Terms: What is SPAM?
- SPAM is sending out many copies of the same unsolicited email (or Usenet) messages, usually for commercial advertising purposes, to persons who have had no prior dealings or relationships with the sender or company he/she represents. It is also called UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail) and "flooding". The root of the term "spam" came from an old Monty Python song, SPAM, where the "the" word is repeated over and over again ("Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam...) - which is what electronic SPAM does: it sends out the same message over and over again to many recipients, usually using one or more lists.
- A SPAMMER is someone who sends out SPAM. If a spammer has your name on a list, you will often get many messages from him/her over a period of time, though none may show the same "address" in the "From:" field of the message since many spammers forge the FROM information to confuse the trail as to who actually sent out the information. Furthermore, if you are on a spammer's list, he/she may share that list with other spammers, which will add to your problems.
- The term SPAMMING is the act of sending SPAM.
- Classic commercial spam may include come-ons such as "Make Money Fast!" or "Extra Holiday Cash!" or "Mass Email Works!".
- All you have to do is send them a few dollars and they will share the secret of how to make easy money! Often, that secret is how to sell the secret to other people. It's a variation of the classic pyramid scheme: A multi-level marketing "program" built around people giving other people money in exchange for no real product other than the "secret" of how to make money by getting other people to give you money for the secret of.......
They will also include impressive statements about how it's a fully "legal" program and make false authority claim like:
- "I EVEN CHECKED WITH THE U.S. POST OFFICE TO VERIFY THAT THE PLAN WAS LEGAL. IT DEFINITELY IS! (Refer to Title 18, Sections 1302 and 1341 or Title 39, Section 3005 in the U.S. Code, also Code of Federal Regs. vol. 16, Sections 255 & 436)"
- (The very statutes which declares what they are doing is ILLEGAL in most cases!)
NOTE: E-Mail about suspicious claims, pyramid schemes, or suspected fraud that you received via e-mail should be directed to The Federal Trade Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The information on this page, in whole or in part, was developed by the University of Oklahoma Police Department (OUPD). They have generously allowed our department to use this information.