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A Bad Rap Have you been slammed as a spammer? Here's how to fight back.

By Catherine Seda

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sending e-mail to people without their permission, known as "spamming," isn't just wrong . . . it's evil. I'm not a spammer. But I have been accused of this deviant act. An accusation can provoke a nasty response from a recipient or even get your Web site shut down. Responding to any such allegation is vital to prevent your site from going offline or to help you get back online quickly.

"On average, we get 9 million spam complaints each month," says Julian Haight, creator of SpamCop, a notification system that allows spam victims to alert the spammer's ISP. The ISP then deals directly with the spammer who is using its servers to issue unsolicited e-mail.

ISPs receive complaints via SpamCop or other auto-reporting tools, and many have custom applications for tracking this growing problem. ISPs then send out "spam reports" to suspected spammers.

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