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Author Message
JohnnyB
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Dec 12, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:20 pm    Post subject: Customer getting Spam email from Vonage-only address Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you for contacting Customer Care.

In regards to your email, please provide us with any proof that you have that a Vonage employee has sold your email address to spammers.
...
Sincerely,
Craig
E-Support Specialist
Vonage Customer Care

-----------------------------
Dear Craig,

When I am asked by a corporation to provide an email
address I give each a different email address.
Since I own the [domain name not posted to forum] yyy.com domain it is easy to
alias all of these names into one inbox.

For example Geico might be given "GeicoEmail@yyy.com",
Sears could be SearsInfo@yyy.com" etc.
This also allows tracking of phishing schemes - by
checking if the "to" address matches the company named
in the email.

The e-mail address "VonageSpam@yyy.com" was
provided only to Vonage through your sign up web-site,
many years ago. I have **never** given that email address
to any other person or corporation, nor ever used it
as a reply-to address nor cc-ed anyone on an email using
that address, nor metioned it in any e-mail (until today).

I do receive various useful e-mails from you using that
name (like "voice message waiting" and billing info).

Recently I received two unsolicited e-mails addressed
to VonageSpam@yyy.com

All the possible explanations are:
a) There is a trojan horse on my PC,
b) My incoming e-mail server is compromised,
c) My ISP is skimming e-mail addresses from content,
d) You have sold your e-mail list
e) Someone has hacked your database.

a, b and c are physically unlikely, and would not account
for **only your** e-mail address being used - why am I
not getting junk e-mails from all the other companies that
I have given unique email addresses to?

I hope you are very concerned about d and e.

Do you store my credit card info in the same database
that you stored my email address in?

I have attached the spam so you can check the (maybe spoofed)
headers if you want to.

Craig, please forward this info to someone who has a second
name or a phone number and who can take some action on this.

Thank you,
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NateHoy
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Like you, I own my own domain (several of them in fact).

Like you, I create unique email addresses for each company I do business with, in order to track spam originating from each company. I am also careful not to use those specific email accounts for anything but the company they are related to.

Like you, I receive my monthly billing statements and other "of interest" emails from Vonage each month. Some are offers, but all are direct from Vonage.

I have yet to receive a single piece of spam from any third party on my Vonage account, and I have all incoming email set to flag if it comes in on the Vonage account (due to previous reports of spam going to Vonage-specific emails).

I have been a Vonage customer since late July 2005.

I'm not saying you are wrong. I'm not saying you don't receive emails. But I have not seen them myself.

Would you mind posting the headers to those emails (with your email address stripped out, of course, along with all but the first couple of SMTP hops)? I'd be very interested in seeing where they originate from.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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gjb
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Dec 12, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I just dumped Vonage. I've been with them since Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 02:56:13 +0000 (GMT).

I too have my own domain and used a unique email address specifically for Vonage. Starting about September 2006, I started receiving spam addressed to my Vonage email address. I wrote directly to Vonage letting them know that I didn't appreciate that in the least, and received ZERO response. Since then, I can count on at least 2 messages per day (until I killed it). Example:

X-Persona: <gjbrown.net>
Return-Path: <Affiliate085@MyOwnGoodCredit.com>
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.1.7 (2006-10-05) on mule.he.net
X-Spam-Level: **
X-Spam-Status: No, score=2.3 required=5.0 tests=BAD_CREDIT,FUZZY_REMOVE
autolearn=no version=3.1.7
Received: from gjbrown.net ([66.160.187.68]) by gjbrown.net for <gjbrown.net>; Mon, 27 Nov 2006 22:11:38 -0800
Received: from MyOwnGoodCredit.com ([64.20.34.111]) by gjbrown.net for <vonage@gjbrown.net>; Mon, 27 Nov 2006 22:11:26 -0800
Message-ID: <8690C130.3AC5CEE7@MyOwnGoodCredit.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 06:09:59 -0100
Reply-To: "Michael Matson 46coins" <Affiliate085@MyOwnGoodCredit.com>
From: "Michael Matson 88coins" <Affiliate085@MyOwnGoodCredit.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: <vonage@gjbrown.net>
Subject: I'll send you mini course on credit repair - 36tks73
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Good morning

My name is Michael Matson and I wanted to send this short note because I am
launching a new mini-course all about credit, credit repair, the credit
reporting agencies, and how to launch your credit worthiness by applying a
few simple concepts which I will be sharing with subscribers.

As a special introduction, I will be giving away my 5- Day Mini-Course at
no cost.

Please register for the course here: http://www11.MyOwnGoodCredit.com

There is absolutely zero cost, and it's designed to make your credit
rating soar with eagles.

Again here is the link: http://www46.MyOwnGoodCredit.com

Fell free to share this with a friend but send it today, because I'm not
sure how long I am going to run this test!

Thanks for taking a minute to register now and I'll see you on the other
side!

Ciao,
Michael Matson
--

I wrote to Vonage one last time and told them they need to fess up, or I'm moving my business somewhere else. Never received a response, and the next day I signed up for Sunrocket. Personally, they have better rates and more features (such as anonymous call blocking, speed dial, etc.) for much less. I signed up for the one year +3 months free and that worked out to be about $13.80/mo until 3/2008.

Anyhoo, that's my story. I'm glad some of you aren't receiving spam, but for those of us who have, it really ****. I loved Vonage before they sold/lost/gave my personal contact information to "marketers", and I WILL NOT do business with companies who don't do more to protect my privacy/personal information, or give it up to make a buck.

Regards,
Greg
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NateHoy
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting. The originating IP address you posted in the headers lists from Turkey. Which means that Vonage probably did not sell the email address, since I doubt they'd have any interest (little profit) in selling to a Turkish spam house.

