I have been told that I am sending out lots of spam emails but I am not .....

They have my name on them and they look like they came from me .....


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Email Spoofing


Email spoofing goes hand in hand with Spam and Malware. Often, Malware is used to cultivate email addresses from your Email client. Typically Outlook Email address list (Contacts), Outlook Express or Eudora.


This Malware then submits the list of all your contacts off to a central location on the internet. The owner of this location then sells the list to a Spammer (or Marketing firm).


The Spammer then uses the list to send out countless millions of Spam emails advertising Viagra etc using the addresses on the list.


The more educated Spammer then starts using the email list in more advanced ways buy using the addresses on the list in the "From" or "reply to" fields. This means they pretend to be each of the people on the list (They spoof their identity) and try and trick people into thinking the email came from real people. This gives them more chance of selling their item.


Unexpected bounce backs in your inbox


As email address lists are often out of date, some of the email addresses will be old and no longer used. This means allot of this email is returned undeliverable. The person who was used in the from address will receive all the bounce backs.


This means the spammer will not need to deal with all the millions of bounced emails or people aggressively trying to unsubscribe from the spam service.


If you get these bounce backs, as someone has been pretending to be you, it might appear that your email system has been compromised and someone is using your system to send out email.


This is possible but rare. It is more likely someone is fraudulently using your address in the from field of emails.


For more information see Backscatter


What can you do ?


There is no real practical way to track who has your details and how they got them.


Best practice is to delete the bounced emails and scan for any viruses etc.


A good place to start is with an online scan and then scan for Spyware and make sure you are using a firewall.



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To keep up to date you can refer to my blog


If you are viewing this page then these specific other pages in this series might be of interest to you:

  • Tools to remove Malware and Viruses
  • Tools to remove Malware etc but still under review by me
  • A page dedicated to helping you get the information needed to remove Malware
  • Spybot installation steps
  • How to perform an online Housecall Virus scan
  • What is Malware ?
  • Why are people using my email address?
  • How did someone steal my Email address?
  • Why is my email being blocked ?
  • How can I reduce spam ?
  • Why did I get infected ?
  • How to Handle Spam!
  • Why do I get all these bounce backs to my email address ?
  • What is a Drive-By Malware attack ?








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                                                                 This page was written and designed by Michael Jenkin 2011 ©