Reducing the number of spams, dealing with copyright violations, and stopping junk faxes: Internet ScamBusters #165
We have a subscriber Q&A issue for you today. We'll answer these three questions:
- Why am I still getting all these spams?
- How do I get someone to take down a link that gives anyone a free download to my copyrighted ebook that I'm selling?
- How do I stop getting all these "hot" stock tips and resort travel package faxes?
Let's get started...
Internet ScamBusters Q&A
Question: I just subscribed to your ScamBusters newsletter but I'm still getting 85 spams a day. What am I doing wrong? How can I stop getting all this spam?
Answer: We wish we were magicians, but unfortunately, subscribing to ScamBusters isn't going to stop you from getting spam. 😉 In fact, we wish we only got 85 spams a day!
We do have a very useful page (it's one of the most popular on our site) called Stop spam! You'll find helpful tips for reducing spam here.
Question: I sell an ebook I wrote online. I found someone who has a website that provides a free link to let anyone download the ebook pdf file free. I've contacted this person once before when I discovered the problem and told him he was violating international copyright laws and asked him to take down the link, but he ignored me. Any suggestions on how to force him to comply?
Answer: Yes, there are a few things you can do. (Please note though that we are not attorneys and this is not legal advice. Please do consult your attorney -- these suggestions are just to point you in the right direction.)
- Get your attorney to send a formal cease and desist letter that is in conformance with the DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act). This is much more powerful than just an email or phone call from you.
- Notify his ISP. With proof, they will likely close his account.
- Contact Google, Yahoo and MSN and explain the problem to them. Your goal is that they remove his link from their engines (which then means most people won't be able to find the link).
We definitely recommend you speak with your attorney about this issue.
You can find more here:
Question: Since my home phone number doubles as my business fax number, I get a lot of unsolicited faxes to my home phone number. I'm really tired of 2:00am faxes promising "hot" stock tips, resort travel packages, and worse. I always call the number to take me off the fax list, but the volume has gotten unmanageable. What can I do to stop these faxes once and for all?
Answer: The junk fax law (the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991) was weakened in July 2005 (the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005), and many people (us included) have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of junk faxes received.
We recommend you register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry. We've written about this here.
It will take three months for your number to be added to the Do Not Call Registry, and you will need to renew your listing every five years.
You may also want to unplug your phone when you go to bed. (You can tell your family and friends to call your cell phone for emergencies.)
Time to close. We'll see you next week.