HolidayBuyer's Guide

Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Email recipient says message had attachment- I didn't send!

by trudy-o / August 31, 2007 6:50 AM PDT

On two recent occasions, people I sent an email message to replied that they were not able to open the attachment! However, I didn't send an attachment! Both were simple messages that originated with me. I suspect that the recipients receive as text (I send as HTML), but other people I email to have not said anything and I know that they receive as text too. I asked them to "forward" the email back to me. It's not clear to me that they knew the difference between "reply" and "forward", but in any case, no attachment came back.

What could account for this? I've done a virus scan. Has anyone heard of this?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Email recipient says message had attachment- I didn't send!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Email recipient says message had attachment- I didn't send!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: unexpected attachment
by Kees Bakker / August 31, 2007 6:56 AM PDT

1. Better be sure you instruct them correctly about how to forward. You should be able to see the difference between "Re: ..." and "Fw: ..." to check.
2. Then if you're sure it's forwarded, check the source. In Outlook Express, it's in the properties of the message. It should show the detailed contents.
3. It would be interesting to see the size of the email (in bytes or kB) as send and as received.

You don't tell which email-client (like Outlook Express or Thunderbird) you have nor what these people have. The explanation could be somewhere in there.


Collapse -
Just a thought.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 31, 2007 6:57 AM PDT

Some email scanners cause an attachment or in the case of Outlook the attachment indicator to show but there is no attachment. Confuses many but easy to solve once the full details of AntiVirus and the email client are known on both sender and receivers. Sadly this information is missing so all I can write is "it does happen."


Collapse -
As Bob says, I get e-mails from friends
by roddy32 / August 31, 2007 7:18 AM PDT

that use AVG Antivurus that shows an attachment because it scanned their e-mail when being sent but there is actually no attachment.

Collapse -
In addition
by tomron / August 31, 2007 7:28 AM PDT

Its called a "phantom attachments",not sure if this is your situation,just a thought.check this LINK


Collapse -
Yep, that's what I was talling about, I didnt
by roddy32 / August 31, 2007 8:20 AM PDT
In reply to: In addition

know they had a name for it. LOL

Collapse -
For the record ....
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 31, 2007 4:38 PM PDT

You were correct. "They" don't have a name for it. As "they" don't have a name for " spurious paperclips". It's one person's adjective and description of it, in the above mentioned thread. I think one would be hard-pressed to find more than one other reference to it. Just .. "keeping it real" Wink

Collapse -
The point is...
by tomron / August 31, 2007 9:28 PM PDT
In reply to: For the record ....

It has to be called something.Granted,it may or may not be officially called a phantom attachment.

"one person's adjective and description of it",In the links provided this terminology seems to be the accepted "adjective and description",including from another country.

Isn't it easier to call something by a name so people have an idea of what the discussion at hand is.

"gets rid of phantom html part attachment"

I don't see how your post of dissecting semantics is germane to the issue at hand.

Collapse -
One Other Caution.... Lately Web Mail (like Hotmail etc.)...
by tobeach / August 31, 2007 3:23 PM PDT

have taken to inserting LIVE AD Links into the main body of a pure text message. Unfortunately, recipient may believe you purposely added this link to your post (as a form of recommendation) and therefore click on it!!
My gut feeling is the greed factor involved means less than SAFE links could be included by MS or Yahoo or AOL. Live link to WINFIXER
anyone??!!! It's not that these companies are SOOO Poor that they have to grab the extra income from defeating your & your recepients spam & security settings by jumping this junk into your approved contacts stream! DevilSad

Collapse -
It's winmail.dat that's getting attached.
by trudy-o / September 3, 2007 10:06 AM PDT

Hi, I'm the initial poster. I figured it out. I used a Macintosh at a friend's house to check my mail using my email vendor's web interface. I saw the attachments on my test messages. I looked at the source, and saw that the attachment was a file called winmail.dat. It gets attached to Outlook emails and contains formatting information and can't be decoded by various other mail programs. This is the link to the Microsoft's "solution."

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.