Toll free numbers of spammers

Obsolete document warning: This document hasn't been maintained for several years now (as of Spring 2005). But someone recently asked about this "project" and so I've dug in out. Maybe, I'll make some formating changes, but I'll leave the rest as the original (typos and all).

This is very obviously under construction. I will have more anti-spam information here later. This site is maintained by Jeffrey Goldberg.

One the the many evil things about spam is that one way or another the recipient of the unsolicited email has to carry the cost of the spam. It is as if junk postal mail came postage due and with forged addresses.

A small portion of spam advertise toll free numbers where suckers can purchase or get more information about their dubious products and services. One feature, of course, about toll free numbers, is that the recipient of the call pays the charges and not the caller.[Note] This is an opportunity to try to shift some of the cost of spamming back to the spammers. Making spam costly to the spammers is the only[Note] way to stop spam.

Below are listed some email message I have received which list apparently toll free numbers of their businesses.

Note: This is no longer true. The numbers I have a five years out of date as of Spring 2005. I don't list them and I don't maintain them.

Important notes and disclaimers

What I do

Other than publishing this list, I call each number and leave a single polite message explaining why I do not like spam. I highlight the fact that with spam the recipients carry the cost. It is also worth noting that some of the business called may be ignorant instead of evil. They may have hired someone to do "Internet Marketing" for them without understanding what would be done. As I have also mentioned, the messages have not been verified in anyway independent of the fact that I received them. There is the very remote possibility that they were sent without any sort of consent of the organizations being advertised. While I think that that is very very unlikely, I do bear it in mind when calling.


Each spam is stored in a file named number.txt in this directory. Be sure to inspect the spam message itself to judge for yourself whether and what action should be take. Do not just dial the numbers you see from the list below, without making careful decisions on your own.

What you see should be sorted roughly in the (reverse) order they arrived from the time in August 2000 when I first started saving these. (There is a major gap from 2002 to 2004). The messages were saved with the "Export" mechanism in Pine which may sometimes do odd things. The messages are the raw messages (so if they are HTML, you see the raw HTML; if they are quoted-printable, you see the quoted-printable instead of the prettified versions the email client would show you. Also full headers are there except for the ones added by my own local delivery system from my ISP.

This page has been /.-ed

An article mentioning this document has appeared on Slashdot in November 2001, so you can go to that article to find discussion of this scheme. I've received a lot of mail and suggestions in the days following the listing. I will try to incorporate those as I can.

Version: $Revision: 1.2 $
Last Modified: $Date: 2005/05/01 05:27:21 $ GMT
First established October 07, 2000