Getting pissed off by email spam? There is a little-known tool that will let you fight back. It’s called Spamnesty. And it’s spelled: spa.mnesty.com. So here’s how it works. If you get a spam email, simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and Spamnesty will strip your email address, pretend it’s a real person and reply to the email. Just remember to strip out any personal information from the body of the email, as it will be used so the reply looks more legitimate. That way, the spammer will start talking to a bot, and hopefully waste some time there instead of spending it on a real victim. Meanwhile, Spamnesty will send you an email with a link to the conversation, so you can watch it unfold live!
So, first off, you have now tied up the spammers’ attention and resources with these bot-mails sent by Spamnesty. But even better, you’ll be entertained by the he live-posted conversations. You’ll get to watch how a spammer switches from their own bot to giving an unwitting human response back to a bot. According to the developer, Stavros Korokithakis, most spammers give up “after around 3-5 messages, but some have sent up to 15 messages before giving up in frustration.” It’s sort of an email version of when a telemarketer calls you and you say “sure just a sec”, then put the phone down on the desk and then walk away. Only this is easier, faster and more entertaining, to wit:
One note of caution, though. By the site’s own admission, the service is fairly rudimentary and buggy. This is a free service, so the creators probably don’t have the resources to create a polished revenge-bot. But it may be worth a try.