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unauthorized use of my email address

by goorevitch / May 12, 2006 6:47 AM PDT

I am receiving about 50 messages a day from various mail deliver systems (MAILER-DAEMON@xxx) bouncing undeliverabe mail apparently sent from my email address. What can I do about thisother than changing my email address or reformatting my hard drive?

I have a Dell Dimension 8400 PC with Windows XP home edition, Mazilla suite, Norton anti virus 2005, and Zone Alarm, Spypot Search & Destroy installed.

Martin Goorevitch

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This is a form of spam.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 12, 2006 7:58 AM PDT

Since many have implemented spam blocks the spammers have discovered that bounced emails pass by the usual filters.

This is accomplished by a technique called SPOOFING. I am not offering any lesson about these techniques but it's time for you to make an email filter to automatically delete such so you don't accidentally view, preview or open such spam.

Bob

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You can not do anything, after they
by Gakada / May 13, 2006 6:34 AM PDT

get your email address...

I suggest that you scan your computer, using Anti Virus, Anti Spyware, Anti Adware etc. that you have.. (use the latest update for them)

This to make sure that you really not sending those message automatically.

Then use a spam filter utility to delete / block such email, like Robert P suggested.

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mail daemons
by mittens / May 18, 2006 8:24 PM PDT

some things come to mind that may or may not work, beyond running a virus check.

1.Set your virus program to scan outgoing mail so that you KNOW you're not the culprit.

2.Make sure that what you are getting back is something you sent in the first place. I get a few of those, and they do seem to come out of thin air, nothing your computer sent, at all.

3. If your server has a program to filter out spam, use it. Our is called Postini, and it's marvelous.

4. If you have some kind of firewall protection, or something in your virus scanner that allows it, you might even want to add all the addies of all the mail daemon sites to the restricted list. sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt, and it can be a pain in the rump to implement, but if you're getting that many a day, it might be worth the effort.

5. I'm not familiar with spam blockers, but this might be worth looking into, as well.

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(NT) You can fix this!!
by Sandbob / May 18, 2006 11:13 PM PDT

I had this problem before. What I did was read the original message contained inside the mailer daemon. Then sent a message to the company that was using my email address. I told them that their use of my email address was illegal. Then I gave them 3 days to tell their spammers to quit using my email address or I would turn them over the the Department of Homeland Security. Beleive it or not, it worked.

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replying to spam
by mittens / May 19, 2006 12:32 AM PDT

this sounds like a good idea, but just remember a lot of "spam" contains hooks, viruses, cookies,whatever, that can link your addy to the place it came from.

If you open this stuff directly you may be setting yourself up for more problems than just deleting a bit of annoying spam.

Most times you can safely open this mail and read it by right-clicking on the unopened mail; go to properties, click on that. that will take you to Message Source. enlarge that, and you can read the mail safely without actually opening the mail itself.

And I don't think i'd click on any links inside the email, either, for the same reason. Sometimes spam is not what it purports to be, and can take you to the most amazing and unwanted places.

If you have spybot there is a section in there called "opt out" which sometimes lists the spammers you are getting. If you use that, you can safely contact the spammers (most of the time, there is always that) and request that you be removed from their lists.

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RE: replying to spam
by Sandbob / May 19, 2006 12:42 AM PDT
In reply to: replying to spam

These emails are not being sent to you. These are spam messages being sent to others and using your email address to send them. That is why you get the mailer daemons. The mailer daemons show up for email addresses that are no longer in use. So the opt out message does not apply in this case. The only link you want to click on is the email link inside the email, the link that lets you reply to the company sending the email. Do it quick or the spammers will be using your email address for multiple companies which will make it more difficult to stop the use of your email address.

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Text only
by Brianstech / May 19, 2006 12:57 AM PDT

I wanted to add that many email accounts have a nice option for your safety. It's called "text only", and will not display graphics or anything else that may contain hidden malicious code. I use it on three different accounts.

Plus I only get a handful of spams a year. I diligently took the time to block all unwanted mail, each sender or domain separately. It has really paid off.

Of course that won't fix your problem with Mailer Daemons.

