I’m in the process of building evidence to potentially defend myself in court if a Skegness police officer decides to charge me for harassing three Middlesbrough based businesses “DLH Web Consultancy Ltd”, “Web Consultancy Ltd” and “Visibility Group Ltd” which were or are owned by a Stephen Hall or possibly for harassing the owner.

To be honest until February 28th, 2020 I didn’t understand how sharing and reviewing/discussing SPAM emails online could possibly be construed as harassment, so wasn’t sure who or what I might have harassed. After a lot of research I believe I now understand how the police wrongly considered my course of conduct harassment.

If the emails I received (see later) were unsolicited first contact type marketing emails SPECIFICALLY targeted at me or my business where the sender had researched me/my business and had wrote a unique email (so NOT bulk email), then my course of conduct could be considered unreasonable.

The problem is the emails I received from Stephen Hall’s employees were NOT “unsolicited first contact type marketing emails SPECIFICALLY targeted at me or my business where the sender had researched me/my business and had wrote a unique email”, they were Unsolicited Bulk Emails sent to an Individual and I have evidence they might have been sent to hundreds of thousands of email addresses!

This Blog Post is an attempt to cover one possible defence argument, they sent me unsolicited bulk email (SPAM email) which was and still is illegal, so I reviewed it to protect consumers.

The relevant reviews were shared as one Blog Post and multiple WordPress Comments in September 2014 and May 2017. It actually started with just one WordPress Comment in 2014, then moved to one Blog Post and multiple WordPress Comments in 2017 with a couple of backup due to their 5 year long negative SEO attack campaign against my reviews!

I’m currently having to waste my valuable time researching the above businesses, him and his employees in great detail to prove they were/are engaged in sending unsolicited bulk email (SPAM) to show I had a valid reason for sharing SPAM emails from DLH Web Consultancy Ltd in 2014 and Web Consultancy Ltd in 2017.

What I find will be added to this site as part of my defence AND because I haven’t done anything wrong and will NEVER be silenced by unethical scumbag email SPAMMERS.

If you hate receiving SPAM email as much as I do, please share this article on your websites and via social media. Email SPAMMERS need to be called out when caught red-handed.

Email SPAM and Individual Subscribers vs Corporate Subscribers

The law regarding sending unsolicited bulk emails to individuals vs to corporations is different. For individuals it’s pretty much zero tolerance, businesses can’t send unsolicited bulk emails to individuals. Below is the IPO’s definition of corporate subscriber:

A corporate subscriber is therefore any corporate body (an entity with a separate legal status) with its own phone number or internet connection. This includes companies, Scottish partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), corporations sole, and some government bodies. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1537/companies-receiving-unwanted-marketing.pdf

I’m NOT a corporate subscriber, although I’m self-employed (a sole trader) in legal terms regarding emails I’m an Individual Subscriber, no different to the millions of English people who do not own a business and don’t have a corporate email address.

Interestingly in 2014 when the first SPAM arrived to an @stallion-theme.co.uk email address the registrar (Fasthosts) had wrongly listed the domain as “non-trading individual”. During one of the negative SEO attacks by DLH Web Consultancy Ltd they pointed out they couldn’t find my contact details (my address) because my domain was listed incorrectly “non-trading individual” while it should have been listed as “sole trader”. If DLH Web Consultancy Ltd were following the law in 2014 they shouldn’t have been emailing an individual to see if they wanted to pay for their business services.

As an Individual Subscriber, any business which sends me unsolicited bulk emails are breaking the law.

Since Web Consultancy were unsolicited SPAM emailers at the time I first published the SPAM email reviews (2014 and 2017), I believe sharing/reviewing them online is in the public interest: I’m trying to protect consumers by showing his businesses use SPAM email which is both illegal and IMHO the actions of unethical business people which ethical business should avoid working with.

Remember there are other hard working Middlesbrough web designers who do NOT use unsolicited bulk email, their web design businesses are damaged when businesses use illegal SPAM email to contact potential customers!

