Returned mail : user unknown from AOL

  wlw 12:17 30 Mar 2004

I am using MS Outlook Express and XP, I am now receiving almost daily an e-mail message from AOL (not my ISP) a "returned mail:unknown user" message which says I have sent a note to an invalid address, eg [email protected]

Johnsmith varies each time, but in no case have I conciously sent an e-mail to the ID in question.

Does this mean I have a bug which is secretly sending e-mails out to AOL adresses, or is the returned e-mail actually a virus itself.
There is normally no attachment, my Norton is always up-todate, and scans say I have no bugs en-situ.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.


  phil.smith 12:21 30 Mar 2004

I have been getting the same for a while - also returns from germany and belgium - it is down to a virus - as long as you do not open anything you should be OK - just bin them


  RoosterUK 12:29 30 Mar 2004

I belive there is a virus Netsky that appears something like this. Your Norton should protect you from this though, if it's right up to date.

Check this page on Nortons site for details.
[email protected]" title="[email protected]" TARGET="_new">click here

They offer a downloadable fix, details on that page.

This may have nothing to with your problem but its worth a look.


  RoosterUK 12:34 30 Mar 2004

Woops that link didn't work as i expected !

Just go to the symnatec home page, and follow the link for [email protected]

This link should be the homepage

click here

Good Luck


  Sir Radfordin 12:38 30 Mar 2004

This normally happens when your address has been used as the 'from' or 'reply-to' field in an email that a virus has created. It is more often than not a virus on someone's computer who has your email in their address book and not from your own account.

  wlw 13:04 30 Mar 2004

I now find that other domains, eg yahoo, hotmail, etc are involved so this is not AOL specific. I have downloaded the Netsky removal tool, but it has found nothing on my system.

My ISP (ATTGLOBAL) have trapped a number of similar messages in my "greymail" folder,
as we say in Scotland, from 'a the airts' so either many people have my email address, very likely, or I have something unknown to Norton.

Is it worthwhile trying another virus checker, or do McFee, Norton, etc feed off each other and therefore have the same level of knowledge of current bugs?


  johnnyrocker 14:07 30 Mar 2004

as earlier posted the virus is reproducing at a rapid rate and is spoofing your address from the pc of someone who has your mail address on their system, at one time i was getting 30 aol returned to my hotmail a/c on a daily basis.


  wlw 15:14 02 Apr 2004

I have now verified I have no virus myself, so I accept that I may be a minor victim of spamming.
My ISP allows me to filter mail at the ISP server level, and I have arranged to reject similar e0mails and this seems to work.

Thanks to all for the various comments and suggestions.


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