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Reading text only ok?
by Bazebolljim / May 22, 2006 12:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Text only

Is this true? Can I open questionable email by viewing it thru "text only" and not send a message out on my account? I have filters in place for spam, but have always used the when-in-doubt, delete-it-out philosophy for mail that sneaks thru.

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Depends on what you are using...
by Gakada / May 22, 2006 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Reading text only ok?

If you are using common email client program, such as outlook, outlook express, thunderbird, eudora .. etc.

to view the email (html or text only), you have to download the email... and by using the preview pane, you ''open'' the email and possibly run all the virus or malware inside it...

There are email utility, that can view the email (on text only format), while still on the server. Without downloading it to your computer.

A couple of them are: Mailwasher and Popfile.

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not really
by mittens / May 22, 2006 7:19 AM PDT

in Outlook, the preview pane is the default, and it opens your email immediately, which to me is madness these days. It also means anyone looking over your shoulder gets to read your email too. not always good.

If you turn off preview, you can have your email package set to open only when you click on the individual email, one at a time. and this is important: if you RIGHT click on that email first, and then hit 'preferences', you can actually read the email to make sure it's really to you, about you, without 'opening' the letter itself. That's a big difference which you seem to have skipped over, and it's an important one.

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Er, no...
by bobkq / June 3, 2006 10:42 AM PDT

Thunderbird refuses to run code embedded in HTML e-mails, that's one of it's big plusses over Outlook Express. http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird/ It has anti-phishing, junk and spam e-mail features that also make it unique over Eudora and Outlook.

I switched from Outlook Express to Outlook years ago because of the preview pane, the terrible security and the inability to migrate to non-Micro$ software (and I HATE being locked in to anything). I migrated (EML) to Outlook, which at least allowed me to save my e-mails and contacts (etc) to PST files stored in a folder elsewhere (and later on a pen drive). Wonderfully secure; no program can open a PST and use the info in any way. However taht was me stuck with Micro$ still -- until Thunderbird. It migrates open PSTs and all folders over to a format that can be backed up as easily as Outlook (and even stored on pen drive), but which can also be imported into every e-mail software known to man... and it is FREEWARE!

Here's a brilliant freeware program called ERemove - it simply shows you the headers before you even download -- you can delete them or even preview in txt. Simple and superb: http://primacom.linux.tucows.com/preview/251006.html

Freeserve, Wanadoo, Orange offer a free e-mail service that is unrivalled: you get webmail (use browser) and then you can download to Thunderbird/ Outlook etc. on their POP3 service... YOU GET BOTH for FREE! You will never get spam again!

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SPOOFING is your problem
by btljooz / June 6, 2006 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Text only

SPOOFING is when someone gets ahold of your e-mail address and pretends to be you or uses it for illegal activity such as SPAMMING. Once these criminals get your address they can use for as long as they like ...unless like you, you start getting 'hints' that something is wrong.

While it's IS a great idea to make double sure your computer is 'squeaky' clean, you MUST call your ISP and IMMEDIATELY and inform them that your are recieving these things and are sure your e-mail address is getting SPOOFED. If you don't report this to your ISP YOU could be charged with SPAMMING!!!!!!! This will also alert your ISP that your address could in fact be being spoofed so they can track down the spoofer and yank their connection in addition to charging THEM with the illegal activity and not you.

I know about this FIRST hand because it happened to me! I don't use OUTLOOK at all. I use Yahoo!. I go into my ISP e-mail account through their web-mail sign-in site NOT Outlook. I do this every once in awhile to make sure there is nothing in there important that I need to change the address to my Yahoo address to. I started getting mail in there from myself. I IMMEDIATELY called my ISP and reported what was going on. They are the ones who told me that if I hadn't reported it like I had I could very well have been charged with illegal activity.

I also had my Yahoo address SPOOFED. I IMMEDIATELY reported it to Yahoo at: spoof@yahoo-inc.com and explained to them what was going on. The SPOOFING stopped shortly thereafter.

