Ask Al: Help! My email address is being used in spam! What do I do?

Evan writes, "Hi Al, My email address has just been compromised and now I am receiving hundreds of System Administrator and Mail delivery failure notices sent to my inbox from all those poor people who have received unwanted spam from my address. I noticed your name on the web when I went searching to find out how and if I can stop this happening and was hoping that you might have some ideas other than changing my email address?"

Rest in Peace, Nadine

Michael Rathbun recently commented on my old 2007 post linking to his "Story of Nadine" website. He notes, "A while back I located an obituary notice for "Nadine". She still gets between 50 and 200 messages per day, all of which now feed the Spamcop service."

Neat. (And sorry to hear about Nadine.) If it were me, I'd probably make it all bounce for about a year, then see if somebody at Spamhaus or other spam handling services wanted copies. By that point, it would be a pretty pristine spamtrap. And it would still receive tons of trash.

The Return of the Open Relay

Open relays are back! Spamhaus shares the sad story that history is repeating itself and spammers are once again finding and exploiting open relaying mail servers to shovel spam at you.

Fighting the open relay problem was a big part of my initial spam fighting efforts, back in the day.

A bunch of us sort of chuckled back in 2004 when the FTC finally came around to start talking about stopping the scourge of the open relay -- too little, too late, it seemed. But, maybe that's not so long forgotten as we had hoped.