Friday 6 January 2012

Another spammer bites the dust

I just got a spam about "Henley Royal Regatta", offering me tickets for a princely sum to the River Lounge. Now I'm used to Viagra, fake watches, lonely Ulrike from Russia and dead Nigerian princes, but the Henley Regatta? That's not an organisation that I'd usually put in that category.

So I phoned the number given, (C0MMUNICAD0 LTD (est. 1999) O37O9OO8 Suite 6, 43 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HA, phone 01227 252222) although whois gives their address as 5th Floor Amphenol Business Complex, Thanet Way, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3JF, and told them that they were sending me spam. They didn't deny it, except that they'd rather call it "Unsolicited Commercial Email", and offered to take me off their spamming list, an offer that I accepted. I got the name of the Managing Director of the company, and asked them for their contact details at the Regatta. He wouldn't give them. "I don't want you hurling abuse at them," he said. "I'm not hurling abuse," I pointed out, and "No problem, I'll get it from Google."

So then I Googled the phone number of the Henley Royal Regatta and talked to a nice man there, who was quite concerned that his event was being brought into disrepute by a spammer. I copied the spam to him, then used whois to find out the spamming company name and address, and gave him that. He hadn't heard of them. But he did say that "Henley Royal Regatta" is trademarked (although not "Henley Regatta", he said), and said that he'd get his lawyers involved.

Odd, I thought, and read the spam a bit more carefully. It was specifically inviting me to The River Lounge. So I Googled that, and soon had the phone number of the people who ran that establishment.

They very soon understood the situation. They used the spamming company (possibly as one of many?) to sell tickets to the event, and the man I spoke to recognised them immediately, and knew the name of the Managing Director that I'd got. Apparently, they'd had problems like this in the past with this company sending out spam, and they'd promised not to do it again. And it looks like that hadn't had the desired effect.

The man at The River Lounge told me that he was going to speak to the spamming company, and tell them that they could no longer sell their tickets.

Is spamming legal? Well, under the P.E.C. Regulations 2003, you have to

a) obtain my contact details in the course of your efforts to provide me with a personal service
b) Your services compliment my requirements or services or similar products

Neither of these were complied with. I don't know how they got my email address (I'm guessing they bought a list), and I'm not someone who goes to regattas. Never have, probably never will. The nearest I've come was when I was caching around Henley once, and from a great distance, I could see some sort of regatta happening on the river.


So then I got an email from C0MMUNICAD0 LTD to tell me that they'd taken me off their list, and showed me a record from their database to demonstrate that. And, interestingly, that record revealed their source of information. Marketing Webs Group. So I googled that, and found a couple of likely references, and went to their web site, but their web site only gave me "Page not found error" for each page. But Google, bless them, have a cache, and from the google cache, I got the phone number of Marketing Webs Group, and spoke to Steven there (he claimed that he was having technical problems with his web site). He agreed to take my email address off his list, but revealed that he'd already sold that list to 5000 companies. Huh. So I asked him for a list of those 5000 companies, so that I could email them all, but he wouldn't give it. And before you ask, yes, if I did have a 5000-strong list of companies that had my email address for spamming, I would be willing to email them all.  Would that be me spamming them? I'd argue not, since there's a pre-existing relationship (they have my email address on their spamming list).

So I explained to him that he was in violation of the 2003 P.E.C. Regulations, and he said that he was only a list broker, that someone else owned the list, and he wouldn't tell me who. So I explained to him that violation of the 2003 P.E.C. Regulations was an offence, and his status as list broker didn't actually absolve him of that. So he said he'd refer this to the list owner, although I don't have high hopes of that action.

Spamming works because there's zero cost to the spammer, and there's the possibility of profits. In this case, the cost to the spammer is definitely non-zero.

Another spammer bites the dust.


  1. And it appears the same C0MMUNICAD0 LTD company is now sending out spam to sell tickets for the annual Grand Prix Ball via a newly registered domain (no website just MX records and outgoing spam).

    But the listed company details etc are the same.

    Looks like there's a few more event organisers who may want to check more carefully before associating with people who can bring their event into disrepute.

  2. Blogspot sends me an email to tell me about each comment. Interestingly, your comment was classified as spam by the gmail filter. I'd guess it was the URL you gave that triggered it! Well done gmail.

  3. Another spammer bites the dust. - NOT

    C0MMUNICAD0 LTD == Marketing Webs Group

    They're all run by the same cunt - Philip Sabin

  4. I don't want you hurling abuse at them," how do you stop spam he said. "I'm not hurling abuse," I pointed out, and "No problem, I'll get it from Google."

  5. Got the same bullshit from them today, same company (or web of companies, the more I dig, the more I find). today the domain is ''

    I'll be forwarding it to the royal regetta people. With luck their lawyers can persuade Mr. Sabin to do some jail time for Fraud.

  6. Call them on 01799 252235 and press option 2, explain that you want them removed and they will remove it straight away. If you follow the options for removal no one is available. They have been sending us spam for about 9/12 months now.

  7. Just thought you may be interested in the following dealings with Communicado

  8. JOOI, what is/was the URL for Marketing Webs Group? Google now appears to have lost all trace of them.