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Emails masked as tip-a-friend / sign-up emails

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Hamlogeist, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Hamlogeist

    Hamlogeist Newbie

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    Nov 21, 2016
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    I was wondering why no one seems to be talking about this.

    A few months ago I got access to all the student emails on my school, and while I had no idea what to use this information for immediately, I did come up with the crazy idea of using them in DropBox to gain the free data by tipping your "friends".

    It was just amusing to me, and I did not really need the free data. But I was surprised to see how many actually signed up and ended up installing DropBox. This list only had a few thousand e-mails, so I can imagine the success you would have with a even bigger list.

    Now, I know how to get my hands on leaked customer databases, which seems just as good (if not better) than scraping e-mails from Websites with a script.

    So I was wondering if anyone has tried it on websites representing real brands?

    My guess is, if you actually went and dispatched some sign-up emails, some users would actually confirm the subscription. You could then ignore all the ones who never respond, and never send them another sign-up email again.

    Another idea would be "tip a friend of this website" type of marketing.

    There is just no way of telling that you are doing something illegal. It could be that someone just randomly entered those email addresses onto your site. Even if you do get discovered, you could find a number of excuses that could likely get you off the hook.

    The only way I can think of, is if someone finds out you are sending in bulk. But it could still be a defamation attack against your site, someone trying to hurt your company or whatever.

    Not that I am super interested in doing it, because I'd hate to create hostility towards my company, and I also would not feel good about it personally. But I am already doing follow and unfollow on social media, so I guess I am already behaving somewhat spammy.

    But then again, it would be impossible to grow your company if you were not allowed to be a little spammy. The only legal way would be through paying for advertisements, and organic reach, and even then you would still end up pissing off some people. That's why we have ad blockers. So it's a difficult decision, and I sure don't want to "lie", but I also don't want to break the law in any way that it is obvious that I am breaking it.