Businesses Engaged in Sending Unsolicited Bulk Emails

To avoid any confusion (this is confusing) below are the relevant ltd businesses which Stephen Hall owns or owned at the relevant dates discussed below:

DLH Web Consultancy Ltd (renamed once) https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08239559 (now closed)
Web Consultancy Ltd: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07924238 (now owned by Visibility Group Ltd). Was called Web Consultancy Group Ltd at the time they SPAMMED me
Visibility Group Ltd https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08887771 (he owns all ordinary shares)

Visibility Group Ltd

Visibility Group Ltd

Stephen Hall is the current sole ordinary share holder of Visibility Group Ltd. Visibility Group Ltd currently owns all the ordinary shares of Web Consultancy Ltd: he used to own all Web Consultancy Ltd ordinary shares prior to their transfer to Visibility Group Ltd and he owned all DLH Web Consultancy Ltd ordinary shares prior to closing the business. Accurate in February 2020.

For the record I’ve not received any SPAM email from Visibility Group Ltd, the last SPAM email I can prove arrived was on June 6th, 2017 sent by Web Consultancy Group Ltd, that’s BEFORE he owned all the Visibility Group Ltd ordinary shares and before all Web Consultancy Ltd ordinary shares were transferred to Visibility Group Ltd: I have no information related to Visibility Group Ltd sending or not sending SPAM emails.

If you have received SPAM email from any of the businesses discussed, please post a Comment below and if you still have a copy of the emails let me know if you’d be willing to share them with me.

Although Stephen Hall has never personally sent me a SPAM email (any emails), at the time (2014 and 2017) he owned all the ordinary shares of the two relevant businesses, so he is responsible for what his employees did to generate business leads for his businesses by sending unsolicited bulk emails.

What is Unsolicited Bulk Email?

Let’s start with the real basics, since it’s hard to believe a Skegness police officer who interviewed me for hours under caution on February 14th, 2020 over an harassment complaint didn’t appear to understand what unsolicited bulk email (SPAM email) is! Hence the explanation for dummies description below.

Unsolicited email is an email sent to someone where there’s no past relationship with the person.

Bulk email is an email sent to multiple recipients.

Email is SPAM only when it’s both Unsolicited and sent in Bulk.

A one off UNIQUE email sent to a potential future business client you don’t know is unsolicited, but it isn’t bulk and as long as it’s not a generic marketing email which could be sent to thousands of people it isn’t SPAM.

For example If I researched the Amazon.com domain from an SEO perspective, found some possible SEO improvements which could be made to the Amazon site and listed them into an email I sent to the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, it’s an unsolicited email, but it’s clearly not a bulk email (only sent to one person) and it’s not a generic marketing email since it would ONLY be relevant to Amazon.com.

That would NOT be a SPAM email, it would be an unsolicited first contact email which is legal. As long as I didn’t add Jeff Bezos to a mailing list I’d have no reason to provide an unsubscribe link (nothing to unsubscribe from).

SPAM Emails Sent by DLH Web Consultancy Ltd and Web Consultancy Group Ltd

I can prove they sent me 5 SPAM emails, those are the 5 emails I still have (shared later in eml format). I recall reading more SPAM emails from them, but I clear my SPAM folders regularly and it’s mostly luck I still have 5 of them 5+ years after this started!

1 of the 5 emails above were sent to info@stallion-theme.co.uk (still active)
4 of the 5 emails above were sent to orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk (dead email)

The stallion-theme.co.uk domain had a website when the SPAM email arrived from DLH Web Consultancy Ltd in 2014.

The google-adsense-templates.co.uk domain hadn’t had a website for years when the 4 SPAM emails arrived from Web Consultancy Group Ltd in 2017, but I’d kept the email live just in case old theme customers required support: I used to sell and give away AdSense ready themes on the website. I no longer own google-adsense-templates.co.uk.

These are the reasons the 5 emails were unsolicited…

I did NOT give DLH Web Consultancy Ltd or Web Consultancy Group Ltd permission to send me email to info@stallion-theme.co.uk or orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk

I NEVER used info@stallion-theme.co.uk or orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk to buy products/services. I don’t use the info@ email address for anything other than the Whois email address and the orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk was a support/sales email address.

I NEVER used info@stallion-theme.co.uk or orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk to join a mailing list or newsletter. Those 2 email addresses should NOT be on any legitimate email lists.

