I get a lot of emails from subscription lists that I know I didn’t subscribe to. When I click the link in the email to unsubscribe, I still get emails from the same list, and it seems like I get even more. What’s going on?
First of all, The CAN-SPAM Act 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003), was intended to make it easy to avoid getting unintended emails—it did nothing of the kind, since we all know that a huge percentage of emails are unwanted. There are really two issues here, however—unsubscribing from email lists that you legitimately joined, and unsubscribing from email lists from which you have never subscribed.
Legitimate email lists should always provide a means of removing your name from their list, generally by an “unsubscribe” link in the email. (Some lists ask you to respond to the email with specific text in the subject—those lists are most likely maintained manually.) Some email providers and client software make it easy to unsubscribe from these lists by providing an unsubscribe link in the software—click the link, and the software takes care of unsubscribing you. Read carefully: You should only use unsubscribe links, or software’s unsubscribe tool, for lists that you know are legitimate, and that you subscribed to yourself.
If you unsubscribe from a list that you never heard of, or from an email that seems suspicious, it’s likely that your efforts to unsubscribe will simply confirm the validity of your email address to a potential scammer. If you receive an unwanted, unrecognized email, your best bet is to simply delete it. If you receive multiple/regular unwanted emails from the same source, you can often use your email software to create a rule that will automatically delete the email (Gmail and Outlook.com both make this particularly easy). In general, it’s best to simply ignore/delete/don’t touch any email that seems suspicious, or comes from an unknown sender. For more information on unsubscribing from email lists, see this article: http://www.howtogeek.com/198746/how-to-unsubscribe-from-email-newsletters-the-correct-way/.