8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2006 6:07 AM by Bernard Knight
Frances144 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
My email address is being used (with a different beginning, ie fhjkl@blah.co.uk, or wuio@blah.co.uk instead of frances@blah.co.uk). I am receiving hundreds of rubbish returned emails that I have never sent from my email account.

How do I stop this? I phoned my server and they said bad luck, nothing they can do. I can't apply a rule in the preferences because it is a different name every time.

Any help? Oh yes, I know where it is coming from but how do I block them.

Thanks
Frances

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Hello Frances.

    My email address is being used (with a different beginning,
    ie fhjkl@blah.co.uk, or wuio@blah.co.uk instead of frances@blah.co.uk).


    Sorry but this makes no sense. Your email address can only be used as your actual email address, not with a different beginning or anything else different, etc.

    If I understand what you provided correctly. your email address is being used by a spammer to send bulk spam mailings and if so, there is nothing you can do about it. The same has happened to me and many others but not to worry, it won't last long since spammers have a huge list of "known good" email addresses to pull from and use to appear as the sending email address and all spammers regularly switch the email address they use to bypass spam filters so the spammer that used your email address won't do it for long.

    How do I stop this?


    As your ISP or email account provider indicated, you can't.

    Oh yes, I know where it is coming from but how do I block them.


    If what I provided is accurate, how do you know where what is coming from?
  • Frances144 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    How do I know where it is coming from?

    I opened the headers in Mail and it showed a load of information, sent it to a friend of mine who knows about this sort of thing, and asked him where it was coming from. He dug about and found the culprit.

    But as the spoofer uses different "names" at the beginning of my email address, I cannot stop receiving the refused mails that rebound to my address.

    Does this make sense?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    But as the spoofer uses different "names" at the beginning
    of my email address, I cannot stop receiving the refused mails
    that rebound to my address.


    Since you are receiving bounced/refused emails from the incoming mail server/domain for a number of email addresses indicating a message or messages sent with your email address appearing as the sending email address cannot be delivered for whatever reason, your actual/correct email address is being used by this spammer to appear as the sending email address for these bulk spam mailings or you wouldn't receive these bounced/refused email error messages.

    A spammer/sender cannot use a different name at the beginning of your email address (assuming you are referring to the portion of your email address in front of the "@" sign only) or you wouldn't receive these bounced/refused messages.

    As previously provided, your email address can only be used as your actual email address, not with a different beginning or anything else different, etc.

    One of the reasons you are receiving so many bounced/refused messages is because the email addresses for these recipients probably aren't valid anyway since spammers also guess at email addresses for a domain when sending a bulk spam mailing to email addresses for that domain in the hope that some guessed at email addresses will be valid and get through which is called a "Dictionary" attack by spammers.

    I cannot stop receiving the refused mails that rebound to my address.


    You are wasting your time with this but if your friend found the culprit which means determining the computer IP address for the spammer who is doing this (btw, many spammers also "spoof" their computer IP address), you will be better served hiring a lawyer and pressing charges against this person than trying to add rules, etc. or doing anything else to prevent these bounced/refused messages. This spammer won't use your email address for long so it will stop soon.
  • Bernard Knight Level 2 Level 2 (235 points)
    A spammer/sender cannot use a different name at the
    beginning of your email address (assuming you are
    referring to the portion of your email address in
    front of the "@" sign only) or you wouldn't receive
    these bounced/refused messages.


    Unless you have your own domain. You are likely to be the 'postmaster' as well & will get all mail for that domain that doesn't have a valid recipient. I know, this happens a lot to me.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Even if you have your own domain, I believe an email address used by a spammer must be a valid email address in order to receive a bounced/refused message sent to your email address.

    In that case, I would be able to send a message to you without knowing your email address by using anything in front of the "@" sign for the domain of your email address which is not correct unless I'm misunderstanding you.
  • Bernard Knight Level 2 Level 2 (235 points)
    Hi Allan

    That seems to happen with my setup. The postmaster (which defaults to my domains main mailbox) gets everything that doesn't go to a valid mailbox. I've just verified that by sending an 'x@' email. However no bounced/refused message is returned.

    There doesn't seem to be an appropriate setting on my mail providers control panel. It's not something I really considered checking before.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    In that case, this is not a good setup for you.

    When this does occur, you shouldn't be forwarded the message and the incoming mail server should send a bounced/returned email error message to the sender indicating the email address is not valid.

    If an email is addressed to any email address with your domain that isn't a valid email address and gets forwarded to your email address regardless, I would change providers if your provider is unable to prevent it.
  • Bernard Knight Level 2 Level 2 (235 points)
    I've looked further & found that there is a not very obvious section where you elect to have misaddressed mail returned to sender or sent to the main account.

    Really grateful for you picking up on that.