Spam, both with email and over phone, is becoming a huge problem. There are plans from tech companies to do more to cut down on both, but it’s here to stay for a while.
Part of the problem is that so much of it is automated, at least for some of the initial contact. I enjoy wasting spammers’ time when I can, but it’s hard to know if I’m actually dealing with a real person or not.
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten of The Next Web has come up with a simple and genius way to waste more of their time. He’s shared it in full on Twitter, below, but in short he has set up a bunch of email autoresponders to get spammers going in circles. He replies to the initial email, and everything is automated after that.
If you get email spam, ask them to forward their message over to “firstname.lastname@example.org”, as that’s who can “help” them. From there they’ll get a long, twisting series of autoresponders and apologies to keep them busy for days.
I suspect spammers will catch on to this specific example soon, if they haven’t already, but the idea could be easily replicated and used again and again. I like it!