Spam, Phishing and Unsolicited Emails

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As a result of Ebay's amazing success, opportunists and fraudsters try to capitalize. Members new to ebay need to be cautious when receiving emails that sometimes purport to be ebay. These can come in a number of guises and look very much like the genuine article from ebay, but in fact they are fraudulent emails intent on acquiring your personal details. The emails normally state that you need to verify your account, or your account has been suspended or even claiming to be with reference to a purchase you have supposedly made for an item. Please avoid replying to any and notify the ebay team. In the event of any action from ebay you will be notified through your ebay account on-line and regarding sensitive matters of importance, ebay normally attach a flag alert to the message.

Another problem ebayers experience is a glut of unsolicited emails, many are offensive and explicit. This can happen again as a result of software scanning ebay activity to find new ebay users and emails. Whilst many States around the globe are endeavouring to try and come to terms with some form of legislation to counter the on-line phenomena. Many existing Laws can serve you well in these incidents of obscene and unsolicited email content. Under English and Welsh  Law you have the Obscenities Act and the Theft Act. These Laws can be effective to address the problem of unsolicited and obscene emails.

As an example, I recently contacted our Search Engine Partner over Geocities spam mail. The Search Engine provider being the owner of this service. Obscene material comes under the banner of the Obscenities Act and as a result you do have some redress with the Broadcaster of Publisher of the service, especially if they offer a terms of service and privacy policy. In relation to the constant bombardment of unsolicited email from an organization or publisher you do also have some redress here under the Laws of theft in relation to your broadband being used and therefore taking up your bandwidth allocation that you pay for from a service provider. You are well within your right to contact the authorities and the publisher or broadcaster that hosts these services and point out the theft and usage of your bandwidth. You are also well within your right to document your time, record the spam mail from the publisher's service and to send them a bill to recover your bandwidth usage from this unsolicited mail.

At the end of the day, there is always a will and a way to address these problems. A recent challenge I made has seen the demise of Geocities spam mail and I take my hat off to the Publication owner. Collectively, the more we challenge these issues and trace down the broadcasters that host the services, the more chance of greater security and a more enjoyable Internet experience to be had by all.

A code of ethics currently is being murmured, but at the end of the day, any broadcaster or publisher that has any regard to the future of the World Wide Web and users will already be addressing these issues and have a code of conduct and ethics already in place.
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