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Online harassment or spam?

Online harassment or spam?
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Q. My computer was hacked awhile ago and the person got some email addresses from my AOL address book. Now, I'm receiving mail with Web links that I refuse to go to for fear my laptop will get a virus or get hacked again. I sent a message back to whomever is sending the email and asked to be taken off the mailing list. Now I get even more email! I don't know what to do. I've tried blocking the email, but it hasn't worked. Is this Internet harassment? If it is, I want to start legal proceedings. I've contacted my local police and the FBI, but I have yet to receive a reply. Thanks for your help.
- Deb of Cincinnati, OH, listens to my national radio show on WKRC 550 AM.

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A. Thanks for the question, Deb, and for listening to the show. I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations.

It sounds to me like you're more a victim of spam abuse than Internet harassment. With harassment, there's a person at the other end who engages in bullying and possibly threatening behavior.

Your irritating spam emails are most likely coming from one or more infected robot computers around the world. And it was probably an automated virus that stole your email address in the first place.

To make matters worse, when you responded to the spam email, you verified to the system that your email account is active. That's why you started receiving even more spam.

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