We receive this complaint almost daily. Spammers may fake your email address and send out advertisements in your name, with your domain name or with your email address.How do spammers get my email address?
First of all, this does not mean your email system has been hacked or that someone is using your mailbox. Most customers think this and panick. First of all, don't panick, 99.9% of the time it has nothing to do with an account hack. Spammers can easily fake an email to make it look like someone else is sending it. All they have to really do is change the reply to address in their email program and it instantly looks like someone else.
The result of course is that you receive complaints and people think you are spamming them.
What can you do to stop this?
As said, it is usually not a hack of any kind. But to be safe, change your email box password. Chances are someone is just using your email address in their email program. This is called masking. To combat this, obtain a copy of the spam in question. Look very carefully at the headers in the email (these list where the email has really been). Note: Your email program may require you to hit a certain button to view all the headers but all email programs will allow you to see headers.
You should see a lot of domain names and addresses. These all are potential providers that are housing the spammer that is attacking you. For instance you may see an entry like this relay.one.standardweb.com. In every instance the trailing part is the address to concentrate on, in this example standardweb.com.
So, take all of these headers and politely email the webmasters of each ISP requesting that the spammer be terminated. We suggest that you email these addresses as they are the most common points of contact:
followed by of course the domain in question. Make sure to include the complete spam (with all headers) with your complaint as it will help the companies track their users down. 99% of the time providers will help you if they can. But remember that a header may contain 5-10 ISP addresses, and only one is the culprit. The others are as innocent as you.
Everytime you post your email address in a public place, on a website or to a business you may not trust, the potential is that a spammer may grab your email address and use it to spam you. Be careful who you give out your email addresses to. And never use your real email address on a posting or public board.Should I respond to emails saying "remove me from a mailing list"?
Techniques to stop spammers from getting your address:
(1) Utilize several email addresses. One for business use, one for personal use, one for posting on the internet, etc. That way if one address or box goes down you have the others as a backup. If your posting address gets abused, you can easily change it without it affecting your business address. You can create aliases and email boxes with your account easily. Refer to our account docs section for details.
(2) Don't post your email address on your website. We know....what are we talking about? Spammers use trolling programs that go through websites and hunt down addresses. So if your email addresses are all over your websites, they will get your addresses and use them. The more times your address appears the worse things will get. But you of course want web visitors to contact you. So how do they do it if you don't have your addresses on your website?
Instead of putting email address links on your site (ie mailto:email@example.com), consider using a central contact webpage and link to that instead. This webpage should have a fill-in form that visitors can fill out which will in turn email you. Fill-in forms are built into your account. See our docs section for details.
Securing your fill in form:
Note that the fill-in form system still isn't spammer proof. Spammers can read the code of the fill-in form and still find your address. But there is a way around this. Our staff can create a system, if you like, that puts a fake address in your form to fool spam trollers. Then under the code the real address is present that will send to you. This is a custom modification and will take a work order from our programmers to accomplish, but since we do it everyday, it takes us just a few minutes, so please contact us if you are interested. In addition we can even automatically change your mailto: links to contact page links automatically to save you time!
Some emails offering list removals are well intensioned. If it's a reputable company they will honor the removal. But the fact is that the MAJORITY of emails that say click here to remove me from your mailing list are frauds. They in fact want you to click there so they can confirm that you are reading their emails. And if you reply to them they will just email you more and sell your address to spammers like them because now they know you are checking that address.
So, in short, the answer to that question is usually no. So, then how do you get them to stop? Sometimes if you leave them alone they will stop on their own. If they don't try using email controls to block certain addresses or once again complain to their provider.
In short, there is no quick fix to spam.