Sometimes I hate the way the Internet is so de-centralized and de-regulated…I understand those are the very reasons why it has grown to be such a great tool today, but sometimes the very things that make it so wonderful are the things that make it SUCK. For the past four months or so, a spammer (or series of spammers) has been using jasondunn.com as the reply-to domain for their email spam. The problem is that I have an all-domain email forward active, meaning that if someone sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or anything else @jasondunn.com) I’ll get it in my Inbox. Normally this is a good thing, because it allows me to make up email aliases on the fly – meaning when I register for something at a Web site I can create a unique email address linked to that site (Amazon.com, Napster, etc.) Then, if I ever get spam to that unique email address that only that one site had access to, I’ll know they sold my email address and can simply set up a server-side block on that exact address. This is the way I’ve done my email for years, and it works really nicely.
Unfortunately, the one weakness is the scenario I find myself in: some piece of crap spammer is sending out umpteen thousands of email messages, and using random @jasondunn.com email addresses as the reply-to addresses. Every day I get 50 to 100 email messages that are bounces from email addresses that the spammer sent email to that no longer work, error messages from email accounts that are full, bounces from spam gateways telling me their blocking “my” spam, and even now and then an angry email from a real person who wants me to “remove them from my list”.