We hear that the world is changing all the time, and yet often we don’t see any significant shifts taking place. Well let me tell you about one that rocked my world for a day or two. It happened to us at TomorrowToday.biz, and it can easily happen to you.

About a week ago some fool (perhaps there were many of them) sent out an e-mail to at least 6000 people, (we’ll tell you how we know that a little later on) advertising a ‘get rich quick’ scheme that was so easy, apparently, that only an idiot couldn’t make it work. We discovered they sent out 3 different types of e-mail with subjects like:
“First 11 days I Earned $2136.00
“I really made a $1,000 in less then 30 days with this!!
“Can you see the Money Fountain?
In the bulk of the e-mail they asked all those interested to click forward to a web site that would fill them in on the necessary information.
At this point it doesn’t seem like a very big deal, especially anything that might ‘rock our world’. After all, this type of spam (junk email) clutters your Inbox everyday. Consider however the people who didn’t want to receive that e-mail, especially in the USA where it’s not legal to send unsolicited e-mail to people. When I get spam I reply asking the sender to remove me from their list. And this is where it gets interesting‌.
The return e-mail address they put in their e-mail was an address on our domain. In other words, they pretended to be us, and used a return address that looks like one of our email addresses. So every irritated and frustrated person who received their annoying e-mail sent a reply to us telling us to remove them from our database. And any email addresses that ‚bounced back‛, didn’t go back to them � it came back to us. That’s how we know that at least 6000 people got their mail, because we heard from hundreds of them (at the time of writing this) that wanted us to know that we were disgusting internet creeps abusing and misusing the system, blocking up servers and wasting their time, and had thousands of returned emails. Except we had nothing to do with it.
We’ve consulted with the experts and discovered the following:
“What they did is easy to do if you know how. You could send out e-mails to the world and make it look like it came from the Pope if you had his e-mail address.
“It happens all the time to companies such as Fortune, Time and BBC.
“They could track down the SMTP server (the computer that sent out the mail) and then ask the administrator of that server (the person who looks after it) to investigate who sent it.
“We could then take legal action against some fool in the USA at huge expense to ourselves.
Translation‌ there’s nothing you can do to stop them, and there’s little you can do to punish them, and punish them we want to do. Notwithstanding the junk mail absolutely flooding into OUR inboxes, our company’s reputation has been linked to a spam mail and a dubious get-rich-quick scheme, and our domain name (tomorrowtoday.biz) has probably been blocked from sending any emails (including our legitimate ones) to many potential clients and partners.
This leaves us in a difficult position, in that we have a database of some 18 000 e-mail addresses whose owners have requested this letter you’re reading. If our database and their database have any duplicates, we now have clients who think we’re mud eating internet spam scum of the earth.
Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve learned in the last few days‌
“In cyberspace you can be anyone you want to be, even me – but we’ve always had people who impersonate other people, it’s just a little easier now.
“Spam (junk e-mail) is a part of your everyday e-mail experience – but we’ve always had junk post in our post box we never wanted, we can just expect a little more now.
“Just because its on the Internet or comes in an impressive looking email, doesn’t mean its true � but we should have known that you can’t believe everything you read.
“You can’t assume that just because it says it’s from someone, that it really is – so don’t be nasty when you reply asking them to remove you from the database, and enquire where they got your email from.
“If you keep a database of people to whom you send information, you need to make sure they know you’re not mud eating spam sending scum, so that if ever anything like this ever happens to you, they know better.
The world really is a funny old place, isn’t it?
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