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Thursday, 6 March 2008

StampOffers.com - Spam or Joe Job?

There's a whole bunch of spam doing the rounds as follows:

Subject: Sell for FREE Forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From: stampoffers@yahoo.com
Date: Thu, March 6, 2008 3:21 pm

The idea for StampOffers.com developed in the summer of 2002.
It all started with the creation of a chat board outside of eBay that would allow fellow philatelist the ability to talk about anything without being criticized for not maintaining a strictly philatelic conversation. Those who have made a non-philatelic post to the eBay stamp chat board know what it is like. There was a discovery on this new chat board that collectors would like to buy, sell, and trade among those who visited the chat and a few of the frequent users asked about someone starting an auction site just for stamp collectors. In January of 2003, StampOffers.com was launched!

There was much back and forth about whether StampOffers.com would be able to draw enough users and continue a steady growth and it was decided that the only way to do this was to operate with one philosophy – provide a viable alternative on the world wide web in which collectors from around the world could buy, sell, and trade stamps in an effort to further the hobby. Oh yeah…..and do it for FREE!!

To this day, StampOffers.com provides a site that allows sellers to enter a basic listing with NO INSERTION FEE and NO FINAL VALUE FEE. So how does StampOffers.com continue to operate without collecting fees? Well, let’s just say it is a combination of fellow collectors who are very appreciative of StampOffers.com’s existence combined with StampOffers.com’s desire to contribute to the hobby of philately!

Therefore, go ahead and use the site as much as you wish! The only real favor that is asked is that you pass the word about StampOffers.com. Tell your customers, your fellow collectors, your stamp club friends, your local stamp dealer, and anyone else whom you believe would be as appreciative of the site as those who are using it today.

Thank you,

StampOffers.com - The World Is Finding Us!

Join Now

James Munch

You are receiving this mailing because you agreed to be a part of our opt in mailing list.
As you would expect, no such "opt in" authorisation has been given.

There are a couple of things that are odd about the spam - first of all it seems quite unlikely that a philately site would send out this type of email, the mail is sent out repeatedly to the same address (in an apparent attempt to annoy the recipient), and it has been aimed at a spamcop.net account which perhaps indicates that "reverse listwashing" is taking place to ensure that the mail does get reported as spam.

These are all classic indications of a Joe Job - a fake spam message sent by a third party in order to cause trouble, presumably in an attempt to shut StampOffers.com down. Joe Jobs can be hard to spot, but this certainly seems to tick all the boxes.

As of 6th March 2008, the emails are being sent from a server at through a PHP script which fingers as the possible sending IP. This latter email address is interesting because it belongs to an Autosurf scheme called autosurfunion.com - interestingly the same server has been used for this other apparent stamp related Job Job, presumably the autosurf server is being used as a proxy.

The line in the header to look for is:
X-PHP-Script: for is operated by Globalcon.net (contact email appears to be reyner -at- globalcon.net), so try sending any abuse reports their way. Also the server with the insecure redirector should be reported to abuse -at- greenolivetree.net or perhaps via their web form.

Incidentally, this is what StampOffers.com has to say on the subject:

24 February 2008 - SPAM EMAILS

This is a special announcement about a rash of SPAM emails going out.

First, let me apologize for this occurring. StampOffers.com does NOT send out SPAM emails!! The only emails that are sent are to those who are members of StampOffers.com.

Recently, there was an individual who gained access to the site as a bidder and placed a number of fake/fradulent bids. This user created 3 different ID's and attempted to wreak havoc with each one. It appears we have finally been able to block this person from accessing the site and thus has turned to another form of cowardly entertainment.

These emails ARE NOT coming from StampOffers.com, our host, nor any server that our host runs. Our host is working with me to file the proper complaints as seen below:

I am trying everything I can to stop this and apologize to everyone. I would like to ask your assistance. When receiving these emails, contact the ISP you find in the header and point them to this board.

I am a private individual who has been running this site for 5 years. I have no interest in making money (I provide the site for FREE for everyone to use) and definitely have no desire to send out SPAM emails.

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to use the contact button below and let me know.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

James C. Munch
I tend to concur with StampOffers.com - there are lots of signs to indicate that this is a Joe Job attack, so if you receive on, please analyse the headers carefully and report to the correct service provider.

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