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Did you opt-in to have your email address sold on eBay?
Everyone knows eBay is the biggest auction site on the web.
But did you know there's a good chance your email address is being bought and sold there?
Try heading over to eBay and searching for "email list" or "bulk email." Up comes a list of "opt-in" email addresses and computer programs to send spam.
One product claims to be able to send 50 million emails in the course of a night to their list of double-opt-in subscribers. My question is, who exactly opts-in to have their email address sold on eBay?
Further, I'm skeptical if a single computer could ever send that many message in a single night. I suspect either the seller is lying, or perhaps worse the product is designed to connect to a botnet of thousands of hacked computers that actually send the email.
Since there are no physical goods involved, the products most likely yield a near 100% profit. This is a sweet deal for the seller.
While many spammers create and maintain their own lists, others acquire lists like these. These mega-lists making the rounds help explain why some accounts get radically more unwanted email than others. Once you're on one or more of the major lists, you're going to get some serious spam.
Of course, a search for "spam" only results in people selling spam protection. No one ever sends spam. Spam is what the other guys does.
I understand that eBay is just acting as a market place, and am not necessarily suggesting they should delete such listings. However, this somehow feels a lot like peddling stolen goods.