I’ve NEVER had a business/customer relationship with DLH Web Consultancy Ltd or Web Consultancy Group Ltd. I suspect they either scraped my email addresses from the Whois data or the Internet (orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk was shared on the site before the website was deleted, it could easily be scraped) or they bought the email addresses from another unsolicited SPAM emailer.

In one of the SPAM emails Mark Waller admits the email is like a cold call, he’s admitting we have no past business relationship and the email is unsolicited.

I thought it would be better to email you rather than cold call; we all know how annoying that is. I hope this email (although still cold) makes a better impression and allows us to arrange a chat when it is convenient for you.

In another 2 SPAM emails they both admit we have no past business relationship and the email is unsolicited. They sent the exact same email, the only difference was the name of the person SPAMMING me!

I didn’t want to cold call your business as we all find that annoying if we’re busy; instead I was hoping this email would make it possible to arrange a quick chat at your convenience?

Clearly the emails were unsolicited.

The above makes all the emails they sent me unsolicited. Unsolicited emails are legal, but not if they are bulk or the information within was relevant to lots of recipients: AKA generic marketing emails.

These are the reasons the 5 emails were generic marketing emails…

The 5 emails included nothing specific about my domains stallion-theme.co.uk, google-adsense-templates.co.uk or me/my business.

No mention of the domain, no mention of my name, no mention of what might be wrong with stallion-theme.co.uk or google-adsense-templates.co.uk or how they could SPECIFICALLY help THAT website or even my SPECIFIC business.

All 5 emails were generic marketing emails which could have been sent to a million people, they were relevant to almost any business website which might be interested in the services offered.

In some of the emails the services offered wasn’t even relevant to that domain, two things in particular stood out.

Four of the five SPAM emails offered a free website audit, the domain google-adsense-templates.co.uk didn’t have a website, so the offer wasn’t even relevant for that domain. How can a business audit a non-existent website?

In two of the SPAM emails one of the services offered was managing Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising (Google AdWords advertising), again with no website at google-adsense-templates.co.uk why would the owner (me) need a business to manage a PPC advertising campaign?

For the email sent to stallion-theme.co.uk in August 2014, Elizabeth Mulligan even admits it’s a generic email:

I suspect you receive many generic emails offering business services, but at Web Consultancy, we stand out.

Clearly the emails were generic marketing emails.

These are the reasons the emails were bulk emails…

Proving an email is a bulk email is more problematic, it’s possible to buy software like the Interspire Email Marketer software which can send the same email to tens of thousands of email addresses in a way it’s not obvious the emails are sent in bulk. Web Consultancy Group Ltd used the Interspire Email Marketer software in 2017.

Basically the software send the thousands of emails out one by one so they look like they aren’t bulk emails, but legally these emails are sill considered bulk if the emails are sent to multiple recipients where the contents are generic marketing emails. As discussed above all the emails were generic marketing emails, what I have to show next is I reasonably believed they were sent to multiple recipients.

The first email sent in August 2014 by DLH Web Consultancy Ltd had the precedence: bulk header, this is sometimes added to bulk emails to inform mail servers not to send auto replies.

Why would a business add the “precedence: bulk header” to a one off first contact type unsolicited email? Even if I was on holiday or I sent an auto reply to say this email isn’t used anymore say, if this was a first contact wouldn’t they want to know this?

No one adds “precedence: bulk header” to a one off email not sent to bulk recipients. It appears this was before they had found the Interspire Email Marketer software solution for sending bulk email, the SPAM email was instead sent by Microsoft Office Outlook 12.0.

Other indications the 1st email was a bulk email.

The Return-Path: em@webconsultancy.co.uk is listed at http://www.internetblotter.com/ along with other webconsultancy.co.uk email addresses:

mw@webconsultancy.co.uk – 2014-02-25 16:37:09
info@webconsultancy.co.uk – 2014-07-02 09:30:31
em@webconsultancy.co.uk – 2015-01-28 22:08:09

5 months after sending me an unsolicited bulk email, Elizabeth Mulligan’s email address em@webconsultancy.co.uk is listed in the “InternetBlotter Hall of Shame” for “These are recent ‘advance fee’ perpretrators and egregious spammers”.