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Email washer
by TALLY628 / May 19, 2006 5:17 AM PDT

I use Mailwasher Pro. "Teaching" the program which mail to block and which are friends is a small chore for the privacy I have. I too average 25 to 60 emails daily, but the vast majority 75%+ are spam which are highlighted in pink or red. The "process mail" button will delete spam (after you have checked the subject line), opens your mail program and only the "good" email is displayed. Try it you'll like it. TAL628..

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Spamcop email filtering
by deepcdv / May 19, 2006 3:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Email washer

I just went to the paid version of Spamcop and it seems to do a great job. It costs $30 per year and I know that email washer has a link to it. I have it set up with POP services using MSOUTLOOK and I have gone from 100+ SPAM emails to 1 or 2 that make it past the single Spamcop filter that I use (you have the option to add multiple filters from different organizations, I'm just using theirs for now). My Outlook anispam has picked those out and I disabled my Norton Anti-Spam (I have been a big believer in Symantec but that product has had way too many false postives). The service filters suspected emails into a "held mail" folder from which you can check the items and have them reported. You get a fast response of Spamcops aggressive tracking and reporting procedures to the offending spammers ISP and authorities as well as links that you may use if you wish to report it personally. I tried the "little blue frog" and it seems that their hearts were into fighting spammers but they just didn't have the firepower to stand up to the spammers attacks. THESE GUYS DO. I'm tired of having to sift through this C--P everyday or God forbid after being offline for a week or two, so much of it doesn't even make sense! All the porn aside spam aside, why would anybody send simple nonsense that nobody would ever even think of checking out? Get a life! I like Spamcops "proactive" approach and they really seem to have their act together.

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I have all the sites that have @xxx.com/net/org blocked
by DarCLew2 / May 20, 2006 4:58 AM PDT

As long it is not a site you use. If you have IE6SPi or on WINXP, this is in two places. Go to Internet Options in your control panel. There is a Tab that says Privacy. (My WINXP SP2 has it in sites but others have it in settings). put the @xxx.com/net/org in and hit the enter key and it is blocked. You can find these in your temporary files, go to properties and each is listed. Make a list, check it twice for all these naughty & not nice sites. I have AOL and it has a spam folder but I have no need for it since 1999 for I use mail controls and type in full email addresses except for the safe sites like cnet.com,paypal.com etc, and I have had zero spam since then. Darrell
PS-The senders of the spam will get MAILER-DAEMONS!!

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Blocking @xxx.com/net/org
by goorevitch / May 24, 2006 11:38 AM PDT

I was unable to follow your instructions regarding inputting @xxx.com/net/org. Please give me additional details.

I have Windows XP SP2.

Martin Goorevitch

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which step you are stumble upon??
by Gakada / May 24, 2006 5:22 PM PDT

Open IE, go to Tools, Internet Options, Click Privacy tab, click Sites, type (one by one) all the website address that you want to block...
i.e. xxx.com or xxx.net or xxx.org (DO NOT just typing .com/.org/.net -- type the full web address --)


Actually you can use a ''host file'' for the same purpose.

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unauthorized use of my email address
by goorevitch / May 25, 2006 12:49 AM PDT

Thanks for your reply. I now know how to type in the sites I wish to block but I do not know how to find these sites.
Martin

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What sites??
by Gakada / May 25, 2006 2:27 PM PDT

There are thousands of website that already been block by a host file..

I guess you better look and download the host files..

(look or search ''host files'' in the virus and security forum)

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it might just go away
by trsands / May 22, 2006 6:58 AM PDT

1. agree that you should be secure with firewall, virus checking, spam filtering - regardless
2. given the volume of Mailer-Daemon, it's most likely someone who hijacked your email address and is spamming
3. If this is the case, quite often, spammers will move on to hijack another email address. This happened to me. After a few days, it stopped.
4. It's admirable to threaten the spammers, but realize that this is extremely high risk behavior. As stated in other responses, you could open yourself up to viruses or, worse yet, piss the spammer off and have them come directly after you... a brave security company did that and had to shut down their site because the spammer made serious threats in response.

good luck!

