A very short story to add to the “horror of spam”.
These days, all of my email accounts collectively receive around 300 spam / phishing messages a day, most of them from script kiddies in Eastern Europe, Russia and China. They’re boringly similar and instantly recognizable, and almost all of them are tracked by my two email service providers with very few false positives or negatives. They far outweigh the post I am looking for, but are at least easy to work with.
A few years ago I was a member of a professional computer association and as a result had an email account with a valuable name that I had obtained by signing up for an account immediately when the association started offering email to members. I didn’t have any problems with it for a while: it didn’t get more spam than I could easily handle. The association filtering was done by a third party, but that third party wasn’t very effective so I had to do most of my own work.
Then one day I suddenly got hundreds of spams. It was uncomfortable, but I could still handle it because they were so recognizable. (Which is still spam, everywhere.) Then the next day it was thousands. The spam was still recognizable, but it was difficult to find the mail you were looking for in the spam.
Then it got worse; the tide became overwhelming. It was getting worse and worse. My computer could no longer download all of my email, so I had to switch to downloading only the first few lines. The club couldn’t help me. Things got completely out of hand.
Over 7 weeks my mail was more than 3,000,000 spam messages, and to this day I have no idea why. But since the association couldn’t help, I had to close this account and delete the address. REST IN PEACE. The episode resulted in my reorganizing my personal and non-personal email handling, and using techniques that have long worked well for me. (Tip: I pay a reputable provider for my main email service that I set up separate email account names for different correspondent target areas. It’s worth the money, which is way below what many people get to hand out junk food or bottles of water.)