Almost all e-mail users at unwillingly receive e-mails that offer discounted pharmaceuticals, such as Viagra, Cialis and even Oxycontin. During this discourse of e-mail, people often are quick to delete or use their Report Spam e-mail client feature. But many wonder why they receive it? Let’s find out.
ZDNet performed a decent investigation and has some shocking numbers on the profitability of slanging discounted pills into people’s mailboxes. With a little bit of effort like using proxies, botnets, and some effort in anonymize one’s tracks; these spammers get away with it on our expense — our inbox.
Before I go into the details I want to preface a few points:
- Without a buyer, there wouldn’t be a seller.
- I blame pharmaceutical spam on ignorant, benighted and greedy consumers who delude themselves into “getting a good deal” when they are actually getting hustled.
- Every sale a spammer makes funds at least 100,000 more e-mails to be blasted into our Inbox, unwillingly.
- I also lay responsibility into enabling this digital crime (or dare I say, “entrepreneurship”) on countries that we naturally shitlisted: China, Russia, India, Pakistan, etc. That is, the countries who don’t take appropriate action to inhibit the use of botnets, rootkits, malware, or even enforce laws surrounding computer crime.
- Over 90% of Spam we see, is a result from third-world countries exploiting the cliché of “opportunity” on the Internet.
- A shocking ~30% of Internet users have purchased items which were advertised in spam messages.
All spam on the Web is driven by a business practice known as affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing by itself is not the culprit, it’s the overzealous and greedy participants who want to earn wealthy commissions on making sales. A more legitimate variant of this practice is network marketing, akin to how Avon works, luckily it doesn’t necessarily result in Spam in our e-mail.
Spammers earn a commission on every sale, which provides them the financial support and is the very poision which sells out their morals. They all fight and clobber their way to “earn” that six or seven figure income. Being a spammer is very risky — often resulting in felonies, restitution and a permanent record which will limit you from getting any “real” job in the future.
Affiliate spam marketing is relatively easy to detect — typically any offer which is “too good to be true,” such as get-rich-quick schemes, anything stating you’ll earn “six figures” from the Internet or anything else that makes most sensible people question the legitimacy of offers on the Web. Stay far away from cheap watches, handbags, medicine, software and penny stocks — these are, in some fashion, affiliate spam marketing.
After a purchase is made at online pharmacies, the sale is not over, it’s just begun. Buyers are often bombarded with more offers, and their e-mail address is shared with peer marketers who blast even more Spam. (It’s reasonable to assume, if someone bought from spam, they will buy again.) So, let’s say you purchased some enlarging pills, it’s assumed you’ll want to buy pheromones, pumps, and even porn.
Every sale is a hustle. Never buy items from e-mail, especially if it’s for discounted pharmaceuticals. Learn the inside scoop on the affiliate spam business and observe how you can avoid being hustled in the future on ZDNet.