Question

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Undelivered email to wrong address

By Healer ·
A friend of mine keeps getting notices of undelivered emails saying he has sent emails to people with the wrong email addresses. Certainly he is not doing it. He doens't recognize any of those email addresses.

Somebody somehow has got his email address and is using it to spam other people? What could be the source of the problem? Could it indicate there is spyware in his computer system? How can we prevent this from happening and how can we stop it now?

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I will check it

by Healer In reply to Probably not sent from yo ...

when I get a chance. It is a very good idea. I am concerned how the email address was taken in the first place though.

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Could even be at random

by TobiF In reply to I will check it

Emails are forwarded to a domains email handler with the SMTP protocol.

When SMTP is used in this way, there is no checking of the sender address. It could be random (and some spammers even do use random from address).

But, more probably, the address was picked from some kind of list of email addresses. Maybe someone managed to steal the user database of a site where this address was used? Or the site owner decided to sell the user database.

I have a special (proactive) way of tracking this.
On my own domain, I can set up email aliases, and set them to deliver emails to my main account. (So at this site, I was visible as techrepublic@.... until I changed my screen name)
If I receive spam on any alias, then I'll know from where they got the address. I can also easily discard that alias to stop spam to that address.

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I was about to say

by Healer In reply to Could even be at random

the address sending from could be random in order to hide the real source. I am sure that can be spoofed too.

I know that yahoo mail provides an option of creating some sort of alias to an email account. When needed the alias could be dumped and a new alias to be created. However in my mind that would be the same as creating another email account and we still have to inform every one of the new email address.

I am not too sure what screen name you are referring to. Moreover even you set up an alias I suspect we still can't be sure where it could be stolen from.

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Some clarifications

by TobiF In reply to I was about to say

Spoofed sender's address: When emails are forwarded to a domains server for incoming mails any address can be entered in the "from" field.

Alias: I just tried to explain that I have a setup where some 60 different addresses on my domain all point to my main email account. Maybe you could do something similar with parallel accounts on Yahoo, that I don't know.

My screen name here is TobiF, but I got it just a couple of months ago.

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More clarification sought!

by Healer In reply to Some clarifications

Are you forwarding your emails one by one manually?

Are you saying you are delaing with 60 different addressress?

What do you mean by "all point to my main email account"? Do you mean auto-forward?

I do use the yahoo account with the alias for some purpose.

When I registered with Techrepublic years ago I was asked straight away what user name I used. I used "healer" which is the meaning of my first name, I suppose. So I suppose the user name is the screen name you are referring to. I don't know how you could register without a user name? Perhaps you meant you joined TechRepublic a couple of months ago.

How do you read your email with notebook by the way?

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Here ya go!

by TobiF In reply to More clarification sought ...

<i>Are you forwarding your emails one by one manually?</i>
Of course not. If you have your own domain name, then you're free to define any email addresses in that domain. The provider I use, allows me to define any number of aliases/autoforwards. And I use this to create a specific email address whenever I register on a site where I don't want to give my usual email directly.

<i>Are you saying you are delaing with 60 different addressress?</i>
I'm saying that there are about 60 different addresses you could use, that would get your message delivered into my main email account. But I will still see, which address you sent to.

<i>What do you mean by "all point to my main email account"? Do you mean auto-forward?</i>
You'd typically call it auto-forward if the mail is sent further to another domain. If the "auto-forward" is within the same domain (as in my case) then the term "alias" is used more often.

<i>Perhaps you meant you joined TechRepublic a couple of months ago.</i>
As you can see in my profile, I joined a couple of years ago. And I'm not sure whether i left the user name empty, or entered that same email address in the user name. After all, the address was a "disposable one" so it wouldn't be too a big problem, should it become visible. But later I realized that for user names that look like email addresses, the site hides the domain portion of the name. So I become one out of several techrepublic@... users here. When I started frequenting the site more often, I changed my user name.

<i>How do you read your email with notebook by the way?</i>
In general, I don't like webmail. I want to compose and read emails on my local system (which happens to not be a laptop). So I download the emails from the server to my computer. (and then delete them on the server.)
For me, webmail is a dirty workaround for those cases, when I need to check pending emails on the server because my own computer is off line.

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Response to "Here ya go!"

by Healer In reply to Some clarifications

So you still need to manually set up aliases or filters in advance. I had supposed you had some automated system. I suppose auto-forwarding is part of the whole system.

Downloading email to local computer, not every email reader let us read in text format. At least I can't find exporting to notebook option on my 2010 Outlook. If the email in HTML format, reading it could be a bit of drama.

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I don't like Outlook, for these reasons

by TobiF In reply to Response to "Here ya go!"

- It notoriously replaces mentions of email addresses with data from the address book, so that you can't see what was originally in the email itself.
- Unless "hard coded" via registry or policies, it will always try to render html emails.
- By default, the preview pane is on, rendering whatever email happens to be on top of a folder you open.
- Almost every month, MS pushes out updates to their junk filter and flag them as important, so they are included by default. I don't know how these things work themselves, but to the user, the only exposed options for junk mail sorting is blacklisting email address and sender domain, which is a useless way to catch junk mail.

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Response to "I don't like Outlook, for these reasons"

by Healer In reply to Some clarifications

I have thought about that. Actually I believe that the replacement of the email addresses with the name is done at the sender's side using the address book of the sender's, not the recipient's.

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It is possible

by LocoLobo In reply to Undelivered email to wron ...

the notices of undelivered emails are spoofing SPAM from others. Is he SURE the notices are legit? Unless he has evidence that his computer is a spambot, I would ignore and delete them.

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