It is estimated that nearly 200 billion spam messages go out to e-mails around the world in any given day. Most of them promising cheap drugs or incredible offers that are often false.
But Daniel Balsam has found a way to turn those e-mails into a lucrative job.
“I sued probably 75 or more since I started in 2002,” he said.
Balsam is referring to the companies responsible for spam messages. The former e-mail marketer said he quit his job to pursue a law degree in hopes of stopping spam e-mails.
Currently, Balsam has won 42 small-claim cases. Most of his victories can also be found on a website he created called Dan Hates Spam (www.danhatesspam.com).
But while many refer to Balsam as the ultimate spam blocker, defense attorney Bennet Kelly has a different term.
“I’ve heard the term ‘spambulance chaser’ used,” he said.
In fact Kelly has represented several companies Balsam has sued.
“You know spam is not illegal,” he said. “You know the United States Congress made a determination that unsolicited e-mails are protected by the first amendment.”
Balsam has said his goal is to get rid of unwanted e-mails one spammer at a time.
But Bennet Kelly says those tactics may be excessive.
“He’s going after legitimate companies on questionable claims and he’s able to get settlements on a lot of them just because of the nuisance value,” he said.
“They’re out-of-state companies and they don’t want to fly in to defend the claim.”
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