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You're getting joe-jobbed.
by simpleways / May 23, 2006 6:38 AM PDT

Some lowlife louse of a spam-bot harvested your email addy from a victims address book. Your address is now being forged in the "From:" field of this spammers effluent. All the sites that bounce the garbage from this spammer are, sadly, no longer bouncing it back at the spammer they are bouncing it to you. You can filter these out, but that means you will never see any bounce messages from any of your own real emails that go astray. Other than that the only option is to change email addresses or simply hope it goes away soon.

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That's not the only way they get your address
by btljooz / June 6, 2006 6:23 AM PDT

They also get it from place where you have it posted like Yahoo Profiles or other types of Profiles. THAT is WHY you should NEVER EVER post your e-mail address on the web unless you have to and have a account specifically for that purpose.

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here's something that works for me
by mittens / May 23, 2006 11:42 AM PDT
http://www.postini.com/why_postini/

this works. They will block spam before it gets to your computer, and will take care of most of your virus invasions as well (but I don't quite trust mcAfee 100%, for various reasons)--and if you are getting too many email spams anyway you can send them everything in a file attachment, and you'll never see those sites again.
It takes a bit of cooperation on your part, but they are truly good at this. I was getting larger and larger numbers of unwanted emails upwards of 60-80 a day, and after using Postini for a few months with the email attach feature my spam has been reduced to maybe one or two a day.

Well worth the effort.
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It's OK It's Normal (Sadly)
by bobkq / June 3, 2006 10:57 AM PDT

Hi
I know what you mean, it's been a feature of my Yahoo account for a couple of years now. Here's what I think happens:

An e-mail account has information in the header. It has the sender's full path and e-mail address, how the sender wants his/her name to appear in the 'from' column, and the return e-mail address (which is customisable).

So I can go into my options in Outlook, change the return address to your e-mail account, change the name (so the receiver thinks I am you), and send an e-mail to some poor sap.

This sap spots the mail as nonsense and markes it as spam. BUT... because anti-spam stuff sometimes doesn't take the real path and address, because it simply blocks the return addy -- the future bounce-backs are going to YOU.

So -- the spammer is sending all day, the mails are being batter by anti-spam softerware to your account (in effect spamming you, how ironic)!

There is nothing you can do, and it is NOT originating from your PC -- it never has and never will.

Sadly, someone has added your e-mail address to a spam list. Try metasearching your e-mail address to see if the spam list is published on the web (Mine is on 73 different pages).

What I do now: I have a new e-mail account every year, in the format: name-year@whoever instead of the now ruined name@whoever. It is a simple thing to do, and most people will be able to find you in years to come if they know this is how it works!

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You CAN do something about it!!!
by btljooz / June 6, 2006 6:19 AM PDT

Call your ISP and REPORT it. Read "Spoofing is your problem <--<< BELONGS HERE" to read about what I learned through my experience with being spoofed at my ISP addy as well as my Yahoo addy.

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SPOOFING is your problem...<---<<BELONGS HERE!!!
by btljooz / June 6, 2006 6:16 AM PDT

SPOOFING is when someone gets ahold of your e-mail address and pretends to be you and uses it for illegal activity such as SPAMMING. Once these criminals get your address they can use for as long as they like ...unless like you, you start getting 'hints' that something is wrong.

While it's IS a great idea to make double sure your computer is 'squeaky' clean, you MUST call your ISP and IMMEDIATELY and inform them that your are recieving these things and are sure your e-mail address is getting SPOOFED. If you don't report this to your ISP YOU could be charged with SPAMMING!!!!!!! This will also alert your ISP that your address could in fact be being spoofed so they can track down the spoofer and yank their connection in addition to charging THEM with the illegal activity and not you.

I know about this FIRST hand because it happened to me! I don't use OUTLOOK at all. I use Yahoo!. I go into my ISP e-mail account through their web-mail sign-in site NOT Outlook. I do this every once in awhile to make sure there is nothing in there important that I need to change the address to my Yahoo address to. I started getting mail in there from myself. I IMMEDIATELY called my ISP and reported what was going on. They are the ones who told me that if I hadn't reported it like I had I could very well have been charged with illegal activity.

I also had my Yahoo address SPOOFED. I IMMEDIATELY reported it to Yahoo at: spoof@yahoo-inc.com and explained to them what was going on. The SPOOFING stopped shortly thereafter.

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