The Newest Scourge: Vacation Reply Messages Used for Spamming

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It’s one of the newest spam tactics – spam vacation messages. Here’s how it works: spammers sign up for mailing lists, never intending to read them. Instead they put themselves on permanent vacation status, create one of those infernal “I’m on vacation” messages full of their spam message, and let the vacation program do their spamming for them. If they’re lucky, the mailing list is one where the vacation message goes back to the entire mailing list. So far we’ve seen spam vacation messages hawking,,, and

Because we have a sizable number of people who are signed up for our Internet Patrol email alerts (see the yellow box on the right), we see these spam vacation messages regularly. Of course, the way that we have it set up, the spam comes only to us, never to you.

But it’s been interesting to see the increase in these spam vacation messages, and they are almost always one or the other of the same two canned messages:

Version 1

how are you doing recently?
I would like to introduce you a very good company and its website is It can offer you all kinds of electronic products that you may be in need,such as laptops ,gps ,TV LCD,cell phones,ps3,MP3/4,motorcycles and etc……..
You can take some time to have a check ,there must be something interesting you ‘d like to purchase .
The contact email: [email protected] MSN: [email protected]
TEL: 86015201036929
Hope you can enjoy yourself in shopping from that company !

Version 2

Hey ,friend I find a site to sell electronic products with very good price. Laptop ,iPhone even Motorcycle are very popular .their products are original quality with very low price as wholesale business supplier.They also can do retail business for end user now. maybe it is fit for your business . if you like you can contact them :
E-mail: [email protected]
Msn : [email protected]

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All of the domains offer electronics (cell phones, iPhones, MP3 players, etc.) for sale.

Version 1 spam vacation messages always have the same wording, but the websites and email addresess change.

Somewhat more interestingly, Version 2 also always has the same wording – with different domains – but the email addresses are always hosted by, a Chinese ISP.


More interesting yet is that all of the domains in all of the versions are registered in China.

Odds are good that the goods are odd, if they materialize at all. Odds are even better that these sites take your money, never ship any goods, and may even be stealing your identity at the same time.

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3 thoughts on “The Newest Scourge: Vacation Reply Messages Used for Spamming

  1. I’ve seen this too in my mail list since maybe six months ago. How is it done? maybe those sites to “see who has deleted you” from hotmail.

  2. “Odds are good that the goods are odd”
    very good aunty! “best practise” is to never click on any unsolicited e-mail link offering anything. i’ve done business online, but only when i initiate the contact for merchandise i’m looking for, from a known, reputable company. “strangers knocking at the door” are not welcome.

  3. “Odds are good that the goods are odd” — LOL! I’ll have to keep on the watch for those spam messages from the lists I own and manage. Like yours, though, they’re set up so that no one would see such messages but me. And it would only happen ONCE per sender…

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