New York State Police

How Do Spammers and Online Stalkers Find Me?

Spammers, those who send unsolicited "junk" electronic mail (E-mail) to promote products or services, are not looking for you-they are looking for a million of you. Their goal is to contact as many people online as possible so that they can generate as many responses as possible.

Children are especially at risk because they are less likely to watch their "CyberSteps" and more likely to communicate in chatrooms and with unknown individuals.

Spammers can find you in many ways including


In addition to extracting E-mail addresses from web sites by the methods described above, many web sites and E-newsletters use "cookies" to track your every move on their site.

There are many convenient and legitimate uses for cookies.

There are legitimate Internet resources that can be misused.

Once someone has your E-mail address there are legitimate Internet resources that can be misused to find additional information about you.

Adapted from "How Do Spammers aond Online Stalkers Find You?" in The Front Line, August 2001, Volume XXXXIV, page 8-9. Copyright 2001 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. All rights reserved.