Spim = Instant Message Spam

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Doctor Q, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    Los Angeles
    #1
    spim is a name for unwanted unsoliticed ads that are sent to you as instant messages.

    The problem isn't even close to being as big a problem as e-mail spam, but it is growing. One report estimated that there were 250,000,000 spims in 2002 and 500,000,000 (double) in 2003.

    You can't get spim if you don't allow messages from non-buddies, but many people have their IM client set to talk to anyone, and spammers are now collecting IM handles just as they collect e-mail addresses off the Internet.

    Just as with spam, people who never got a spim before are likely to mistake one for a message from a real person and click a link that's in the message, which tells the spammers that they got a hit and maybe a sale.

    Has anyone gotten a spim yet?
     
  2. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #2
    i used to get them all the time but that was when i was using an AIM SN that i had when i was on AOL. AOL decided that they wouldn't let me use the SN since we had cancelled our aol service i wasn't allowed to use my old aol sn on aim anymore. It took them three years to realize it but whatever. anyway, i think that aol SNs are easier to accumulate bc you can just rip them from AOL email addresses. Since i've been using this new sn i can't really remember getting one. I used to get them on a daily basis and i would block the sn that sent it... i'm not sure if it helped bc if i'd gotten one from sexysally12288 one day and blocked that name, the next day i'd get one from sexysally12289. It seemed like i started getting less but my blocked list was up to like 50 SNs.
     
  3. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    San Francisco
    #3
    I've received a few, but now I have my AIM set to buddies only.

    I think the real question here is, why do these advertisers do this? SPAM is driving everyone crazy. It's seriously gotten so bad the federal government is getting involved. Same deal with telemarketers. Other than making people upset, I don't know what these guys hope to accomplish. This SPIM is just a further aggravation and invasion of privacy.
     
  4. besson3c macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2003
    #4
    I wonder if the SPIMers (or whatever they are called) can obtain .Mac handles? I've never received one with my .Mac handle. If not, maybe PC users should create .Mac accounts? Can Windows AIM work with .Mac accounts?
     
  5. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    The spammers and spimmers make money by selling their services to makers of usually worthless products. They can send 1,000,000 messages at practically no cost. If only 1 in 10,000 people buy the $20 product they advertise, that's still $2,000 covering the advertising and the cost of the product. That's why one of the possible solutions being discussed is having all ISPs impose a small fee on e-mail (a penny or nickel each). That would be a minimal cost to regular folks but take a big bite out of spammer profits. How such a fee could be enforced is a mystery to me.
     
  6. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #6
    iv never been spimmed hehe if thats how u call it i hope that it never happens
     
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #7
    There's actually more than one way spammers make money, and you can be sure that if there was no money in it, they wouldn't be doing it. They're not pissing off 100 million people because they enjoy it, they're doing it because it makes them money.

    One way they make money (more in the past, less now that businesses are wiser) was to sell spamming to legit businesses that didn't know any better.

    Another is the mention above--if you're using illegal methods (such as spam virus infected computers, all the rage now), the cost of sending a spam wave is nearly zero, so even a couple of sales makes it worth your while.

    As to why anyone would actually buy something from a spammer, it's simple--they're targeting either total idiots (hence the loads of Viagra/get rich quick/Nigerian money laundering spam), or people who aren't particularly sharp and have never gotten a spam message before (extreme internet newbies, that is). To them, it looks like legit advertising, and they might actually bite. Probably not the 2nd time, but the spammer only needs to make the sale once--"a sucker born every minute" after all.

    So really, the spammers have no interest in innundating the people who get bombarded with 100 messages a day with spam (obviously, if you get three Nigerian scams in the same day, you're going to get suspicious even if you would've gone for it), seasoned users like us just get caught in the same scattershot that they're hoping to nail the innocent with. And it's easier for them to just hit everybody rather than trying to do any filtering (particularly since a lot of their products are illegal anyway, so they don't want to leave a trail), since the cost of sending a message is zero.

    The same thing doesn't happen (as severely) with postal bulk mail, both because of mail fraud laws, and because it actually costs the "spammers" money to send things--no sense in sending junk to people who would never have read it anyway, which is the theory behind the micropayment e-mail (the real proposals are usually more like 0.01 cents per message, so it really only matters if you send millions).

    Ack, I've ranted on a really long time now for no particuar reason. Pent up rage, it must be. Sorry.
     
  8. King Cobra macrumors 603

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    Mar 2, 2002
    #8
    Wierd, I've never gotten any through IM...and I get no illegal SPAM mail. If the issue becomes a big problem, you might want to contact your ISP (or yell at them, whichever you feel like doing), and request that they implement a SPAM check-and-remove system of sorts. Otherwise, you're asking for it.

    Or switch to dial-up so the spammers couldn't care less about attention from you. :D
     
  9. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    The Netherlands
    #9
    SPIM is new to me.

    That would really be annoying... :mad:
     
  10. Calliander macrumors member

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    Jan 7, 2004
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    Long Beach, CA
    #10
    I get at least two SPIMs per day:

    "Hey sweetie! Come check out my new webcam. My girlfriend and I have lots of fun on it. It's totally hot!"

    If the volume increases then I'll just have to block people not on my buddy list.
     
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #11
    Eh... sure it is SPIM?
    Not your neighbours inviting you over? :D
     
  12. Calliander macrumors member

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    Jan 7, 2004
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    Long Beach, CA
    #12
    Yeah, my neighbor usually says, "Hey cutie, come check out my webcam. My husband and I degrade ourselves on it!"

    :D
     
  13. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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