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I keep getting bounced mail messages about emails that I never even sent
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Ham Sandwich
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Mar 19, 2007, 07:36 AM
 
Since about November of 2006, I've been getting 2 of these a day:

Returned Mail Undelivered...

But I never sent these messages! At first, they seem to have been sent to other email addresses at our ISP (gwi.net). Now, the bounced messages indicate that I sent mail to addresses at Earthlink, AOL, and a few others. My ISP insists that I run both a complete virus spyware scan. Well, after running ClamXav and MacScan, I still get the messages. I'm hesitant to do a rescan with updated virus definitions. My ISP also suggested that I do a system restore if that doesn't work.

I'm getting so sick of this garbage. Now what do I do?

BTW: A search for "sending spam" didn't yield anything useful.
     
ghporter
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Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Mar 19, 2007, 08:41 AM
 
Someone has "harvested" your email address and used it as the "reply to" and/or "from" address in a spam broadcast. You do NOT have a virus, though this is one way viruses get distributed. This happens to me every now and then, and it's a pain to be sure, but one that goes away by itself.

The reason you're getting these "bounced" messages is that the spammer's address list was not so good, and he's using invalid addresses; the ISPs or domains he's trying to hit simply bounce emails that are addressed to nonexistent accounts, and the bouncer is stupid-it just uses the "reply to" or "from" address in the original email to send the bounce message to.

This is a time-limited problem because Mr. Spammer's software will shortly identify that those bad addresses don't generate responses and will dump them. And you should only get one bounce per address, so it's not like you'll keep getting messages on the same bad addresses.

Sorry for the bad luck, but it's harmless, even if it is a royal pain.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
pcryan5
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Mar 20, 2007, 08:34 PM
 
Quite a bore and you are lucky it is only 2 a day. I'd write a rule based on a common word in the subject line just to delete them unseen. Good luck.
     
besson3c
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Mar 20, 2007, 09:57 PM
 
This is called backscatter, I believe. If you chose to filter these based on subject, you might be discarding legitimate bounce messages.

What anti-spam software is your provider using? Are these messages getting assigned a spam score in the headers?
     
pcryan5
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Mar 21, 2007, 05:37 PM
 
<>If you chose to filter these based on subject, you might be discarding legitimate bounce messages.

You are of course right. I just don't find that to be an issue with my day to day emailing compared to getting false bounces everyday. Each to their own!
     
   
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