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Spammers Pay You - or Your Favorite Charity

A new email service lets you make money off email ads and spam

5:59 PM -- Why didn't anyone think of this before: charging spammers to get their messages to you. A new service from Boxbe -- a startup whose name plays off its tag line of "Make your inbox behave" -- lets you set a price for advertisers, or anyone who's not in your designated circle of family and friends, to send you email.

Huh? Is this some form of reverse psychology: "Uh, yeah...that's right, you better pay me so I'll buy something from you, you got that?" You can charge anywhere from .03 to $99, and Boxbe sends you, or the charity of your choice, 75% of what they collect from those advertisers who agree to pay to message you.

Boxbe is basically giving you a forwarding email address that serves as your "public" email address for use on blog sites, social networking sites, and other public places where you lurk, or when you want to be on an online catalog's email list. (Boxbe is working on sealing deals with brand-name retailers, too.)

If you're not so worried about the extra cash you can make off of faking out advertisers and spammers, but more about the environment, take note: The Boxbe service saves trees, too. Boxbe says on its Website that by letting retailers talk to you via email instead of direct mail, you save trees, lower energy consumption, and reduce hydrocarbon emissions, since fewer trucks are needed to carry postal mail.

Bring on the spam.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading