Nuisance e-mails from impostors

  Jim Thing 15:34 14 Feb 2011

My laptop OS is Windows XP(SP3) and my e-mail client is Outlook Express 6.

In the past few days I've received five e-mails which appear to have been sent by people whose names and e-mail addresses are familiar to me. In each e-mail the Subject line in the header is blank, and the message consists only of a URL which is for a different website in each e-mail. Each e-mail was addressed to a dozen or more people including myself.

It turns out that none of these e-mails was sent by the apparent sender, while all the recipients' addresses appear to have been 'lifted' from the apparent senders' Address Books.

The nuisance seems likely to persist unless I can find a way to stop it. However, I can't see how to devise a Message Rules filter based on the blank Subject line, which seems to be the only feature that's unique in each of these e-mails (and I'm too old and thick to make sense of the detailed data that's available in Outlook Express via Properties > Details > Message Source).

Could someone please point me towards a solution that would stop these nuisance e-mails appearing in my Inbox?


  Jim Thing 15:47 14 Feb 2011

I didn't mean to write "...the only feature that's unique in each of these e-mails." I meant to write "...the only feature that's common to all of these e-mails."

  bremner 16:03 14 Feb 2011

I had one last week purportedly from my brother in law, similarly containing just a URL.The email was actually sent from an Indian IP address. Mine had just randon letters as the subject.

By clicking on the URL you potentially infect your own machine resulting in your address book being harvested.

Apparently the reason is so that real harvested addresses can be used for spamming.

How to flter them out is difficultbecause oftheir randomness. Just a matter of deleting them manually as and when they arrive.

  Jim Thing 16:13 14 Feb 2011

Thanks, bremner. I had wondered what the motive could possibly be.

  Jim Thing 11:56 15 Feb 2011


  Sea Urchin 12:15 15 Feb 2011

I thought your question had been answered?

  Jim Thing 12:25 15 Feb 2011

I'm still hoping that someone may be able to suggest a workable solution. If I give up I'll tick the box. Thank you for your helpful post.

  xania 13:08 15 Feb 2011

Your problem is that Outlook Express does not provide decent Spam filtering, but you may learn something from click here

There are quite a few free and paid for solutions to this, but I've no idea how good they are.

click here.

  Sea Urchin 13:10 15 Feb 2011

I think bremner gave you the only workable solution - deleting them.

If someone sends you an email then it will appear in your Inbox. The problem is at the senders end - and if their address has been harvested then there's not a lot they can do apart from changing their password and maybe even their email address.

  bremner 13:24 15 Feb 2011

On my mail program (MAC) I can set a rule that says

If 'Subject' "is equal to" I then leave the text field blank - then Delete

I have tested this and it automatically deletes messages with no subject.

Unfortunately OE6 message rules cannot do this. Perhaps the time has come to move on from what is a very old application.

  Jim Thing 14:48 15 Feb 2011

I think bremner's suggestions are favourite, although I would have preferred an automated solution. I haven't yet had time to study xania's links though, so I'll let the thread run a little longer in case anything else of interest turns up.

Thanks for responding

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