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Spam – getting unwanted e-mail

Question: I recently received a large amount of emails that either had the subject of undeliverable and were not to any address I had sent to or were sent to addresses that are totally unrelated to the email address I have, why am I getting someone else’s email? Or is someone using my email address to send false emails?

Answer: Unfortunately, in this day and age anyone with an email address is subject to unsolicited and unwanted email, AKA Spam. Typically little more than a nuisance, spam can sometimes become a massive drain on time based on the huge amount that pours thru even the most sophisticated of junk email filter services. In the case of the first question about receiving bounce emails apparently sent with your address to unknown email addresses, this is known as a shotgun attack and typically is the result of a virus infected or otherwise compromised computer that is forging your email address. Unfortunately due to he sheer numbers of computers using the internet, trying to locate the exact computer that has this virus is about as problematic as searching for a very thin needle in a gigantic haystack. The upshot is that these shotgun attacks are typically very short lived nuisances and go away just as quickly as they came about so most of the time it is just a matter of weathering the flurry of bounce replies, deleting them as they come in and waiting until it passes. As to the other problem, of receiving emails that do not appear to be addressed to you, this is known as a BCC attack which stands for blind carbon copy. The email address you have been receiving for is probably also subject to the same spam message. Spammers have found a workaround for one type of commonly used spam filter known as the bulk e-mail filter. As a result of this workaround you will see one person they have used as the main recipient ex:, and then have dozens of other email recipients in the blind carbon copy field. To the email filters this simply looks like a single email recipient and is allowed to pass thru. So what you wind up seeing is the single address and what you don’t see is the hundreds of other people who also received it. In this case the best remedy is to add this kind of email to your Spam filters rules settings or forward it on to your spam and virus filter service for analysis and updating the filters.

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