a form
      ticking a box on a website
      over the phone
      face to face
      You cannot send an electronic message to ask for permission, because this is a marketing message.

      Keep a record when a person gives express permission, including who gave the permission and how.

      Under the Act, it's up to you to prove that you got a person's permission.

      Inferred permission
      You may infer that you have permission to send marketing messages if the recipient has knowingly and directly given their address and it is reasonable to believe they would expect to receive marketing from your business.

      This is usually when a person has a provable, ongoing relationship with your business, and the marketing is directly related to that relationship.

      For example, if someone has subscribed to a service, has an account or is a member, and the marketing is relevant to the relationship.

      It does not cover sending messages after someone has just bought something from your business.

      Use of contact-tracing information
      Is your business keeping customer records for COVID contact-tracing?

      Remember that any phone numbers and email addresses you get for this reason cannot be used for marketing. You may face serious penalties for misusing this information.

      Know your responsibilities for email lists
      Take care when you buy or use a marketing list.

      You are still responsible for making sure you have permission for any addresses you use.

      Identify yourself as the sender
      In your message, you must:

      accurately identify your name or business name
      include correct contact details for you or your business
      If someone else sends messages on your behalf, the message must still identify you as the business that authorised the message. Use the correct legal name of your business, or your name and Australian Business Number (ABN).

      This information must remain correct for at least 30 days after you send the message.

      Make it easy to unsubscribe
      You need to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your electronic mailing lists.

      Under the Spam Act, every commercial message must contain an 'unsubscribe' option that:

      presents unsubscribe instructions clearly
      honours a request to unsubscribe within 5 working days
      does not require the payment of a fee
      does not cost more than the usual amount for using the address (such as a standard text charge)
      is functional for at least 30 days after you sent the message
      You cannot force people to give extra personal information or make them create or log into an account to unsubscribe from marketing messages.

      Unsubscribe examples that are clearly worded
      Email:

      To stop receiving messages from us, simply reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

      If you no longer wish to receive these messages, please click the 'unsubscribe' button below.

      SMS:

      Reply STOP

      Unsub: (1800-number)

      Other actions that may break the spam rules
      Under the Spam Act, you cannot:

      use or supply a list that has been created with address-harvesting software
      use or supply address-harvesting software
      It is also against the spam rules to:

      help, guide or work with another person to break the spam rules
      encourage another person to break the spam rules
      be directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned with breaking the spam rules
      Ask for or provide information
      If you or someone else breaks the spam rules, you can tell us.

      If you do break the spam rules, telling us may help to fix the issue quickly. We review all cases individually, but it may be resolved without further action.

      We value all information because it helps identify trends and spot serious or ongoing issues.

      Contact us

  • Pick up the phone and call him? Pretty simple.

  • +1

    Give them a negative review, maybe give them a call and tell them what you think, or the most effective option is to report them to the email service and they will probably remove them as unsolicited marketing email is generally not allowed with email providers, but with Gmail they probably wouldn’t care

    • Yeah, I wonder why Google doesn't care. That's probably why all of them are coming from Gmail accounts. Of course they won't use email from their own domain and blacklist themselves, they just keep creating new Gmail accounts to spam people with.

  • +2
    • Thanks, didn't know there was an actual reporting page for Gmail users !

  • I got another one today that begins with "Please accept my apologies for sending this email without your permission. We are an Australian-based digital marketing firm with a strong hold on providing SEO services to small to mid-size businesses in the Australia."

    • In your opinion, was it sincere?

      Agree 100% that continuing to send stuff after you ask them to stop is rude to put it nicely.

  • Spam Assassin. You won't even see it in your junk mail.

  • +2

    Thanks to yet another round of colleague pointing out my accidental infamy once more.

    • The spammer has repeatedly been using my identity now for over two months.
    • The are trying to trade on my reputation, which is unfortunate both for anyone falling to their
    • I've again today lodged a report with Google, this time via the link @deme has provided. Thx.

    @Techfixes, actually, a 100% legit operation. No one has reached out on my correctly identified twitter, nor left me a message on linkedin. Though that is my Linkedin address you've obscured, it's not typically been appearing in any of the spam examples I've seen forwarded back to me from clients.

    As I work with clients often to point out
    - NAP - Name, address, phone number are critical - spammers don't seem to grasp that concept
    - Those getting a legitimate email from me will always find it comes from my domain - why businesses still rely on free email services astounds me.
    - You'll also find my legitimate email signature contains almost a dozen ways to get in touch with me.

    @hsp a negative review to an incorrectly identified business I don't think is the way to go.

    In this case, having people point it out as happening again is helping to once more look to tidy it up.

    It's all certainly not been creating any business for me - which tells me what I've already known for years. Cold call EDM traffic is only useful for lining the virtual kitty litter trays.

    • Thank you for the clarification. I am glad you are not the evil spammer I had incorrectly though you were. Would you like me to arrange to have this post deleted?

      • +1

        Happy to leave it here for those looking for tips on dealing with spammers.

        • If anyone is looking for the IP to block by adding to their firewall, all the spam (63 versions of the email were alone sent to my customers on my server in the past week) it's 107.150.43.29 - Using https://www.home.neustar/resources/tools/ip-geolocation-look... I found the ISP and location - I've lodged a complaint with that ISP also in addition to Google.

        • Requests to be delisted from the sender's address may be pointless. I've not yet tested if the gmail account currently exists, but if it does, Google I hope will be removing that shortly.

        Now off to help a client with an issue where they've started dialog with a giftcard scammer using the same name as someone else in the company.

  • I have an email rule set up in outlook:

    Apply to message with "'.online' or '.biz'" in the sender's address forward it to "[email protected]" and permanently delete it and stop processing more rules

    This means i never see them and they are reported to ACMA

    • I can't help thinking that forwarding to that address might not be much use unless it was forwarded with full email headers …

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