Has anyone else received unsolicited email (spam) from a https://startups.stackexchange.com/ user (I can provide the user name if necessary)?


  • The From and Return path names exactly match a https://startups.stackexchange.com/ username (I realise that these can be forged but this seems unlikely).
  • His LinkedIn profile picture is the same as the users gravatar, so I'm pretty sure it the same person as the user.
  • My profile does not include my email address or any other links that would expose my email address).
  • I haven't actually contributed anything to startup (I joined purely so I can spam flag)

I'm also curious to know how they got hold of my email address.

Contents of the email:

Hi David,

I enjoyed your contributions on the Stack Exchange vertical about startups and felt inspired to reach out on behalf of CoFoundersLab - one of the largest networks of entrepreneurs online, which I currently lead.

At the moment, we are ramping up our CoFoundersLab Discuss section, which is very similar to Stack Exchange. The main difference that adds a ton of value for our entrepreneurs is that we've added networking and collaboration components, where entrepreneurs can find cofounders, team members, and advisors. So far, CFL Discuss has 5,000+ discussions, 48,000 answers, and a 90% response rate.

We would be honored to have you as part of our community. I'd like to give you a free premium membership (worth $180) in exchange for 1 question and 2 answers from you per month. A premium membership offers unlimited messaging, advanced search, the ability to see everyone who has viewed your profile, recommended candidates, and free matchup events.

Would you be interested in helping entrepreneurs and receiving in exchange a premium membership?

  • 5
    let me guess <username>@<biggest email service provider>? a quick google search confirms it's out there, but not on any SE sites
    – m0sa
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 17:35
  • @m0sa Probably :) Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 17:46
  • 3
    "vertical" hashtag douchechills
    – user1228
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 18:08
  • 3
    @Won't I don't know if it's my age but I really don't get that comment ... :/ Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:32
  • Received here as well.
    – Gyan
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 8:34
  • @Mulvya Is your email easy to guess or publicly available? Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 9:25
  • Both, although the former likely accounts for this spam.
    – Gyan
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


Sorry if this personal outreach offended anyone. It was genuinely intended to add value and help out some entrepreneurs that are in need of guidance. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  • 16
    We didn't ask for your "Personal Outreach". That makes it spam. And it certainly doesn't help the people you sent it to. Please find an ethical way of promoting your network. You could start by reading How Not to Be a Spammer When Marketing Your Business Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 16:18
  • 3
    Although I appreciate you telling us you didn't mean to spam, please consider the reactions you get when doing this the next time. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 16:32
  • 8
    And one other thing. Please tell me (as requested) how you obtained my email address. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 16:35
  • 3
    Also very interested in how this spammer got hold of my email address, and why I was targeted given that the reason given in the email was due to participation in the Startups stack, one that I haven't posted on and wasn't even aware existed until today!
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 17:17
  • 2
    I insist you tell us how you obtained our email addresses. I do not make it publicly available through this site.
    – Heptite
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 20:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .