Getting spam not addressed to me

  polymath 20:52 06 Jun 2004

I'm curious about a new phenomenon. Half the spam I get now is addressed to someone else (nothing like my name sometimes) - the only correct bit is my ISP after the @. How can this be?
Do other people get this? Could it just be a setting of mine that needs correcting? (Though I check them often, being a dropped-connection sufferer!)

  polymath 20:56 06 Jun 2004

Forgot to mention I use IE/Outlook Express 6, Win 98SE, PC-cillin 2000 antivirus & Mailwasher. ISP is Eircom (Irish equivalent of BT)

  BLB 21:29 06 Jun 2004

I'm on NTL broadband and I get about 70 of the same every day. I have e-mailed NTL about this but so far no answer. If I get an answer I will let you know.

  georgemac 21:37 06 Jun 2004

I also get this with NTL and emailed about them but got no reply. Not good enough by NTL, I only want mail addressed to me.

I created a new email address which did not have my name before the @ and so far this has been good - relatively no spam.

I use filterspam now click here but they now charge new users. click here spamjab uses the same software and is still free - it is excellent.

  polymath 22:23 06 Jun 2004

Thanks for your responses folks.
As I'm not the only one, my settings are probably OK (as Helproom gurus, I expect yours are correct!)
I'm on dialup, so it isn't only a broadband problem.
I'll try my ISP - Eircom's helpline seems excellent compared to some I've read about.

  end 22:33 06 Jun 2004

and its "irish" so you just MIGHT GET an " irish answer"..........(am Irish myself, so have "slung" THAT one at myself BEFORE anyone "takes sides"....!!!)

  polymath 21:56 07 Jun 2004

I rang Eircom's helpline, but the man I spoke to hadn't heard of people receiving spam to an incorrect address. All he could suggest was the standard advice about not publishing my email address (which I don't, and anyway it's not my address they're sent to!), and using a spam filter. (Eircom do one, & he also suggested an alternative called 'spy-hunter' or similar, free from But do spam filters do anything about our problem? (I haven't tried one yet. Do they have to be told about hundreds of 'misspellings' of certain words to make much difference?)
We concluded that it must be some new trick spammers are using, that isn't well known yet.

Is it new to others too? I only noticed it a week or two ago, but I get rid of spam in Mailwasher without examining much of it.

Perhaps NTL will be just as stumped, but I'd be very interested to hear what they say, or about any light anyone can shed on it. I'm puzzled as to how it can happen!

  March Hare 23:35 07 Jun 2004

I asked NTL why I was getting spam which was not addressed to me. They replied that this happens if the sender uses the BCC option (blind copies), as spammers do.

This type of mail can be deleted by careful application of Message Rules in Outlook Express, ie any mail not bearing your address in the To line can be deleted. Mailwasher can be configured in the same way.

  jack 08:36 08 Jun 2004

The Spammers do a 'random' making things /names up as they go.
Your ISP should have a blocker service to stop this - mine Has.
As already mention care full attewntion to the 'Rules' set up will reduce the volume
But the buggers wont give up they are all ways doing a work around.

  Andsome 08:47 08 Jun 2004

Change your e-mail address if possible to something less likely to be dialed by an auto dialler. Mine was originally [email protected] , There are probably thousands of keith jones's in the world, so I was a sitting target. My current address is gobbldy gook and I have NOT had a single spam message in several months.

  polymath 21:07 08 Jun 2004

Thank you all for your advice.

I didn't notice that OE & Mailwasher could be set only to accept email to my correct address, as I didn't know it could be sent to an incorrect one! I still don't understand the logic of how it could happen. I'm off to do those settins now, March Hare - thanks. I'll report back on whether it does the trick.
You mention it can happen with blind copies. Curiously, with one of today's batch was 1 where I could see the other recipients' addresses (1 matching another of today's lot).

I got 28 spams/suspicious emails today - 6 to me and 23 to 16 other addresses, including 1 with blank address field. One, about viagra, was to 'helpdesk', which is Eircom's tech help address! Perhaps they'll believe me now, if I forward it to them. (I might just have been unlucky, of course, with who I spoke to)

My wrong addresses don't look very random, Jack - most look like authentic Irish names, tourism sites etc. Perhaps I'll email a few, to ask if they're getting any addressed to me - it might be some clue.

Would changing my email address make any difference to the incorrectly addressed spam? I'm reluctant to do it unless I have to.

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