Have you ever wondered why your spam emails keep on increasing although you regularly click the ‘remove me’ links in spam you receive?
When an email is sent out by spammers to your email address, they do not really have any idea if it is valid or not. Your email address could just have been harvested from sites all over the internet where you signed in public message boards with your real email address, included in a list sold by a mailing list organization, stolen from unprotected computers using a virus where your email address is in other users’ address books, grabbed from a chain-letter type email with bulk email addresses, etc. Spammers do not really know which of the millions of addresses on their lists are real or fictitious, and which are active or inactive. They send their messages using a scatter-gun approach trying to play lucky and hoping to hit the jackpot.
Then, you send the spammer a ‘remove me’ message. How delighted must the spammer be, receiving your ‘remove me’ request.
Now he knows your address is real. And that’s what he has been waiting for. You’ve just rewarded the spammer for his illicit activity.
By sending back a ‘remove me’, ‘unsubscribe’, or ‘opt-out’ request, you are confirming to the spammer that your address is valid and live, you are confirming that your ISP doesn’t use spam filters, and you are confirming that you actually open and read spams.
To the spammer’s eyes, you are a sucker, the perfect candidate for more spam. And you have just become the darling of spammers. A live and valid email address sells at a premium as a “confirmed deliverable” address to other spammers.
You don’t want to end up on endless spammers’ lists? Then, do not (repeat, do not) confirm to the spammer that your address is real and working. Do not send ‘remove me’ requests to spammers.