The Story of "Nadine" -- A Tale of Mailing Lists

More Stuff Arrives

Nothing more came in for about two weeks.  When the first real advertising payload arrived it went into the "bad message" sump and it was several days before I had enough spare time to deal with the accumulated sludge.  Since this was just one of dozens of bogus accounts that receive occasional messages, I made a note of the "nadine" name and archived the message with the intent to take further action if the traffic volume climbed.

Which it did.

Harris Polls

Nadine began to receive messages from other entities.  Harris Polls sent their first blast about two weeks later, and swiftly became the most prolific sender.  After a few of these arrived, I followed the "how did you end up on our list" link and determined that Harris had apparently obtained Nadine's information from delivere/matchlogic.  Now there was a breathtaking surprise.

Harris ignored the "no such user" notice, so after the first four messages I dropped them into the mail server's deny list, where they remained for a number of months.  Despite the fact that every message to nadine@honet elicited a "553 domain does not accept mail from HARRISPOLLONLINE.COM" response, they were still pounding away months later, when I removed the block in order to collect evidence for some legal proceedings that were under way.

Harris continued to send Nadine several messages per month until 9 August 2001, when the stream unaccountably stopped.  In all, 79 messages were received, in addition to the ones that were rejected during the four months when Harris were in the local deny list.

Update:  on 23-Jan-2002 a request to confirm arrived, indicating the start of yet another round.  Perhaps this time they have instituted real confirmation procedures, and nothing more will arrive.

01-Feb-2002Apparently no answer doesn't mean a "NO" answer.  Is this what is meant by "double opt out"? hired to send Nadine a message.  A second one, identical to the first, arrived the next day.  Perhaps changed their minds about this method of advertising, because Nadine never heard from them again.

Next to step up to the plate were  They sent a total of five messages, each one entirely HTML, one each in May, July and August, and then two in September.  Perhaps they were convinced that Nadine would never use a simple text email client, or they just didn't mind making the recipient wade through crufty HTML to get to the exceedingly valuable content. was another one-shot wonder, sent by


Only one message was sent (by directly on behalf of AT&T.  A few others during the later deluge mentioned AT&T or associated products.

Next:  Question:  Why send mail to somebody who doesn't exist?

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