What methods do spammers use?

Published 07/04/2005 11:47   |    Updated 12/02/2008 16:12
What methods do spammers use?

Receiving mail addressed to someone else.

Although it may seem messages are being indirectly sent to you, in reality you are a victim of spam. What some spammers do is send a bulk mail to a false or incorrect To address, or occasionally to a real one, while at the same time sending it to masses of people using the Bcc option.


What this means is that when the email arrives at your inbox, it looks as though you are receiving someone else's email (because the name which appears is the one name they put in the To field. So although it may seem that the security of your email has been compromised it has not in reality.Once you have identified the messages as spam you can block them using the filters available in Outlook.


Emails returned to my inbox which I never sent.

This is another trick of spammers which can be very alarming until you realise how it works. It stems from spammers using your email address in the reply to or from fields, The result is that any Spam emails which are sent to email addresses that no longer exist are not returned undeliverable to the sender but instead they are delivered to you. This can be particularly annoying if the Spammer is using an out of date email list with many non-existent email addresses as the unsuspecting user receives many returned emails.


The only consolation is that the returned emails contain the original Spam email header and you can trace the Spammer from it. If you become the victim of this form of abuse, please forward the entire undelivered email to abuse@btireland.ie so that we can trace its source.


Sometimes this can be the result of a worm/virus on your PC. Some viruses propagate themselves by searching your Outlook or Outlook Express address books - as well as your Temporary Internet Files - for any emails it can find on your PC. The worm/virus finds both existent and non-existent email addresses and tries to send itself to those email addresses in the hope of infecting another user's PC.


The only real defence against this form of abuse is to have up to date Anti-Virus software running on your PC - and keep it regularly updated.


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