I am receiving spam email, how can I find out who is sending it?

The first thing to remember when trying to get to the bottom of a spam email is that the To and From addresses listed are fictitious. For example, if the message is addressed "To: Undisclosed-recipients@seas.upenn.edu" this does not necessarily mean the sender has any actual connection with SEAS or Penn. In order to track down the actual sender, you need to send the full headers of the message to cets@seas. If you are not sure how to do this, read the instructions below.

Second, do NOT reply to spam emails, even to remove yourself from their list! Most of the spam mailings are "one shot" operations, so whether or not they remove you from their mailing list is immaterial. However, they will probably sell your address to another company as a "confirmed address, this person reads messages and responds according to the instructions!"

There may not be anything you can do to avoid ever being spammed again, because there are several ways a spammer could acquire your email address. Perhaps you used your address on a web site, or when registering software, or on an on-line service or game. Or perhaps some spammer said to a freshman, "I'll give you $50 for a list of all the accounts in SEAS."

Instructions for sending the full headers

Most new spam that gets through our Proofpoint filter will only get through once before being detected and blocked. Therefore, you only need to send us your spam emails if you are getting the same kind of spam for a day or more.

Many mail programs hide the headers, but provide a "show headers" command of some sort. Often, the easiest way to forward a message with complete headers is to save the message to a file, and then insert or attach the file.

For information on setting up a spam filter on your SEAS account, see http://www.seas.upenn.edu/cets/answers/spamblock.html.


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