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Legitimate versus Spammers

. . . They are always looking for a remote landmass that nobody will challenge their ownership of. Perhaps next they will claim ownership to the lost continent of Atlantis . . .

 

The best way to get an idea for the insidious nature of Spam is to compare the average Spam-touted product with the products of a legitimate company. We can list the characteristics of a legitimate E-Commerce business here. The legitimate E-Commerce business has:

A well-known and recognised company name.

A well-known and definable product.

A real physical presence with a real street address.

Real telephone numbers, E-Mail addresses, and web sites.

Ready access to sales, investor relations, management, and support functions.

Products can be ordered on-line, via legitimate credit card processing, often with electronic delivery of the product.

So, with those criteria in mind, let us compare what we believe is a legitimate enterprise, namely, Victoria's Secret, with a well-known Spam Haus, namely, Westport Publishing.

CHARACTERISTIC LEGITIMATE SPAMHAUS
Company Name Victoria's Secret Westport Publishing
Well-Known Recognised Company

Victoria's Secret are recognised world-wide.

Who are Westport Publishing?

Well-Known Definable Product

Lingerie and Swimwear are well understood.

Just a bunch of “reports” on subjects like “Miracle Hunza Diet Bread”.

Real Physical Presence and Real Street Address

Yes—they provide their physical location with an address, and they provide a variety of telephone and E-Mail mechanisms by which to contact them.

No—just a post office box in upstate New York. But see the end of this page for an update.

Real Telephone Numbers, E-Mail Addresses, and Web Sites

Yes—Victoria's Secret has one of the best known web sites. They have telephone numbers, including toll-free numbers, and they have E-Mail contact addresses.

No known telephone number, no telephone listing, no valid E-Mail address, and no web site. The local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce have never heard of them. They move to a new ISP every few months as they get kicked off of the current one.

Ready Access to Sales, Investor Relations, Management, and Support Functions

Yes—they maintain contact numbers and E-Mail addresses for all of these functions. You can order product via toll-free number if you do not wish to order on-line.

None of the above—this is what the French mean when they describe companies as S. A., or Societie Anonymie (Society of the Anonymous).

Products can be ordered on-line, via legitimate credit card processing, often with electronic delivery of the product

Yes—you can order on-line. You receive confirmation of your order via E-Mail. Delivery of the product is via postal mail or other courier service—even the most diaphanous lingerie is still too material for electronic delivery.

No—you are expected to write a cheque payable to Westport Publishing, and send it to their post office box. They have no on-line credit card processing capabilities*, and in fact provide no other contact other than a post office box. No delivery method is specified, if, in fact anything ever gets delivered at all.

An Amusing Update on Westport Publishing

As of May 2002, Westport Publishing have gone to E-Commerce! Yes, now the Spam from Westport Publishing comes courtesy of Hanaro Telecom, Seoul, Korea. The web site referred to in the Spam is now known as Great Net Nutrition, and is hosted by Star Wars PC, Seoul, Korea. Imagine that! A “business” located in Quebec province of Canada having to cross the planet to send E-Mail and host a web site in Korea! Must be a reason for this mis-direction, yes?

And, Finally, Why Should You Pay Westport Publishing $20 for a Recipe That's Freely Available on the Internet?

If you care to perform a search on the web for Hunza Diet Bread, you will obtain hundreds of web pages providing the recipe free of charge. So why bother going to all the trouble of paying a bunch of Spammers $20 for a recipe that probably doesn't work anyway?

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Page Updated 2011 December 10