How to Find Out Who is Spamming You
September 28, 2006
Have you ever wondered how you get spam? Now you can find out where it comes from. The first step is to get a free Gmail account.
Gmail was in beta for two years and it was a major status symbol to have a Gmail account because you could only be invited to get one.
Now that it is out of beta, anyone can get a free account.
Gmail has an interesting quirk in which you can add a plus sign (+), followed by any additional text, after your Gmail address, and it'll still get to your inbox.
This feature is called plus-addressing, and it essentially gives you an unlimited number of e-mail addresses to play with. The really cool feature is that all these new addresses you make up on the fly come to the SAME inbox. The major difference: You can see which plus-address it was sent to, and therefore know where the e-mail came from.
The easiest way to do this would be to use the name of the company or service you were signing up at. Say your address was John@Gmail.com and you were signing up at Monsanto. You would simply sign up as John+Monsanto@gmail.com and it would still come to your inbox.
The difference: If you started receiving e-mails to that address from companies other than Monsanto, you'd know Monsanto sold your address and was spamming you.
The beautiful thing about this system: You could put a filter on those plus-addresses so all of them would go into your spam folder and you would never have to see them again.