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Take Me off Your Mailing List

The Deceptive Opt-Out Link

Never click the “I don’t want any more mail from this sender,” link in a letter unless the letter is from a group you actually signed up with in the first place, such as a mailing list. That’s just there to confirm that they’ve got a real email address.

One way the unscrupulous have of getting addresses is just to generate millions of possible addresses: anne1@bigisp.com, anne2@bigisp.com, anne3@bigisp.com and so on and send letters to all of them.

Most of those letters get no response; usually the address doesn’t exist, and most actual recipients delete the letter without opening it. Where the person has clicked the “I don’t want any more mail from this sender,” link, though, their address is put into a database of real addresses (because that click proved that they are real).

Of course, sometimes just opening a spam email can confirm your address—so be sure that that Preview Window is not being used.

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you. My email address is here.

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