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Hall Of Fame
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Scelson, a night owl by nature, arrived at the cinder-block shop only about an hour earlier. In the backroom, he nods toward two floor-to-ceiling racks of computer equipment - part of a system he uses to blast out e-mail advertising for Rolex watches, herbal supplements, insurance policies and more.

"With e-mail, I can guarantee you 80 million people," says Scelson, a self-taught computer repairman turned professional bulk e-mailer. "I can touch more people in a day's time than the Super Bowl can."

Ronnie Scelson - and scores of spammers like him - are the people who stuff the nation's computer in-boxes with junk e-mail.
Scelson won't say precisely how much money he's made from bulk e-mailing, but he claims it's lucrative. Enough to support a five-bedroom house in Slidell, complete with a game room, a home office and an in-ground pool. Enough, too, for the canary-yellow 2001 Corvette he drives.

Not bad for a guy who says he only made it through the eighth grade and worked his way out of a trailer park by teaching himself about computers.
Scelson says he dabbled in electronics repair as a teen and even owned a cheap early-model computer. But it wasn't until he married and settled in a Slidell trailer park that he began studying how computers work.

Soon, Scelson got jobs in computer repair shops, including one that sent bulk e-mail on the side. Scelson says he found himself fascinated by the technical challenge both of sending junk e-mail and of evading the filters aimed at blocking it.
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New Texan
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11,465 Posts
:soapbox:
SPAM is the number ONE support headache at the ISP that I work at. We are about to launch a new SPAM marking service called SpamAssassin (www.spamassassin.org) simply because the amount of SPAM is overwhelming, and makes e-mail almost worthless as a form of communication. Lord knows how many times I've been screamed at in my ear because of the X-rated spam.
 

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Banned
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11,498 Posts
I never got any spam untill my mom started using the internet, every website that asks for an email address she gives it to them. Whenever I see something that needs an email address, I use [email protected]. I've sent up filters in Outlook Express and Earthlink does a pretty good job at killing spam before in gets to my inbox. I tried an antispam program from Network Associates (the Mcafee people) called SpamKiller, it was alright nothing great, just a souped up version of the filters in Outlook Express
 
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