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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #1
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returned spams?

Using Outlook Express on my wife's Windows PC. There are increasing amounts of emails returned, emails of which we have never sent. Obviously, this is some sort of spam at work, but are there spammers actually sending emails from our OE account?
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Old Dec 30th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #2
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No. It is almost certainly not coming from your machine.*

The spammers have your email on a millions disk (or alternatively, it is virally-sent spam on someone else's machine) and they are forging your email address, randomly as a valid reply-to address in the email headers.

There is almost nothing you can do about this, other than to alert your ISP that it is happening if it persists. You don't want them being concerned that you might be spamming.

Word of the day: If this is being done intentionally by a third party, in order to flood your mailbox with bounces and complaints, then it is called a "Joe-Job"

* However this would be an excellent time to update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on the Win machine and run a full scan, to be confident.
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 08:36 PM   #3
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I use message bounce in Apple mail and it seems to work well. I hardly every get a second message once I "bounce" them to the original sender.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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I've used the mesage bounce before, but I always get it returned saying that it failed.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 05:24 PM   #5
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I bounced three yesterday again with no problem.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 05:34 PM   #6
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The problem with bouncing the emails back to the sender is that the spammers almost always forge the From and Reply-to addresses. Therefore, a bounce only aggravates the innocent person whose address was forged.

Seldom does a spammer care that their mail doesn't make it through, as it costs them almost nothing to send -- it costs considerably more to clean a list than to continue sending even 70-80% failures. Therefore there is no incentive for them to accept or track bounced replies, so they direct them elsewhere. The only ones that may care are the more-or-less legitimate advertisers and mailing list managers.

IMO, bouncing AFTER the message has arrived in your POP mailbox is couonterproductive. The only effective bounce-the-spam scenario is if your ISP has the ability to filter headers on the incoming transmission from the other mailserver, and return an error message server-to-server.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaRAM
The problem with bouncing the emails back to the sender is that the spammers almost always forge the From and Reply-to addresses. Therefore, a bounce only aggravates the innocent person whose address was forged.
I agree with you. I first thought the 'bounce' feature was great, but more often than not, when I bounce an email I get a message back that implies that the mail address I 'bounced' to doesn't exist.
I find email error messages are usually hard to decipher - none of them seem to be in plain English to tell you what the problem really is.

And back to the original problem. I had the same issue a while back where it seemed as if someone else was using my email account to send out spam. This was also Outlook Express. Talked to my ISP about - the tech person there explained how this was done (not really from my account) and there was nothing the ISP could do about it.
The problem eventually stopped - not sure why, but I get very little spam right now and don't even use a spam filter (and I have had the same email addrss for many years).
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 02:35 PM   #8
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Never "bounce," never "block," always just delete.

If the spam gets to be too much, change your address.

Use a "free" address for most things, like Yahoo's email or any other that you don't care about losing. And if it's your @rogers or @sympatico address that's getting hit, consider changing that too.

Trying to bounce or block the spammer's is a fool's errand.

(Does anyone remember the Mac game "Fool's Errand," by the way?)
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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Is spam really still a big problem?
I get a lot less spam now than a year ago and I have not changed my prime email address. Spam for me just doesn't seem to be an issue any more- maybe one spam message every two or three days, that compared to 10 to 30 valid email messages daily.
Changing email address is really not very practical for me - I would have to advise hundreds of people globally that I keep in contact with every time I do that.
I also have a number of "free" email adresses with 'mail.com'; don't get any spam there either - not quite sure why, but I'm not complaining.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krs
Is spam really still a big problem?.... Spam for me just doesn't seem to be an issue ... - not quite sure why, but I'm not complaining.
Same here, krs. I get very little spam, yet I surf willy-nilly and enter my info on-line pretty regularly. I have no filters on and take no other anti-spam precautions. I've simply never received an irritating amount of spam.
Maybe you and I are just in "The Lucky Club"!
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