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Help! I’m getting bounce-back messages for email I never sent!

“I’m getting all sorts of emails telling me that emails I never sent, to people I don’t know, couldn’t be delivered!” Or a variation on that theme. image

It happens from time to time, and it’s almost always the result of a practice called “spoofing”.

Anyone can, with the current architecture of internet email, cause email to be sent that appears to come from you, or me, or Rob Ford, or anyone! It’s one of the bigger problems on the net that the big spam filters work to shut down. It’s called “spoofing”:


There are mechanisms in place to address this to some extent, and their use is growing, but the problem continues.

What happens is that a spammer finds your email address somewhere, and then proceeds to send out hundreds; thousands; tens of thousands of emails that appear to come from that address. Most bounce back since most of the addressees don’t exist. Since those emails appear to have come from you, you get the bounce-back messages. Lucky you!

It’s nothing you did, and nothing you can control. The emails were not sent from you. They were not sent using your computer, or from your email account. They weren’t sent using your current email provider. They were “spoofed”. The spam filters will catch up with each round of spoofing and shut it down, over an indeterminate period of time. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Fun, huh?

As always, if you are a client of ours, or would like to be, please let us know if you have any questions about this.

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