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Spamming and Spoofing

Washington v. Jason Heckel d/b/a Natural Instincts, Superior Court of the State of Washington, Kings County.


The first action brought by Washington’s Attorney General against an alleged spammer pursuant to Washington’s Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act.


In this case, the Washington Attorney General consumer protection division seeks recovery under the state’s recently enacted Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act (“the Act”) against Oregon resident Jason Heckel (“Heckel”), who conducts electronic business under the name “Natural Instincts,” has since 1996 sent spam to recipients worldwide, including recipients who reside in Washington.


Heckel’s spam offers for sale a $39.99 product package which the defendants claim will assist purchasers in “how to really make money on the Information Super Highway.” Interested recipients need only download an attached order form, fill it out and return it by snail mail. According to the allegations, Heckel was selling between 30 and 50 product packages a week this way.


Washington further alleges that Heckel uses “Extractor Pro” software to harvest addresses and is thus able to send between 100,000 and 1,000,000 messages per week. This large volume of mail apparently caused several of Heckel’s ISPs to cancel service contracts with him.


According to the complaint, Heckel’s spam violated virtually every aspect of the Act, including using subject lines that do not accurately describe the content of the message, altering the header information, and using false or misleading return addresses, which explains the need for interested parties to reply via snail mail. Washington seeks as remedies injunctive relief and a penalty in the amount of $2,000 per piece of spam.


Heckel has not formally responded to the lawsuit.

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