Jay Maynard (jmaynard) wrote,
Jay Maynard
jmaynard

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Spoke to a spammer

...or, if you believe him, an ex-spammer.

I got a call yesterday afternoon from someone wanting to sell me a mortgage. Back in October and November, I made a practice of replying to mortgage spams so they'd call me. Mortgage brokers pay good money - $20 or so - for each lead they get. The guy who called me wasn't pleased that I was deliberately baiting spammers. (Of course, I don't care what he thinks about that.) He did, however, eventually tell me where he got the lead: Mortgage Leads Network, run by Ted Schmidt.

Schmidt was, in the past, a fairly notorious spammer. He claims to have reformed. Many denizens of the news.admin.net-abuse.email newsgroup disagree. He posted a reply to my message asking that I call him, and saying he'd "take action" against the affiliate if it turned out to be related to spam.

I called him this morning, and we talked about the situation. His database claims that the lead came from smoothpath.com, which in turn claims I opted in by visiting their site on 14 January. I did no such thing. He said that that was enough for him, and he'd take action. We'll see.
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