The above makes the 1st email they sent me a bulk generic marketing email. This makes the first email an unsolicited bulk email or a SPAM email which was (and still is) illegal in the UK.

DLH Web Consultancy Ltd broke UK laws sending me an unsolicited bulk email in August 2014.

So I reviewed the email online as a WordPress Comment in September 2014 which set of a chain of harassing negative SEO attacks which I’ve been documenting online ever since!

5 Example Unsolicited Bulk Emails

Below are 5 examples of unsolicited SPAM emails, 1 from DLH Web Consultancy Ltd (sent in August 2014) and 4 from Web Consultancy Group Ltd (sent between March and June 2017).

The above SPAM emails have been exported with the eml format using Thunderbird v68.5.0 (the email program I use) on February 23rd, 2020. I believe the eml format can be imported into many email software programs, though they can also be viewed with a simple text editor like Notepad++.

Note: I edited the first eml file “2014-08-21-dlh-web-consultancy-ltd-elizabeth-mulligan-spam-email.eml” to change the “Delivered-To:” header, it included a username which I changed to “IEDITEDTHIS“. If I didn’t do this it would make it much easier for hackers to brute force password attack one of my domains! No other edits were made.

I uploaded them to the Internet as eml files for the first time in February 2020 so Skegness police and anyone else investigating their business interests can access them to decide for themselves if they are SPAM emails or not.

Had I not been accused of harassment in 2019 to Middlesbrough police, and had Middlesbrough police and later Skegness police not taken this malicious harassment complaint seriously, I’d have had no reason to upload the above eml files.

Also happy to forward the emails on to any relevant law enforcement agency. Already sent 3 of the SPAM emails to the ICO

DLH Web Consultancy Ltd – Elizabeth Mulligan SPAM Email from August 21st, 2014

Example Unsolicited Bulk Email SPAM

Example Unsolicited Bulk Email SPAM

This unsolicited SPAM email was sent on August 21st, 2014 by Elizabeth Mulligan when she was working for DLH Web Consultancy Ltd. I didn’t originally screenshot this when I added the SPAM email as text as a comment (this isn’t the original comment, it’s been moved and edited multiple times) on September 10th, 2014. That was the first review of a SPAM email from one of their employees.

The screenshot was created and uploaded on February 23rd, 2020. Like the 5 eml files above, if I wasn’t building an harassment defence there would have been no reason to create and upload this screenshot.

Web Consultancy Group Ltd – Louise Murray SPAM Email from March 27th, 2017

Middlesbrough Web Consultancy Group AdWords SPAM Email

Middlesbrough Web Consultancy Group AdWords SPAM Email

This unsolicited SPAM email was sent on March 27th, 2017 by Louise Murray when she was working for Web Consultancy Group Ltd. This was the second SPAM email sent by one of their employees which I reviewed. I reviewed this SPAM email as a WordPress Comment on March 31st 2017 (this isn’t the original WordPress Comment, it’s been moved and edited multiple times), the review originally didn’t include a screenshot of the SPAM email, the screenshot was taken on May 28th, 2017.

Web Consultancy Group Ltd – Mark Waller SPAM Email from May 4th, 2017

Web Consultancy Group SPAM Email Review

Web Consultancy Group SPAM Email Review

This unsolicited SPAM email was sent on May 4th, 2017 by Mark Waller when he was working for Web Consultancy Group Ltd. This was the third SPAM email sent by one of their employees which I reviewed. I reviewed this SPAM email as a WordPress Comment on May 4th, 2017 (this isn’t the original WordPress Comment, it’s been moved and edited multiple times), the review originally didn’t include a screenshot of the SPAM email, the screenshot was taken on May 28th, 2017.

Web Consultancy Group Ltd – Elizabeth Mulligan SPAM Email from May 23rd, 2017

Middlesbrough Web Design Company Unsolicited SPAM Email

Middlesbrough Web Design Company Unsolicited SPAM Email

This unsolicited SPAM email was sent on May 23rd, 2017 by Elizabeth Mulligan when she was working for Web Consultancy Group Ltd. This was the fourth SPAM email sent by one of their employees which I reviewed. I reviewed this SPAM email as a WordPress Post on May 23rd, 2017 (this isn’t the original WordPress Post, it’s been moved and edited multiple times), the review included a screenshot of the SPAM email, the screenshot was taken on May 23rd, 2017.

