Unwanted spam from auto benalbox via arboleas.co.uk forum

It appears that arboleas.co.uk, a local forum, has allowed a local advertiser to send unwanted spam emails using information harvested from their site.

Or, at least, companies such as Autobenalbox, some chap who sells second hand cars in Albox and who advertises on that forum, have had access to their private forum members details to send them intrusive emails.Would you buy a second hand car off someone with that sort of business practice?

Easy enough to prove, as I personally signed up to this forum using a unique email address, which was the one used in all the spam I’ve received so far from them.

Just to be even more annoying, this company has promised a financial incentive to whoever resends their crummy message the most. So far, I’ve received two copies of this spam message, both sent by the same elderly senile old lady. Right, so they’re really going to give you that bottle of wine or 5€ or whatever it was they promised, and now you’ve gone and annoyed everyone on your address book, twice.

Quite a few people appear to be up in arms about this – the forums response so far is to delete any messages they can’t reply to, and make some nasty comments to others. Certainly they deleted a couple of postings from me with no explanation.

Unsurprisingly, all  this seems to have happened after they kicked out the old forum admins and put in a bunch of new, anonymous admins. Obviously, someone somewhere was sick of not making money from the forum.

Their only public comments so far has been to say “We are sorry that members have been receiving unsolicited emails.  Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to prevent this from happening.  We advised members a few weeks ago to remove their email address from public view if they did not want advertisers from this forum or anywhere else to contact them.

Irrespective of all this, if they are collecting people’s email addresses then it’s up to them to keep them safe and ensure they don’t get out. It’s not up to “members” to optout, it’s up to the forum to keep these details safe. Where is it written? The La Ley Orgánica 15/1999 de 13 de diciembre de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal, (known as the LOPD) which regulates how personal information needs to be treated.

Frankly, I’m disgusted, but not surprised.

Still, what really annoyed me was A) the forums response to the complaints and B) the annoying repetitiveness of the message that this company is promoting.

Later: Just received an email informing me that I’ve been banned from their forums. Hey ho.

Later still: A strong denial from them -albeit unsigned- that any monies ever changed hands, and saying that all the responsibility lies with Auto whoever they are. Either way, I’m annoyed, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and withdraw my claim that they sold my personal details to a third party. Still undeniable that my email was gathered off their site, tho’.

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12 Replies to “Unwanted spam from auto benalbox via arboleas.co.uk forum”

  1. David
    Welcome to the ‘Legion of the Banned’ ! You would be most welcome to join us boys and girls in the Legion on the Purple Forum, ( http://www.almanzoraforum.com/ ) Where we have adult discussions (most of the time ! LOL) and debate issues without fear of being banned for not toeing a biased Forum PARTY line ! Or of course you may already be a member of the Purple ? Who knows ? LOL

    Nice Blog by the way, enjoyed it very much,
    Kindest regards

    Pat

  2. Hmm… trouble is, I’m also banned (by proxy) from that one after a bit of a discussion with the chap who set it up!
    I’m giving up on these Arboleas discussion forums… too many excited characters up in that valley for me!

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  4. I think you blogg is a waste of your time and mine for having read it! On nearly every forum, and even on Facebook, peoples email addresses are readily available.. UNLESS YOU CHOOSE OTHERWISE WHEN YOU SIGN UP!!
    Any company who wants to take the time to go into every member account and look at their email address can do so.
    Your attitude to spam email is old fashioned… click the junk button and heh-ho you never see an email from that company again. This would have taken 1 second…. how long did it take you to do this blogg??

    I have no connection to either the arboleas forum or the car sales company, i am simply stating the fact that an email address is not like your home address which of course you should protect.

    p.s. I bet you dont use your credit card online either!…. even though you have 16bit encryption!

  5. Amazing things, email addresses.
    Why, just with yours, I quickly found out your telephone number (625611498), your address, your NIE number and checked that you have no outstanding traffic fines. You don’t, by the way, so I assume you managed to sell that high powered bike you were flogging a couple of years ago.

