The danger of clicking that 'unsubscribe' email link

Columnist David Lazarus answers your consumer questions in this one-minute video.

Manuel wants to limit all the messages spilling into his email inbox. He asks whether it's worthwhile clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of many emails.

It is. But be careful.


Businesses, organizations, politicians and others routinely add people to their email lists. By law, they're required to offer a way to opt out. Hence, the unsubscribe link.

Generally speaking, if it's a company or group you're familiar with, there should be no problem unsubscribing.

But if it's a business or organization you've never heard of, watch out.

It's like spam. Spammers routinely flood the world with their pitches, hoping a small percentage of recipients will respond.

Some unscrupulous types will stick you on an email list in hopes that you'll click that unsubscribe link. Once you do, they know that they've got a live one and will start bombarding you with unwanted communications.

Bottom line: Don't bother unsubscribing from anything mysterious. It's not worth it.

For more, check out today's Ask Laz video.

If you have a consumer question, email me at or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.