Note: After creating the Web Consultancy Ltd Review Post on May 23rd, 2017 I moved ALL the WordPress Comments mentioned above (and the one below) to that WordPress Post (with the right WordPress Plugin you can move Comments from one Post to another Post).

Web Consultancy Group Ltd – Mark Waller SPAM Email from June 6th, 2017

Fake Unsubscribe Links Added to SPAM Emails!

Fake Unsubscribe Links Added to SPAM Emails!

This unsolicited SPAM email was sent on June 6th, 2017 by Mark Waller when he was working for Web Consultancy Group Ltd. This was the fifth SPAM email sent by one of their employees which I reviewed. I reviewed this SPAM email as a WordPress Comment on June 6th, 2017 (this isn’t the original WordPress Comment, it’s been moved and edited multiple times), the review originally didn’t include a screenshot of the SPAM email and still doesn’t.

The screenshot was created and uploaded on February 24th, 2020 to add above. Like the earlier eml files and one of the other SPAM email screenshots, if I wasn’t building an harassment defence there would have been no reason to create and upload the above screenshot.

Screenshots Timeline

As of February 24th, 2020 there are just 5 screenshots of DLH Web Consultancy Ltd and Web Consultancy Group Ltd SPAM emails on this website. The first 2 were added on May 28th, 2017, the 3rd on June 6th, 2017, the 4th and 5th on February 23rd/24th, 2020.

You can’t easily add images (screenshots) to WordPress Comments, to add an image to a WordPress Comment works as follows.

1. Create and publish the WordPress Comment.
2. Edit a WordPress Post and Attach a new Image to that Post.
3. Copy the relevant images HTML code from the WordPress Post, edit the WordPress Comment and add the Image HTML code to the comment.

This results in an additional WordPress Attachment Page related to the screenshot, it means you can see the image above as part of:

A. The WordPress Comments URLs here: https://seo-gold.com/web-consultancy-ltd-review/#comment-4875 and here https://seo-gold.com/web-consultancy-ltd-review/?cid=4875
B. The WordPress Attachment Page URL here: https://seo-gold.com/web-consultancy-ltd-review/middlesbrough-web-consultancy-group-adwords-spam-email/
C. Anywhere else (like on this WordPress Post: the 5 screenshots above) where I decide to add the images HTML code. The same screenshot/image can be added to as many webpages as I chose.

WordPress also creates multiple different sized images on the same image for performance reasons, all the screenshots above for example have width 550px, but the images I uploaded are wider (WordPress created the extra images). If you don’t understand this it can make it look like I’ve added dozens of SPAM email screenshots, when there’s really only 5 screenshots (5 images of SPAM emails). The above is part of why I’m so good at onsite SEO (I understand how to use images SEO wise) and why Google appears to be filled with Web Consultancy SPAM Email Screenshots.

If I wasn’t having to create an harassment defence there would only be 3 SPAM email screenshots. The fact there’s a frivolous harassment complaint which the police have taken seriously is why I’ve added 2 more SPAM email screenshots. This is the easiest way for me to create an easy to access harassment defence with images. If I wasn’t doing it this way I might have missed the possible FAKE Unsubscribe links!

FAKE Unsubscribe Links

Earlier I showed 5 SPAM emails from DHL Web Consultancy Ltd and Web Consultancy Group Ltd, all 5 emails contain Unsubscribe links.

TWO of the Unsubscribe links appear to be FAKE unsubscribe links, based on my research I’m reasonably confident some of the Unsubscribe links do nothing!

Although there are FOUR unsubscribe links within the 4 SPAM emails sent to orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk there are just THREE unique Unsubscribe URL formats, that threw up a red flag.

The 2 SPAM emails from Louise Murray (date 27 Mar 2017) and Mark Waller (date 04 May 2017) have this almost identical URL (I’ve bolded each variable):

27 Mar 2017 – http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=73
04 May 2017 – http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=113

There’s only one unique variable N=.