That means one of three possibilities:

1. Vonage was hacked or did sell the information.
2. The spammer is making up addresses and happened to hit "vonage@" on your domain (unlikely but possible).
3. Someone with access to a router between you and Vonage is intercepting emails and harvesting email addresses from the headers and selling them (a profitable business).

Since reports of spam on Vonage accounts are sporadic, and not constant, I'd lean toward #3 as a theory. Of course, I'm not saying Vonage did not sell your email address - I have no way of knowing. But if they did, then I would tend to think this would be a more widely-reported problem. Or maybe there are just ridiculously few of us who go to the expense of owning domains and the trouble of making up unique email addresses for each company we work with. Wink

A variant to #1 could be a disgruntled Vonage employee doing a partial extract of email addresses and selling them. The kind of money that a Turkish spam house would offer for a few thousand verified email addresses could certainly appeal to an individual, but would be too small for Vonage themselves to be interested in. That would also explain why only some Vonage users are getting spammed - the employee might have only pulled a few thousand addresses to avoid suspicion.

Seen any ex-Vonage employees suddenly driving a new car? Wink

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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gjb
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Dec 12, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
Or maybe there are just ridiculously few of us who go to the expense of owning domains and the trouble of making up unique email addresses for each company we work with. Wink


I think this is probably more likely. Most people just use one email address that's static and have no idea where their spam comes from. I KNOW either Vonage or an unscrupulous employee that works for them gave/sold my info. It's just that simple.

Best Regards,
G
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NateHoy
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gjb wrote:
I KNOW either Vonage or an unscrupulous employee that works for them gave/sold my info. It's just that simple.


I realize that is quite possible, but there are other ways for that address to have been compromised.

Your Web Service Provider, for example, could easily sell that information based on email coming in to your POP3 accounts or going out on your SMTP accounts. One of their employees could have also done the same. This is actually safer for the employee, since most people would be convinced that the person who "officially" has the email address did it, and therefore it is unlikely that the employee would ever get caught.

If you have that email forwarded to any one of a number of free email services, then the email address is sitting on their servers as well.

And, of course, all email passes through the Internet in open, unencrypted form, and is forwarded through many servers along the way. A simple pull of the logs from a server could harvest a good number of SMTP headers.

Again, I'm not saying Vonage did not sell your address. They very well could have, or an employee of theirs could have. It happens, sadly. But stating that you KNOW they did means you have conclusive proof. So far, you have an email that was sent to a compromised account, and no doubt you have many more. But that is not proof of how the account was compromised.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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trekologer
Vonage Forum Evangelist
Vonage Forum Evangelist


Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gjb wrote:
I think this is probably more likely. Most people just use one email address that's static and have no idea where their spam comes from. I KNOW either Vonage or an unscrupulous employee that works for them gave/sold my info. It's just that simple.


Now how exactly do you know that? Do you have some type of super human sensory power? If so could you tell me who will win the Superbowl?

I maintain my own mail server and have it configured to dump all messages sent to invalid addresses into a mailbox. I get spam addressed to invalid addresses all the time. Some of them are simple names such as "bob" or "john", some are common words such as "sales" and "info" and some are random strings of letters and numbers.

Simply, just because you created a "virgin" email address and started receiving spam does not mean that whoever you gave that address to sold the address to spammers.
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NateHoy
Vonage Forum MVM
Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just for historical purposes, the concept of Vonage selling email addresses is not new. The issue comes up from time to time.

http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic15051.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic5181.html
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic2763.html

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
My Vonage Self-Help Guides: http://vonage.nmhoy.net
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gjb
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New Forum Member


Joined: Dec 12, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

trekologer wrote:
gjb wrote:
I think this is probably more likely. Most people just use one email address that's static and have no idea where their spam comes from. I KNOW either Vonage or an unscrupulous employee that works for them gave/sold my info. It's just that simple.


Now how exactly do you know that? Do you have some type of super human sensory power? If so could you tell me who will win the Superbowl?

I maintain my own mail server and have it configured to dump all messages sent to invalid addresses into a mailbox. I get spam addressed to invalid addresses all the time. Some of them are simple names such as "bob" or "john", some are common words such as "sales" and "info" and some are random strings of letters and numbers.

Simply, just because you created a "virgin" email address and started receiving spam does not mean that whoever you gave that address to sold the address to spammers.


Look, there's no reason to be like that. I happened to do a google search on Vonage spam and found this forum AND this thread and thought I'd share my experience with all of you. Do with it what you will, mmmkay?

I believe what I believe. If I were the only one reporting this then I'd lean toward another explaination, but I'm not alone. Do a google search and you'll see what I'm talking about; it's not an isolated report. While you're at it, you might also check the reports of Vonage ads coming up in spyware apps, too. Think Vonage has nothing to do with that? Don't be naive.

I have 50+ email addresses all corresponding to the companies I do business with. If not for the fact that Vonage is the only one that "happens" to get spam multiple times per day makes me believe that they have a "marketing" or "security" problem and I CHOOSE not to do business with them.

BTW, the Chargers will win the Superbowl.

Regards,
Greg
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NateHoy
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Vonage Forum <b>MVM</b>


Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gjb wrote:
While you're at it, you might also check the reports of Vonage ads coming up in spyware apps, too. Think Vonage has nothing to do with that? Don't be naive.


Of course they do. Vonage uses an affiliate program. Some affiliates, like Vonage-Forum (this very site) offer services in return for their referral fees (Dan draws people in with good content, then gives them links to sign up for Vonage - which is what affiliate programs are for).

Others, of course, will get the link out there any way they can. Any time you have an affiliate program, you invite abuse, sadly.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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