Cry Me a River – I Am Not the Spammer You Are Looking For

This morning just before I left off to start my day, I received an email from a very disgruntled person who had just just came to her whits-ends with respect to ad spammers hitting both her email and website. I quickly read the email, and thought it to be serious enough to warrant a swift reply. “Dear XXXXXXXX, I am not your spammer, you are contacting the wrong person with your accusations.” I wrote.

Her beef was about the steady stream of emails that she is receiving from a website that she visited a number of weeks ago. She gave her personal information to enter the site, and ever since, they have been sending her ads. She had also told me in her email that she has tried for days now to be taken off of their email list. None of her emails were answered.  She also claims that since she has complained, the number of ads/spam-emails has increased.

How do I fit into this?

Well, three years ago, I created a number of WordPress themes that I posted on the WordPress website, under the GNU user agreement, and gave them away, free of charge, to anyone who wished to use them. As far as I know they are still there, but are not up to date with the current WordPress program. The website that this person is accusing of spamming her is using one of my old WordPress themes, which has my name and email address at the bottom of it. It is customary for the creator of the themes to have some recognition as to who created the theme, so that anyone else who wants to use it can go to the source and install their own copy of it on their website. My guess is that she found my name and email, as part of the theme package, and used that information as the contact for the offending website.

In the space of three hours, and eight emails in total, she went from threatening me with her Lawyer, to her finally getting it that I was not the person to complain to. She did apologize, as I tried to help her find the contact information about the website, and had its server-host shut it down pending an investigation (which was located in Texas, USA, and the Domain was owned by a person in West Virgina, USA).  She was amazed, once she learned the proper protocols, just how easy it was to deal with the “System,” as she called it. What is more amazing was that this person lives in New Zealand, and I live in Canada.

I have started to remove my old themes from off of the WordPress website too. I am not going to maintain them because I just do not have the time, so I might as well get rid of them.

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