23 May 2017 – http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3
06 Jun 2017 – http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

For these two unsubscribe links there’s nothing unique.

In 2017 Web Consultancy Group Ltd owned both of the domains webconsultancygroup.co.uk and b2b-data.co.uk, on b2b-data.co.uk Web Consultancy was selling a huge database of email addresses!

This dynamic URL format is from the Interspire Email Marketer Software, from digging through the software code I know what the relevant variables refer to for the software:

M= subscriberid
C= confirmcode
L= listid
N= statid

My understanding is:

M= subscriberid = Specific subscriber, basically the users email address. If these weren’t fake unsubscribe links I’m subscriber 1 on List 1 and subscriber 815,577 (that’s a HUGE SPAM list) on List 15.

C= confirmcode = Educated guess this is a unique code for each email campaign to reduce malicious unsubscribes**

L= listid = With Interspire a software owner can setup multiple lists, looks like Web Consultancy Group Ltd had at least 15 lists in 2017 and my email address was on at least Lists 1 and 15.

N= statid = Not sure what this is, I suspect it’s for statistics tracking.

** If there was no confirmcode linked to Interspire it means anyone could create a script to easily unsubscribe all users from an email list. Even with the confirmcode it would still be relatively easy to build a script as long as the script creator had received one email like the ones above. Let’s say there was a list with 500 email addresses, should be a simple case to have a script load the unsubscribe URL and simply rotate through the M= variable from 1 to 500. Start with M=1, then M=2, then M=3…. M=500 and ALL 500 subscribers from the list would be unsubscribed.

The reason I suspect these unsubscribe links are fake is I can find one of them archived multiple times on the Wayback Machine – Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/2017*/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3.

Archived Web Consultancy Fake Unsubscribe Link

Archived Web Consultancy Fake Unsubscribe Link

In 2017 the above Web Consultancy Group Ltd Unsubscribe link was archived SIX times:

May 21st, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20170521115911/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

June 23rd, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20170623183252/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

July 26th, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20170726002333/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

August 26th, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20170826185543/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

September 29th, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20170929034650/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

October 30th, 2017: https://web.archive.org/web/20171030135946/http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

What this tells us is BEFORE May 21st, 2017 this URL could be found somewhere on the Internet allowing the archive website to archive this URL. This is very important, a link to this URL had to be online before May 21st, 2017.

You can see I received 2 SPAM emails with this unsubscribe URL, the first time was May 23rd, 2017 and the second time June 6th, 2017.

You can see from the 6 archived URLs above that URL format had already been unsubscribed BEFORE Web Consultancy Group Ltd SPAMMED me on May 23rd and June 6th, 2017. If I was indeed subscriber 1 of list 1 my email address was already marked unsubscribed at least 2 days before the first SPAM email and about 2 weeks before the second SPAM email was sent!

Conclusion, that was a fake unsubscribe link to placate users naive enough to believe SPAM emailers like Web Consultancy would remove their email address from their SPAM list! More I look into these businesses, more I see a pattern of unethical business practices.

Update February 29th, 2020: I didn’t look closely enough at the SPAM emails, it’s even more interesting than I first thought.

For the 4 SPAM emails to my old orders@google-adsense-templates.co.uk email address I only looked at the Unsubscribe links at the bottom of the emails whilst in HTML format. Digging deeper there’s a lot more information available indicating just how devious these people are.

It looks like the Interspire Email Marketer Software which isn’t designed for sending SPAM email per se, added useful headers, see the X-Mailer headers below.

Email From: “Louise Murray” louise@adwordscompany.uk Date: March 27th, 2017 includes these headers etc…:

X-Mailer-LID: 15
List-Unsubscribe: <http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=73>
X-Mailer-RecptId: 815577
X-Mailer-SID: 73
X-Mailer-Sent-By: 1

Plain Text Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=73

HTML Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=73

Tracking Image
<img
src="http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/open.php?M=815577&L=15&N=73&F=H&image=.jpg"
height="1" width="10">

You can see all the Interspire variables match, looks like this includes a valid unsubscribe link.

That makes my email address the 815,577 email address on List number 15.

Email From: “Mark Waller” mark@webconsultancyltd.co.uk Date: May 4th, 2017 includes these headers etc…:

X-Mailer-LID: 14,15
List-Unsubscribe: <http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=113>
X-Mailer-RecptId: 815577
X-Mailer-SID: 113
X-Mailer-Sent-By: 1

Plain Text Version of Unsubscribe Link
No Plain Text Email Version

HTML Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=815577&C=abd2b70c1fad30cec4a59060da46c4ca&L=15&N=73

Tracking Image
<img
src="http://webconsultancygroup.co.uk/Interspire/open.php?M=815577&L=15&N=73&F=H&image=.jpg"
height="1" width="10">

You can see all the Interspire variables match, looks like this includes a valid unsubscribe link.

That makes my email address the 815,577 email address on List number 15.

This is where it gets interesting.

Email From: “Elizabeth Mulligan” elizabeth@webconsultancyltd.co.uk Date: May 23rd, 2017 includes these headers etc…:

X-Mailer-LID: 14
List-Unsubscribe: <http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=550964&C=38560f8bf82a8e76ef5330c75af2d9e4&L=14&N=20>
X-Mailer-RecptId: 550964
X-Mailer-SID: 20
X-Mailer-Sent-By: 1

Plain Text Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=550964&C=38560f8bf82a8e76ef5330c75af2d9e4&L=14&N=20

HTML Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

Tracking Image
<img
src="http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/open.php?M=550964&L=14&N=20&F=H&image=.jpg"
height="1" width="10">

You can see NOT all the Interspire variables match, this includes a fake unsubscribe link for the HTML version of the email.

If this email is viewed in HTML format the fake unsubscribe link loads!

That makes my email address the 550,964 email address on List number 14, but the fake Unsubscribe link is email address 1 on list number 1.

Email From: “Mark Waller” mark@webconsultancyltd.co.uk Date: June 6th, 2017 includes these headers etc…:

X-Mailer-LID: 29
List-Unsubscribe: <http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1312379&C=156ecc34b1fb8b4f460f2fc8c8f02dbe&L=29&N=33>
X-Mailer-RecptId: 1312379
X-Mailer-SID: 33
X-Mailer-Sent-By: 1

Plain Text Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1312379&C=156ecc34b1fb8b4f460f2fc8c8f02dbe&L=29&N=33

HTML Version of Unsubscribe Link
http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/unsubscribe.php?M=1&C=c1304cf4767c7882b3045bb85de0f930&L=1&N=3

Tracking Image
<img
src="http://b2b-data.co.uk/interspire/open.php?M=1312379&L=29&N=33&F=H&image=.jpg"
height="1" width="10">

You can see NOT all the Interspire variables match, this includes a fake unsubscribe link for the HTML version of the email.

If this email is viewed in HTML format the fake unsubscribe link loads!

That makes my email address the 1,312,379 email address on List number 29, but the fake Unsubscribe link is email address 1 on list number 1.

So the first two emails appear to have valid unsubscribe links (doesn’t mean users are actually unsubscribed).

For the last two emails the HTML version of the unsubscribe links are fake, if I had clicked those links in May and June 2017 it would have said I’ve been unsubscribed from the list 1, but I’d still be on lists 14, 15 and 29.

Based on the above Web Consultancy Group Ltd in June 2017 had up to 29 SPAM lists and one of them had at least 1,312,379 email addresses on them!

And even if a victim of their unsolicited bulk email clicked the unsubscribe links, not only were some of them fake unsubscribe links, but the real links didn’t remove the user from ALL their SPAM lists.

Consider I have limited data to work with here, for all we know they have 100+ SPAM lists with tens of millions of email addresses in total. If you’ve been SPAM emailed by any of the above businesses please drop a comment below, if I can get more data (more SPAM email examples) I can build a clearer picture.

David Law

David Law
*
: Technical SEO Expert with 20 years Online Business, SEO, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing experience... Creator of multiple WordPress SEO Themes and SEO Plugins. Interests: wildlife, walking, environmental issues, politics, economics, journalism, consumer rights.

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