Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fighting the BMW Spam Machine – Part 1


In this series I will take you along on a fight against a sleazy, unrepentant, relentless spammer. Together we will discover if the US canned spam act, and or any state laws have any real teeth in fighting a known spammer doing business in the United States of America.

The spam story starts back in May of 2011 when I receive spam from BMW of Mt. Laurel, an a dealer in New Jersey that is a part of a company called  Holman Automotive. Why a BMW dealer in New Jersey is spamming a guy in the State of Washington is beyond me, but I asked them to stop.

In November 2011 I received more spam from BMW of Mt. Laurel. I contacted BMW of Mt Laurel again and they said they would remove my name from their list. In December 2011 I received more spam and again requested that they remove me from their spam list.

In January 2012 Wendy Morgan of BMW of Mt. Laurel continues her relentless spamming and blatant disregard for federal legislation and so I contact BMW of Mt. Laurel, Holman Automotive Group and BMW USA and demand that the spamming stop. Wendy Morgan assured me that the spamming would stop. BMW USA will not intervene or sever their relations with a dealer who violates federal laws. BMW USA did ask for my number so they could contact me, and I did provide it, but they did not follow up.

Come May 2012 and BMW of Mt. Laurel is spamming me again. Holman Automotive, and BMW of Mt. Laurel refuse to respond to demands to stop spamming me and BMW USA refuses to do anything. This time BMW USA did call to let me know they would not do anything.

In part 2 of this posting I will guide readers through the process of filing an online complaint with the FTC. After that I will continue with walking readers through how to file a civil suit against spammers who refuse to comply with federal legislation.

Let’s see if an individual can take a stand against sleazy spammers like BMW of Mt. Laurel and perhaps see if BMW USA does have an obligation to assist in preventing their affiliates from spamming.

Part 2 - An Open Letter to BMW AG
http://randy-abrams.blogspot.com/2012/06/fighting-bmw-spam-machine-part-2.html

Part 3 - How to Get A the Attention of a Global Corporation
http://randy-abrams.blogspot.com/2012/06/fighting-bmw-spam-machine-part-3.html

Part 4 - Filing an Online FTC Complaint is Easy, Fun, and Socially Responsible
http://randy-abrams.blogspot.com/2012/06/fighting-bmw-spam-machine-part-4.html

Part 5 - Using the Internet Crime Complaint Center (The IC3)
http://randy-abrams.blogspot.com/2012/07/using-internet-crime-complaint-center.html

©2012 Randy Abrams - Independent Security Analyst

2 comments:

  1. Sorry but the FTC will do NOTHING at all. Email and fax spammers have no enforcement from our government. I tried for months filing complaints about fax spammers and the FTC could care less. These companies were reported per instructions. All numbers on the DNC list as well. Violations galore but our law enforcement agencies have no interest in dealing wit this. Heck they didn't even care about Bernie Madoff when that guy handed him on a silver platter 4 times to the SEC.

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  2. You know, when I saw the username I was thinking blog spam, but you made a relevant comment, so the comment stands.

    I agree that the FTC will not act on individual complaints. In the case of BMW of Mt. Vernon there will not be enough complaints to hit the level of abuse required to initiate FTC action, but it is important for them to collect the data. The big picture is useful in working toward better anti-spam legislation.

    If the spammer is in the same country then legal action becomes an option. Currently stares need to adopt better legislation. In Washington State, for example, if the subject line is misleading I can sue in small claims for $500, but not for a spammer refusing to stop spamming me. I didn't look into harassment charges though.

    Thanks for the comment!

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