The article says:
1. If you really want someone to stop sending you spam, report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They are the ones who regulate unsolicted email.
This is a bit of an overpromise. The FTC doesn't really regulate spam per se
. It regulates business practices, and can take action against companies that engage in illegal practices, or that sell illegal products. Not all spam is illegal, and not all spam offers illegal products for sale. The spam you receive may be offensive, annoying and invasive, but it may otherwise be perfectly legal.
The FTC only collects the spam in order to generate statistical information. They only very rarely, and very selectively, undertake enforcement action against the most prolific and most easily identifiable spammers, and even then, only with the help of a major ISP, like AOL. These actions typically unroll over the course of 1 to 3 years. Your individual submission of spam will not trigger an investigation or an enforcement action.
The best way to stop a spammer is to identify the company the provides the spammer with connectivity, and notify them of their customer's poor behavior. Most IPSs have rules against the use of their facilities to send spam, even if the spam is otherwise perfectly legal.
The trouble is identifying exactly who that company is. Spammers usually exert a great deal of effort to disguise the origins of the spam. You'll need to examine the headers of the e-mail, and most e-mail clients don't show it by default. It will often look similar to this:
Received: from plushie.suespammers.org (plushie.suespammers.org [22.214.171.124])
by toro.popovich.net (8.13.4/8.13.1) with ESMTP id k0VFSTF4008394
for <firstname.lastname@example.org> env-from (email@example.com);
Tue, 31 Jan 2006 10:28:29 -0500
Received: from infoasis.com (palm.forest.net [126.96.36.199])
by plushie.suespammers.org (8.12.9-20030919/8.12.9) with ESMTP id k0VFSMvD018254
for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Tue, 31 Jan 2006 07:28:27 -0800
Received: from [188.8.131.52] (HELO dpwd.com)
by infoasis.com (CommuniGate Pro SMTP 4.0.6)
with SMTP id 47575861 for email@example.com; Tue, 31 Jan 2006 07:31:12 -0800
Subject: selfcommunion undecked
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 10:27:30 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1106
Decrypting e-mail headers is a bit of a black art, but essentially we see that this was forwarded by infoasis.com, which is a notorious hotbed of spammers. I sure wish the FTC would go after them.
The article also advises against purchasing anything from spammers. Now, there's some advice I can heartily endorse.