Just found the start of this!
Paypal & the Art of Getting Money from Spammers
1. Set up a Paypal account. If you don't already have one, go to www.paypal.com
and they'll walk you through the rest. If you're gonna use the rest of my information to get rich (lol) at least put me down as the referral so I get $5! As of April 2002, I've gotten a total of $0 in Paypal referrals. (sigh)
2. Sort out your UCE [unsolicited commercial email]. The only ones you will be dealing with are those that (a) didn't use false headers, (b) sent the email actually addressed to you and (c) you didn't request their solicitations.
You probably just eliminated 90% of your spam. On the good side, it keeps the workload down.
3. Go back over to the Paypal site. After you log in, you will see on the top bar, a tab that says REQUEST MONEY. Open that sucker up.
4. Put in the email address of the spammer.
4a. Put in the amount. I suggest $50. It gets their attention, but doesn't generally get 'em mad.
Less and they don't think you're serious.
4b. For subject, I generally put "advertising."
5. Under Note, I have something to the general effect of:
I have received unsolicited commercial email from you. You have, deliberately and with intent to make financial gain, invaded my privacy. That is a crime in my State. I am willing to settle the matter with you this week for $50, to be paid to my Paypal account.
If you choose not to settle, I can and will file for damages in my local small claims court. I can and will ask for at least 10 times the settlement amount plus court and collection costs.
All that is required to prove my case in the local court is a printout of your UCE.
While you may have an attorney present, YOUR presence is required by the Small Claims court. Without your presence, I win by default. Your attorney cannot represent you in this court.
When I win the case in Small Claims Court, the judgement (1) is not appealable to any higher court and (2) will be sent to Superior Court for certification.
When the judgement is certified, it will be sent to the Superior Court in your area. Once it is filed with that court, it will be in the Public Records for your area, plus, I will be able to seize your bank accounts and other assets until my judgement is satisfied. Perhaps worse, you will also have to pay for all of this paperwork as a result of the initial judgement.
If you should send addiitonal UCE to me in the future, this will repeat itself.
6. Send off the Paypal request.
the Spammer hasn't paid by Friday afternoon, send them a reminder.
8. If you don't see anything by the following Monday: take followup action!
9. Email me for the followup steps.
NOT A LAWYER OR
ATTORNEY. Nor am I a paralegal. I've never claimed to be. [Ben Livingston claimed that I was-- but that was his factual error.]
I had offered to help others in court for a 50/50 split of the proceeds. This was as a co-plaintiff, not representing the plaintiff. I haven't actually been called upon to do this, but I have received dozens of nasty emails about this. The offer is completely revoked!
A few additional notes:
If you live in a major metro area (like, er , Seattle) you don't particularly want to take on a local Spammer. If they DO
show up in court, they will still lose, but they can be VERY intimidating!
Do your suit in a small town a few hundred or thousand miles from the Spammer. You want it to be WAY too expensive for them to actually show up.
Unless your goals are way different, all you want is (1) for them to stop sending you UCE and (2) possibly send you some money. Almost anything else is more trouble than it's worth...and don't you have better things to do with most of your life?