The Haaretz weekend magazine had an interesting article about Amir Gans, Israel’s top spammer. According to the article (in English), the 30-yar-old entrepreneur is resposible for sending out 50% of Israel’s junk email.
Interesting points made in the article: Gans tries to isolate email addresses of Hebrew speakers; he works very hard to eliminate duplicates and invalid email addresses from his list; he expects to have 4 million addresses when he is done (Israel’s population is currently 6.5 million, of which approximately 70% — 4.5 million — is Jewish), and purchased lists aren’t that good, so he has to go out and get his own.
According to Gans, his two main ways of getting email addresses is scraping them from websites, and buying lists from other spammers. Apparenly he’s willing to spend “thousands of shekels” (there are roughly 5 shekels to a dollar) to purchase a list of 10,000 people who have already purchased a product from a spammer.
This is one of the more detailed accounts of spammers that I’ve seen lately — Israeli articles tend to run much longer than those in the US press — and it’s an interesting view into spammers overseas. Good reading!