Bouncing Spam Email Is Pointless; Sigh…

Lately it seems I’ve been getting more and more spam email than I have in the past. The problem is that it’s all going through my business email account, and it’s been getting on my nerves.

Mailwasher gives you the option of bouncing emails back to where they came from, and you can segregate which email account you want to use. I decided I was going to do that for a short while, and set myself up to do it. And it works very easy as well; all I have to do is click on the tab that says “bounce” and before it deletes those emails it bounces them back to wherever they came from; problem solved.

Except the problem isn’t solved. Not only is the problem not solved, but it ends up creating its own problems as well. And I knew it; I just wanted a brief period of satisfaction, kind of like how I think I’d have felt if I’d been allowed to punch the guy I talked about here in the face… at least for 5 minutes before I realized I was going to sit in a jail cell for awhile and it was going to end up costing me more than what I was suing him for.

See, the problem is that most of the email addresses are false. And those that aren’t false often belong to someone else who doesn’t know their email address is being used for that purpose. I know this because it happened to me years ago, and sometimes it was strange receiving email from myself. Then that person’s legitimate email address ends up in a spam filter for many servers and it takes awhile for it to get cleared. Since this was my business account I knew I didn’t want to deal with that.

So I turned it off a couple of days ago, but I wasn’t done. I decided to allow the host’s spam filter to start intercepting more of this spam so I don’t see it. The thing is that with Mailwasher I see it, but it’s still on the server. But since I started getting business email on my smartphone most of it is spam, and I’ve decided I don’t want to see any of that garbage on my phone. Now, I know the spam filter on the host is pretty strong, but they’ll send me a daily email of all the accounts its intercepted so if there’s something in there that’s legit, I’ll just sign in and get it.

Unfortunately, sometimes we’re stuck going the long way to resolve some of our stupid issues. But I figure if I can bring that next level of peace to my mind then all is fine. However, I have to mention something else, now that I’m on the subject. You know that post I wrote about the Gasp/Akismet experiment? Well, it seems the live spammers must have read that post also because there was suddenly a major increase in that type of spam. So I’ve turned Akismet on just to see what would happen and more of that stuff is going to my spam filter. It seems that Akismet does a better job on live spam, probably because they have a better grasp of the IP addresses that some of this stuff is coming from. At least that’s how I’m seeing it so for the moment I’m back to running both of them; gotta do what ya gotta do.

Man, the things we do when we start getting popular. lol At least you know I’m not going to do any captcha’s or change my comment system, so rest assured your good comments are safe with me. 😉

22 thoughts on “Bouncing Spam Email Is Pointless; Sigh…”

  1. I’ve been having a huge problem too with spam on my phone.

    my Apple mail is scarily good at shunting all that junk to the spam folder, but on my Droid ever single last bit of it shows up and I have to delete it one message at a time. I’m looking for a better mail program for the Droid too to see if that helps any.

    I’m gonna have to look at a my host to see what spam filter they offer, too. As I use my phone more and more it’s only going to piss me off worse.

    And yes those human spammers are a trip! I thought the point of having the human spammers was to actually blend in and make the comment look real enough to slip in there with a link undetected, but some of this stuff is so wildly off the mark I’m not sure why they even bothered.

    1. You’re right, it does show up on the Droid, but luckily I know I can just ignore it all without opening any of it since it doesn’t remove anything from the server.

      1. Don’t you have any server side spam filtering for your email? I use spam assassin (mail server side) for my website email. It works well. I use a Droid also. I have my droid setup for my Gmail account. I find Gmail is exceptionally good at filtering spam. So, I never get it on my Droid phone at all.

        I see a lot of people use that GASP plugin. I like it when I see that on a site. I am thinking about adding it to mine. At the moment I am just using Akismet. I find Akismet to be very effective although it does occasionally catch a comment that it should not have. I see that happen frequently when the commenter is from a non-English speaking country. Their poor grammar gets them into trouble.

      2. Ted, I had turned the spam filter off on my server because I didn’t want to keep popping onto that account to “liberate” those emails that weren’t spam. But I’ve turned it back on, although supposedly now I have to retrain it again; ugh.

  2. Mitch,
    I, too, have been inaundated with SPAM emails and blog posts. What has been most annoying is getting spammed by spammers who have hacked into a friend’s account and then send out their links. That was happening quite a bit for awhile but I must have some really tech savvy friends because they nipped it in the bud rather quickly.

    I had never heard of mailwahser but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m going to check it out. Thanks for always giving some useful tip or resource.