  6. The info you posted about me is all information i chose to put out there in the public domain…. the issue is how far people will go with a little info and how they use that info to find out other things!
    Most people i know give out their email address like they would their phone number. Some even have their email address sign written on their cars. Most people put themselves out there socially on the net making new friends and giving out information such as where they are and what they are doing at any given time (facebook)…. all whilst having their DOB, email address, phone number for every one to see. I think it is important to say that 99.9999999% of people who put their information out there on forums or social networking sites will experience nothing worse than a spam email. And as such the benifits of being an outgoing social person on the net, making new friends and using the net to its potential far outweigh the possible consequences. Media Scare-mongering on the topic of internet security, is similar to making people too scared to leave their house for fear of being burgled.
    That said if a person really does want to go out of their way to find out information about you a simple name search on google will give you plenty to go on…. [URL=http://img257.imageshack.us/i/davidjackson.jpg/][IMG]http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/6710/davidjackson.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

  7. The issue isn’t the release of public information.

    The issue is (was) the possible selling of that information, or, at the very least, an unfair use of the information collected in good faith and subsequently mis-used, in what is was supposed to be a very local and personal level.

  8. I have just discovered that derogatory & threatening comments(ie dogs bark all day are neglected (untrue) have been posted on the Arboleas forum by my neighbour including threats to poison myself & my dogs. (I have 13 pages of this) I have twice tried to post denying this & saying that I am only going to post this once & won’t respond to replies & both times they have been removed, the 2nd time with the threat that I will be banned if I post again.

    I am taking this matter further but I get no response when contacting admin through the forum It is like being tried & found guilty without a trial. In 1 week 2 other people I know have experienced similar problems but I am going to take this as far as I can if I am not allowed to post a denial even if I have to denounce them. I have found out that a Phil Taylor lives in Limaria runs rent in spain is one of the moderators but I don’t know how to contact him. My neighbour also got hold of my e-mail address that is hidden & sent a threatening e-mail & this is in the hands of my solicitor.

    If you have any advice or want to join in please contact me via e-mail.

    Thanks Maggie

  9. Well, this is the first I’ve heard of your problem Maggie, but you have my sympathy.

    That said, often a reasonable email would help to bring the forum moderators attention to your problem, and certainly should be your first course of action. If the moderators have deleted your message from the forums then they obviously felt it to not be in their good taste – a private conversation with them may help put your argument across better than posting public messages on their forum.

    Obviously, I don’t know your personal circumstances, but if you feel that a person you know is making public threats against you, it is always my suggestions that you should inform the police. It doesn’t have to be a denuncia, it can be a simple nota de constancia, simply registering with them that something has happened – but it means you have a paper trail should something terrible happen in the future.

  10. I know this is an old post…. but anyway, here goes. I was amazed when I came across this.

    I am the guy that collected the emails from the forum. I am the guy that worked at Autobenalbox and designed and sent out the mailshots.

    No emails were given or purchased, I just did a list of existing members and copied all the email addresses that were public. I actual used an “email extractor program” that did it a page at a time… so it only took me above 15 minutes to get the list.

    It amazes me all the IDIOTS that get annoyed over “junk” email…. JUST DELETE IT for gods sake! Or take Marks advice and mark it as junk…. Honestly… GET A LIFE!

    I remember I collected about 2,000 emails and about 40 people hit the “UNSUBSCRIBE” link which was always at the bottom of the email. And we had a couple of sales that were down to the email going out.

    It was just a way to drum up business and keep my job. Keeping my job meant I could pay my rent and buy food.

    Anyway… I am now back in the UK, after being there in Albox for 11 years. Spain is definitely going down the pan, which is a shame.

    I’ll be back one day… hopefully sending you a nice, well designed, well thought out, colourful….. spammy email.

    Hasta Lumbargo.
    Steve

    PS And yes we I did offer a bottle of wine to those that resent the email (another good idea of mine) and a few people did received a bottle of wine for their troubles…. All this is called… MARKETING….

  11. Actually, it’s called spamming, having stolen emails in good faith to sell your crappy second hand cars, and as I remember the forum people were jsut as pissed off about it as I was.

    Mind you, as I too “resent” the email, can I still get my free bottle of wine? 🙂