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OneZero
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Spam

In OneZero. More on Medium.

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Many people complain that their messages are suddenly getting caught. Here’s what’s going on.

As a freelance writer who conducts many interviews with academics and other experts, I send a lot of cold emails. This takes a fair amount of time and effort, particularly since only about 20% of the people I reach out to ever write back.

That response rate used to be a bit higher, but a few months ago, I got a disappointing message in my own inbox from an expert: My first email, she said, had gone to her university email spam folder. Had I gained some kind of reputation as a horrible writer? Did everyone hate me? …


The company’s customers say they’re inundated with emails from gyms and studios, and there’s no good way to make them stop

When product designer Celia McQueen moved to New York, she immediately joined ClassPass — it would be a fun way to find new exercise studios, she thought. For $125 per month, the subscription included access to hundreds of boutique studios. The only limit was two classes per studio per month. McQueen found a studio she loved about a month later and canceled her ClassPass account. But the emails from ClassPass didn’t stop. Nor did the emails from the many, many studios in its network. She received offers, updates, and ads from studios all over New York, many that she’d never…


Faced with powerful automated filters on Gmail, criminals have found a new, annoying way to catch your attention

A smart phone with the icons for the Google Calendar app
A smart phone with the icons for the Google Calendar app

My email inbox is a mess. Ever since my work email address became public, spam has torn through it like a Tasmanian devil trying to sell little blue pills. I’ve resigned myself to the disorder in my inbox, but my calendar is sacred. It runs my entire life, from work meetings to outings with my kids. But now spammers are trying to ruin that, too.

It works like this: A spammer sends you an invite to a “meeting” using the collaborative tools built into Google Calendar, iCloud, or other online scheduling tools. By default, these services add the event to…


The Upgrade

Phone spam is out of control, but relief is in sight

My phone vibrates and I glance at the screen, noting the call’s “917” area code — the same as my own number. “New York City,” I note. “Might be important.”

It’s not. It almost never is anymore.

The call is from a fake credit card company urging me to talk about lowering my interest rates. I grip the phone tightly and consider throwing it against a wall.

Later that day, my landline rings. Again, it’s a New York City number, and my caller ID lists it as “Apple, Inc.” Having dealt with fake Apple support before, I ignore it. But…

OneZero

The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

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