6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2010 2:30 PM by Kurt Lang
chipsahoy Level 1 (10 points)
I did some searching and can't seem to find an answer. The last couple of days I'm seeing errors in my Entourage. 5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: hp*1@mac.com.

That is NOT my email address. nor do I know anyone with that email address.

It's been every 10 minutes. Under Description, it says:
Mail could not be sent.
Account name: "me"
Error: -17099

Any thoughts? I just got an iphone, but it was happening before that.

Thanks! Lynn

<Edited by Host>

MacBook Pro 15", Mac OS X (10.6.2), 4GB RAM, 500 GB HD, 160GB iPod Video, iPhone 3GS
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,700 points)
    Since this is happening with Entourage, you'll get best results if you look for help elsewhere. This forum is for Apple's Mail application. Entourage is part of Microsoft Office, so you'll probably have luck with the [MS Office for Mac forums|http://www.officeformac.com/ProductForums>.
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 (36,635 points)
    What do you mean by 5.1.1? Entourage in Office 2008 is version 12. Office 2004 is version 11. Office X or course would be version 10. So what version of Entourage is this? It can't be 5.1.1.
  • chipsahoy Level 1 (10 points)
    That is the exact error I see when I click on the Yellow Yield sign in the bottom right hand corner. "5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: hp*1@mac.com"

    <Edited Email Address by Host>
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 (36,635 points)
    While you can find a lot on Google in relation to the error message you show, there's essentially nothing in the lines of a solution. The short answer I did find was that it just means Entourage couldn't deliver an email to the address shown because it didn't exist.

    A bit more in how you got the error message from a University's help center.

    If this error message came back to you in an email "Delivery Notice" message, it means that your client (Entourage) was able to send the message to your outgoing server, however your outgoing server was not able to deliver the message to the server that hosts the account.

    Meaning, the spelling is a legal use of an email address, but no recipient by that address exists. So the receiving server kicks back an "undeliverable" notice.

    If this error message was given to you by your client, it means that your outgoing server was unable to accept the message because of the invalid recipient address.

    This would happen if you used an illegal character in an email address, such as a space, these characters : ; / \ [ ] and some others.

    Assuming none of this is true, a spammer may have hacked into your email account and is using it to send out spam in a brute force method. Meaning, it just sends out millions of emails like a@mac.com, b@mac.com, etc. When one is sent that has no recipient, the error message comes back to you, even though you didn't send it, because it went through your account.

    First thing I would do is change the password for your email account.
  • chipsahoy Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi I saw that University Post, but didn't get much out of it.
    I'll change my PW and see if that does that trick. Thanks for your help!
  • Kurt Lang Level 8 (36,635 points)
    If it doesn't help, then there a couple of other things.

    1) You did send an email out to something like hp*1@mac.com, but misspelled the recipients address. When the receiving server (whichever one is controlling emails to mac.com) gets such an email, it kicks back a message as explained above to your ISP. Your ISP then gives the undeliverable message. What I didn't mention before is how your ISP's server is set up to handle such an email. In the assumption that there may have simply a problem on the other end (the server was temporarily down), it tries again after a set amount time and a set number of times. When I make a spelling error like that, my ISP tries every 24 hours for three days. So I know when I see one error message like that, two more will eventually show up on the same email.

    2) Changing your password may not solve anything. If it's a spammer, they may have simply picked up your email address as a valid address and are spoofing tons of email as if it came from your address. Receiving servers make no attempt to read through email headers to see where an email really came from. They just respond to the one in the sender field. So if they spoofed the email with your address as the sender, failed email notices come back to you. There's nothing you can do about those at all. The only good news in that is spammers tend to send out only so many emails with a particular users email address before switching to someone else's so receiving servers don't just start blocking everything coming in with a particular sender's name.