Damn that spam
March 17, 2009 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Email address getting tons of spam. Email address then disabled, deleted. Spam still happening. How to stop it?

A work email address of mine turned spammy (and not just receiving spam but seemingly originating it). When I left the company associated with the email address, I asked them to disable the account and delete it from any site, etc., and they did. It was also deleted from any google apps used by the company. Yet I am still getting spam from this account on a daily basis (emails to my personal email address that seem to be "sent" from the old, now non-existent spammy address). What is happening, and how can I fix it? The spam is annoying, but also annoying is the thought that other people could be getting spam ostensibly coming from me (since the email address it is coming from has my name in it, and the company's name).
posted by anonymous to Technology (10 answers total)
If you look at the headers, I think you'll find those emails aren't actually originating from your account and are just spoofing the return address. Unfortunately, there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do about that.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2009

Sounds like someone is spoofing your old address.
posted by sanko at 10:12 AM on March 17, 2009

The email address isn't actually originating the email: The sender address is being spoofed by a spammer who probably bought the email address in one of those massive lists of valid email addresses spammers sell to one another.
The only way you can stop recieving the emails is to set up a mailbox rule: I know Mail for OSX can actually bounce them, so it looks like it's not a valid address. As far as other people getting spam from this address, there's really nothing you can do about it.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:13 AM on March 17, 2009

I think JaredSeth is correct, called a Joe Job
posted by derbs at 10:15 AM on March 17, 2009

also annoying is the thought that other people could be getting spam ostensibly coming from me (since the email address it is coming from has my name in it, and the company's name).

Depends on the recipients, of course, but more and more I think people are wise to this and won't hold you responsible.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:18 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Figure out how to setup a filter in your email client or webmail system. Have the filter catch any mail from that address, and delete them permanently. Since no valid mail is going to be coming from that address, you don't have to worry about accidentally deleting something imporatant.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:44 AM on March 17, 2009

This might be impossible for you since you don't admin the domain for your old job, but enabling SPF (Sender Policy Framework?) on the mail account can work wonders. I did it back around Christmas for my domain that I've owned for over 10 years. About a month later I noticed the size of my spam folder dropping dramatically. I used to have about 20,000 spams in Gmail at any given time, that is down to 2000. What SPF does is authorize specific mail servers to originate mail for your domain. Mail coming from anywhere else is simply dropped by the server. It also eliminates you receiving all the bounced jobjobbed mail.

You might suggest it to the mail admin at your old job.
posted by COD at 10:55 AM on March 17, 2009

If you can set up spamato http://www.spamato.net/ you may soon forget what spam once was. I tested it and spent a month without having to delete one spam.

Downsides :

- not just a click-click-click-done install
- you have to check inside spamato's guts to rescue some legit mails.
posted by Baud at 11:25 AM on March 17, 2009

Your email address is easily spoofed. There zero relation between the server your email account existed on and the spam you get. If you google "how to read email headers" you can analyze the spam and see where its really coming from. Probably Russia, China, or Korea. Its not coming from your old company.

What is happening, and how can I fix it?

Invest in a better anti-spam solution so you can filter this stuff out. This is something your company's email admin would do.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:24 PM on March 17, 2009

I was getting a ton of Russian spam and I set a filter to block (.ru) from any incoming emails. There has only been like 2 emails in the past year that went to my deleted folder that should not have. It was worth it. Look for a pattern from the sender that won't stop your regular mail form coming through.

Good luck!
posted by winks007 at 12:48 PM on March 17, 2009

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