    1. That’s what I’m here for Bev. As for the other thing, they don’t have to hack into people’s accounts; if folks are using a script then they can steal email addresses that way. That’s why I don’t have a contact page on my business blog, but for a long time I did have the form for my newsletter, which gave spammers time to grab my email address.

  3. It’s a shame that we have to deal with spam. I wish there was some way we could eliminate it or greatly reduce it without loosing all the things we want to keep. Without us honest people having to jump through hoops.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. It happened about a month ago, that few users on my membership website started using fake company email account, few others tried with untraceable accounts. So I’ve implemented “silent” email verification plus the standard click to verify, but this is just for registration and contact form. I still have many problems related to my blog and forum.

    1. Carl, I used to check many email addresses on the blog but decided I didn’t want to waste my time with it. What I’ve noticed is that when the blog is suddenly getting email messages bounced back then I know it’s either a fake comment or someone has typed their email address incorrectly, and I deal with it then. But that only works on the blogs unfortunately.

      1. Most of the times it is practice by spammers, software generate names and emails including numbers, that’s why email bounces or yeah, sometimes people are making typos.

  5. Hi Mitch,

    I recently received an email from myself too for some affiliate product. I contacted the Affiliate product owner, clcikbank and the ISP where the host was spamming from with ZERO response.

    I now end up double checking my clients receive my communication and inform that I never send out affiliate links. Kinda sucks to be honest but I have no other ideas.

    Is there some way I can get my email verified by the spam filter owners as not being a spammer?


    1. Nik, I’m not sure, especially if it’s only based on the email address. However, what I’ve told people in the past is that if the email doesn’t have my full signature file on it, then they should know it’s spam. That’s a reason I always recommend to people that they have some kind of unique identifying signature at the end of their email addresses, even if it’s only their name most of the time.

  6. Imagine my horror when I got an email from my employer saying that he really has no interest in buying a laptop from me, and that I should stop sending him that kind of mails.

    I checked my Sent folder to see that there was a TON of emails sent from my account. I visited the site that was in the mail and they had live support. I told the person there that I was going to sue them and a lot of other stuff as well. They didn’t apologize, but they stopped using my email.

    1. Ana, it’s a horrifying ordeal, and I’m just glad that type of thing hasn’t happened to me in a very long time. But it’s a reason why I stopped having my email address set up as a type of script.

  7. I knew it would be a matter of time before you turned Akismet back on Mitch 😀

    I don’t know what I would do without MailWasher, although for some reason it doubles up on the comments, meaning it shows the spam comment twice instead of once. Must work out how to turn that off.

  8. Captain Blammo to the rescue! I hardly get a drop of spam. Thanks to a suggestion nearly three years ago from my good friend Sharon Hurley Hall, I went through the agonizing process of learning how to point my MX records to Google.

    Once I got it set up, 99% of the spam goes right where it belongs – out of sight, out of mind. The only time I check the folder is when I’m expecting something and it doesn’t come. I’ve actually come to recognize WHY a legitimate email wound up in Big G’s spam filter. (Hint, don’t use the word COUPON with a percent sign anywhere near it!)

    Ironically, I’m still plagued by unwanted emails. I recently opted-in to an IT publishing network called TechTarget. The information was useful but it was coming in too hot and heavy. I hit “unsubscribe”.

    And. Nothing changed. Those gnarly goof-balls and their ilk STILL send me a message a day. At first, I thought it was a time delay issue. In fact, They auto-subscribed me to more than a dozen companies! Argh.

    I did a Google search on techtarget spammers. The number one result is a post from 2008, showing them doing the same thing.

    Sigh, indeed.



  9. I also often receive such emails but i just clicks and check my concerning mails and all other mails will be deleted as it received.

  10. Captcha is not a bad idea now that I think about it. Especially on blogs. Most people hate captcha, myself included, but if its popular blog like this and you really wanted to comment, wasting 2-3 seconds typing captcha is not that bad.

    1. Actually Cristian, captcha is bad, horrible, terrible, hated, etc. Can you tell I don’t like captcha? lol The problem with it is that it’s hard to see. I mean, why can’t it just use regular letters instead of making them fuzzy and in funny colors? If I know it’s there often I’ll just not comment and go elsewhere; if I don’t know it’s there until I hit “submit”, which irks me greatly because it’s deceptive, I’ll give it one shot since I’ll have already written my comment, and if I don’t get it right then I’m out of there.

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