Site Spreads Word About Fixing E-Mail Abuses

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Consumers have submitted 500 spam e-mails to a new e-mail abuse-reporting site since it launched last week, along with 300 phishing e-mails.


FixingEmail.org, Washington, which bills itself as a "new group devoted to the mission of safeguarding consumers from spam and e-mail fraud," was formed by Messaging News, a magazine that covers the technology of e-mail and instant messaging, and initially sponsored by e-mail security firm IronPort Systems.


"I think what surprised us is that it took off so quickly. Clearly, it resonates with people," said Stephanie Jordan, editor of Messaging News and founder of FixingEmail.org.


The site lets consumers report spam and phishing scams and offers blogs and other education on e-mail abuse. While FixingEmail.org aims to help consumers, it also forwards phishing e-mails to the executive who handles e-mail abuse at the companies being targeted.


"They do it [phishing scams] multiple times in a variety of ways," she said. "You never know which outbreak might be the one they don't know about."


The site is needed because many consumers have no easy way to report spam or phishing scams, or they have gotten lax about reporting them, Jordan said.


"It's almost become accepted, probably because they don't know what to do with it," she said.


In addition, many Internet service providers don't make it easy for consumers to report spam and e-mail abuse. Though America Online lets its users report spam on its front page, many ISPs' reporting systems aren't as visible, Jordan said.


"Currently, there are fractional offerings out there for consumers, [including] offerings from their ISPs, from anti-abuse organizations, and much is tailored toward the enterprise," she said.


FixingEmail is getting the word out about the site to consumers via press releases and radio spots. Jordan is looking for additional site sponsors and for companies to contribute content.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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