800 emails today returned--and I didn't send any!

  DIYgirl 16:26 12 Mar 2004

I use OE on Win 98, filtering my messages using Mailwasher. I run Spybot and Adaware every few days, update them frequently. I usually get 30-50 messaged a day, of which 3-5 are for me and the rest are spam (drives me mad).

Today I have received over 800 messages which notify me that the message I have sent could not be delivered for one reason or another. It is spam, I am sure: it all seems to advertise home loans, on the ones I have checked before using Mailwasher to delete them.

The email addresses that have been used to send them are all the same as mine, after the @ sign, with different names stuck on at the front. All sorts of names.

I cannot change this email address, as I use it for work (I breed peacocks--anyone want to buy one?) and it is in all my adverts and so on. Any ideas how long this is likely to go on for? And is there anything I can do to stop it? I am going up the wall!

  Diodorus Siculus 16:32 12 Mar 2004

Sadly, you are doing all that can be done - mailwasher is a fairly effective Spam filter.

It might be worth changing your email address slowly over the next month or so. Gradually let friends know of the new one and put it into your ads.

  Indigo 1 16:39 12 Mar 2004

Make sure you Anti-Virus is fully up to date and do a complete scan of your PC.

Do you get a report from your A-V saying that certain files could not be scanned ?

  Diodorus Siculus 16:46 12 Mar 2004

AFAIK, the messages saying that they could not be delivered could well be the result of a spammer using your address as a "from" address; alternatively, a person who has you in their address book may have a virus and is sending mail with your address in the "from" field.

  Indigo 1 16:57 12 Mar 2004

Yes Diodorus Siculus is correct but it is always worth making certain the virus is not on your machine first.

  mdshamilton 17:02 12 Mar 2004

Have you notified your ISP or email provider to ensure you don't end up being switched off as a spammer? Either one should ranp up their security to prevent your email address being "spoofed" like this.

  deadneat 17:11 12 Mar 2004

always use click here for disposable e-mail address when required.

  DIYgirl 17:35 13 Mar 2004

Today I have received more than 6,000 more emails sent by someone else, but pretending to come from my email address. I have contacted my email service provider--Freeserve--and received the following reply from them:

"Thank you for your email.

Your PC is infected with a virus.

The latest viruses all turn your PC in a spam relay.

If you have an AV checker then it will have been disabled (another
recent property of viruses)

If you go to the address below you will find an online virus checker
(Pc-cillin), it take awhile (as it is over dial up) but will disinfect
your PC.

click here

If you have any further queries then please do not hesitate to get in
contact with us again."

I have followed their link, and checked my computer for viruses: nothing was found by this online checker, nor by Norton which I have installed, and is fully updated. Are they talking nonsense? Might I have an undetected virus? Or is this caused by some spamming low-life sending out his silly little messages?

  Diodorus Siculus 18:26 13 Mar 2004

If norton says you are clear, then it is not your fault. I really think that you need to change your ISP; it will at least sort out the spam from the few good ones.

  Sir Radfordin 18:35 13 Mar 2004

If is more than likely that there are people who have your email address in their address book who have been infected with the virus. The virus sends out emails that claim to be from various accounts - in this case is using yours. So when sending fails you get the failed messages sent to you. Apart from chainging your email address there is very little you can do.

  Bapou 19:40 13 Mar 2004

All the hallmarks of the Netsky virus at work. I had similar problems recently,certainly not to the extent of yours DIYgirl.

A strange reply from your own ISP, more than likely it's as Sir Radfordin says, your address has been stolen from someone else's book.

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