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Bouncing emails that I didn't send

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by c.simpson, Feb 1, 2007.

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  1. c.simpson

    c.simpson Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    For several months now I receive "bounced" email messages from a variety of people. The problem is, I am NOT sending the emails that are bouncing back to me, but everyone of these people (who I do NOT know) think I am sending them and I am getting back some fairly harsh responses.

    The offending sender seems to be someone from a company called "cura heat patch", but when I try to contact them the emails will not go through.

    This morning I tried to reply to one of their messages, and unfortunately it seems to have gone to dozens of people instead of them, and now I have alot more people cranking at me to stop sending them messages, when in fact I am not.

    What could be causing this? and do you have any suggestions on how to stop it?

    Thank you
     
  2. johnpost

    johnpost

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    317
    you have a trojan horse on your machine, maybe from some
    software you've downloaded and run, maybe from a website
    visited, lots of ways to get it.

    this trojan horse has turned your computer into a spamming
    robot, it has given you email text and addresses to send spam
    to or it makes your machine fetch that from the web. the
    bouncing emails are because many of the email addresses
    it uses are outdated.

    get an antivirus program with trojan detection and run it.
    because sometimes trojans will protect themselves
    from detection and removal this may take some
    effort and techniques.

    if you are using windows or microsoft office or
    microsoft outlook all those have security flaws
    that can be exploited. you need to have up to
    date security patchs for them.

    supply some more info as to your operating
    system and patches, your email program(s),
    if you use microsoft office or outlook have
    you patched those. what antivirus programs
    you have, their patchs and definition files.
     
  3. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    62,009
    First Name:
    Chuck
    The most likely scenario is that some spammer (like the one selling the "cura heat patch") got a hold of your e-mail address. They are then sending their spam messages with a forged header showing your e-mail address as the sender. Some of those spams are going to bad e-mail addresses and the server then bounces them back to the listed sender. It sounds like some of the spams are going to valid e-mail addresses of people that are want to take the time to give the sender some grief. It is up to you to reply and try to explain forged sender information to them.

    There is no simple and foolproof way to stop someone from forging your address as the sender. The best you can hope for is to get a new e-mail address and close the old account.

    The other possible scenario is that some malware/virus got secretly installed on your computer, turning it into a spam sending "zombie" computer. Any good anti-virus software with updated virus definitions should be able to tell you if that is your problem and should be able to clean it up.

    Short of changing
     
  4. c.simpson

    c.simpson Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for your response - I have run AVG and Trojan Hunter, but they did not find anything. Do you have any other particular suggestions? I really hate to change my email address as it is the same one i've had for over 7 years and what a pain in the bootie to have to start out with a new one:(
     
  5. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    62,009
    First Name:
    Chuck
    Tell me about it. Changing ISPs for home always meant changing e-mail accounts.

    There are not a lot of things you can do to stop somebody from sticking in your e-mail address as the sender id in their spam.

    You can try to block or delete the bounce back messages as they come in. They are mostly canned messages from the receiving mail server with predictable words in the subject line. The down side is that you may also never see legitimate bounce back messages if you make an address typo while sending a message.

    In the end (no pun intended) you need to decide if it is a bigger pain in the bootie to change your address or deal with the automated bounce back and the more personal "stop spamming me" messages.

    If you do decide to get a new address, you may want to consider only giving it out to your most trusted friends. You can then use some free e-mail services like Gmail for an address that you think may eventually get compromised. You can also use a free service like www.dodgeit.com for web sites that require you give them an e-mail address to access any content on their site. You can not use a totally fake address because they e-mail the secret access code or URL for the content to the address you give them.
     
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