About a year ago I purchased a keyboard cover from MacSales.com for my laptop to protect the screen while in transit. Like any purchase on the web, I gave MacSales.com my email address. On friday that email address was sent spam telling me I had won $50,000.

The reason I know this is an email address I gave MacSales.com is because I make up a new address every time I sign up for something. So for example, had I signed up at foo.com for some new foos, the address I would have given them is . MacSales.com was given .

Fast-forward a year and I receive this in my inbox:

From: nipsbrown1996@yahoo.com
Subject: You have won $50,000
Date: July 23, 2004

Welcome to Nipps Brown,
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the eBay Online Winners programs held on the 28th of January 2004. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 843-543075 drew lucky SEQUENCE NO.: 81210719 which consequently won in the 2nd category. You might have been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$ 50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars).

So I emailed MacSales.com to tell them my address had been picked off their user table. What was the reply? Spammers are getting smart. Benjamin Priest responded:


We do not sell email address, Spamers are getting very good at taking a email address and running hundreds of thousands of variations of this in a mass spam. Or using software to grab email address out of cyberspace.

We do all we can to prevent spam and help the mac comunity stop spaming, I can asure you this was not from OWC.

Benjamin Priest


I couldn't care less if you do all you can to "help the mac comunity". If someone has proof that your user accounts are being skimmed you should do something about it rather than pass it off to smart spammers being smart. He 'asures' me it wasn't from OWC, but if 'spamers' are grabbing email addresses out of cyberspace, doesn't that mean OWC is sending my address in cleartext somewhere?