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Monday, December 27, 2010

Anti-Spam Crusader Dan Balsam Takes on 'Cheating Wives,' Other Spammers

Posted By on Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 1:45 PM

click to enlarge monty_python_spam.jpg

Dan Balsam's inbox has been deluged with hundreds and hundreds of e-mails over the past 36 hours. But, for once, the anti-spam crusader is happy about it.

The San Francisco lawyer was the subject of a national Associated Press feature; readers may recall SF Weekly penning a story about Balsam back in March. (He candidly told us he was spurred to quit a job in marketing, go to law school, and begin suing spammers out of the frustration of e-mails "promising me bigger breasts and my wife a bigger penis.").

The e-mails he's getting now are a bit more pleasant. "Most people are thanking me. Some of them are asking for legal help in states I'm not licensed to practice in. And some of them are calling me a blood-sucking leech," he says with a laugh. "The vast majority of people hate spam and like what I'm doing."

Balsam -- who meticulously chronicles his anti-spam campaign on the Dan Hates Spam website -- now spends most of his work time suing spammers on his own or on behalf of clients. He also spends a lot of time being sued by spammers, who have claimed he spills confidential settlement terms.

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He's currently suing on behalf of some 50 clients, and the company's New York and San Francisco law firms are suing him. "It's lots of fun," he says.

The lawyer's next target is likely "a website that purports to have cheating wives who want to have sex with me. And with everyone."

Here's Balsam's beef: These aren't real cheating wives. They're fake profiles. The "from" and "subject" lines are therefore deceptive. "If this is what you're into, fine. My issue is the spamming. The subject line is 'married women want to have sex with you.'

"No, they don't."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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