Hall Of Fame
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.
Click Here For The Entire StoryScelson 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.