The following information was provided by Spam Fighter. There is allot of information, but at least you will have this to refer to.
Purchase a CD of Email Addresses
1. Spammers can buy 90 million+ e-mail addresses on a single CD for about $20. They simply "load" these e-mail addresses into their bulk mail program and hit Send. Fortunately most of these e-mail addresses are duds and are of no use to the spammer at all.
From a Website
Email Harvester Programs
3. E-mail extractors can also be used. These programs wander around the web looking for e-mail addresses on websites or in online forums. Once they find an address they harvest it by adding the address into their email database. Later, a separate program tests the emails for validity to see if they are active. A typical e-mail extractor can gather 15,000 e-mail addresses per hour.
4. They prowl online forums manually gathering e-mail addresses. This is a slow process but more and more webmasters are making it difficult for spammers to automatically harvest e-mail addresses from their groups. Paid membership forums are the main target. Customers who can afford $20 a month to use an online forum are a prime target for their next spam campaign. Money follows money as it were.
5. They use newsgroup harvesters to automatically scan for and gather e-mail addresses. A junk mailer can gather e-mail addresses from 20,000 - 30,000 newsgroups simultaneously. They can potentially gather hundreds of thousands of e-mail addresses in very little time using this method.
6. They set up a hoax competition website or similar. The only condition for entering the draw/lotto is entering your e-mail address. Once you enter your e-mail address you are on yet another spam list.
7. A "dictionary" program is used. It takes common domains like @yahoo.com and then generates random e-mail addresses using peoples first and last names combined with other guesswork to create a working junk mail list. This is time consuming but works perfectly well.
Once a spammer has your e-mail address he or she will then gather all the required data for their next mail shot with you as one of the target customers.
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