The dangers of spam traps and honey pots

A honey pot or spam trap is an email account set up by an ISP or spam researcher that they know shouldn't ever receive email. So if any email does arrive in this email account then they know that the sender is a spammer and they can block that sender in their spam filters. Accidentally sending to a spam trap will result in all of your emails been blocked by spam filters.

These spam trap email addresses are usually published on websites with a message saying not to send them unsolicited emails or hidden in website code. This allows the researcher to catch people who are illegally scraping email addresses from websites. Using address harvesting software to scrape email addresses from websites is illegal under New Zealand law.

However these spam traps can get into your contact lists! Automated spam bots will scrape these addresses and might add them to your contact lists through the contact from or subscribe form on your website! To avoid this you should always use double opt in on your subscribe forms, see Signup confirmation - double opt in. We also recommend using a captcha system such as Google's "I am not a robot" tick box on your website forms to block automated bots. You should also avoid lists purchased from a third party as you have no way to be sure of the legitimacy of the emails on a purchased list, see Purchasing a list from a third party. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of the contacts on your list you can reconfirm them, see Reconfirming your subscribers.

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