What can I do about this?

Let’s be clear about one thing first – I have just about every filter, anti-viral medication, anti ad-ware/spyware, firewall and patch known to humankind and alien invaders.

But someone is using my email address (at least the @glendalarke.com part of my email address – they seem to be able to put odd letters in front of the @ and still have it delivered to my box) to send out spam. Most of this spam seems to be just plain gibberish.

How do I know this? Because I keep getting it bounced back from mailboxes that were full or defunct.

Is there any solution to this?


What can I do about this? — 10 Comments

  1. I’ve stated getting that too, these last few days. I got spammed by myself, according to one address. Addresses get picked up from all sorts of places and the emasures we take can only limit the take-up not prevent it entirely. If someone else’s address book got lifted and we’re both in it then all our precautions are in vain, for instance.

    I would stop worrying. If anyone emails and complains (which happened to me a couple of years ago) I would explain that the use of your email address is without your consent and you don’t know who is doing it.

  2. Mostly it’s a pain, but there’s a LITTLE bit you can do about it.

    First, you can check that any forms on your website that generates email are secure and that they haven’t been hijacked by spammers — if your web guy doesn’t know what to look for shout out, I think I have an article tucked away or Arthur or Andrew could take a look for you if your site is in either PHP or ColdFusion. It probably hasn’t happened but under those circumstances you want to be sure as if they’re using your bandwidth it could end up costing you money.

    The second deals with the ‘return to sender’ being dumped in YOUR inbox. That sounds like you have a ‘catch all’ applied to one (or more) email addresses on your domain. Take a look in the control panel for your email section with your website host. Untick the catch-all box. That way you’ll only receive things sent to a valid email account rather than anything sent to @glendalarke.com.

    Good luck!

  3. I have a spare voodoo doll. I’m sticking it with pins even as we speak …

    That would be the extent of my IT knowledge.

  4. There really isn’t much you can do. The problem lies with the poorly secured email protocol itself, rather than anything on your computer. I’ve had the same problem myself.

    The one thing that can be done that is partially (but only partially) successful is to add something called an SPF record to the glendalarke.com domain name configuration, this is something that should probably be done by an IT professional. Ask me via email if you need more information.

  5. It happens to my university account. I am being used by someone selling Canadian pharmaceuticals. The techies at uni tell me they cannot (or will not) do anything about it.

  6. I get dozens of these every day.

    Of course the spam isn’t really coming from you. It is just made to look as if it comes from you. If you understand how to read email headers you can trace it back to somewhere else (though not to the spammer).

    The biggest problem with it is that most people don’t understand how easy email address spoofing is. Once every month or two I get an angry email from someone who thinks I have sent them spam.

    Dave is qiute correct to say that adding an SPF record will help, and that you should not try to do it yourself. It isn’t easy, and it is dangerous. I’ve looked at the instructions, and I’m not going anywhere near it. And I’m someone who run her own web sites and has been programming computers for 30 years.

    The other problem with SPF is that it isn’t widely supported. Big corporations will probably check incoming email against your SPF record to see if it is genuine, but many people won’t, and in consequence will still get spam “from” you.

    In a nutshell, it is a mess.

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