A couple of days ago, I received a spam message at one of the email addresses that I use for some of my domains’s WHOIS records. I ignored it, knowing immediately that it was spam or unsolicited mail.
Indeed, it was spam, but judging from the flurry of email activity that followed the spam message, it was a cleverly contrived spam.
A few minutes after I received the spam, I received another email, this time from a Chinese guy who wrote “I don’t understand” in Chinese. It was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, CC: email@example.com. It was followed by 20-30 more email messages from people on the list, mostly with cursing and threatening (like it would scare our friend Alex).
What really is happening
Since there were no other visible recipients in the email from the Chinese guy, except firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, and it was unlikely that the Chinese guy would know my email address, I figured that either or both of these email addresses are set up as mailing lists, which automatically forward any message they receive to the email addresses on the list.
It looks like this Alex Shafts guy (or whatever his real name is) set up the mailing lists to forward email messages to hundreds, possibly even thousands, of email addresses. Since the email address at which I am receiving these messages is one of the email addresses that I use for my domain names’s WHOIS records, I figured Alex the Clown scraped the email addresses from WHOIS records.
Why are people are still replying?
Until now, people on the list are still replying to the mailing lists, begging to stop the spam. In return, others are responding that they are not the ones sending spam. One guy even CCd a couple of co-workers (who weren’t on the list) and asked if their company was involved in a domain deal. This unintentional spamming will go on for days, I think, until people realize what’s happening.
What you can do
If you’re also receiving these spam mails, here are a few things that I suggest you can do:
- Please help stop the spam cycle by not replying to any of these email messages.
- Set up an email filter rule that junks or permanently deletes any message that contains “worldswidedomainname.com” or other keywords that you have seen in the spam messages.
- Alternatively, close the email account at which you’re receiving the spam messages. If you’re using that email address for your WHOIS records, remember to update your WHOIS records with your new email address.
- Spread the word to other affected domainers that replying will perpetuate the spam/scam cycle.
What does Alex Shaft get from this?
I’m not entirely sure, but a lawsuit will probably be one of them. Maybe Alex just wants to make a name in the domaining industry. Maybe it gets him off, knowing that he’s annoying a lot of people. I really don’t know. If and when I do, I’ll tell you. Promise.