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How can I stop spam emails from being sent from my email address?

Posted on 2014-04-16
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Last Modified: 2014-05-02
Spam is being sent from an email address say abc@123.com. The email address is setup on Outlook, on 3 computers. 2 days ago I scanned the 3 computers and removed malware from 2 of them (one was heavily infected), then we changed the password for the email address. Just got a call today that someone just received a spam mail from the same email address. The spam mail recipients are people in the address book (for the mailbox that is spamming). Just had a copy of the spam mail that was received today, forwarded to me and there's just a url link in the body of the email. The spam email was sent to about 14 email addresses. How can I stop these spam emails from being sent from my email address?
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Question by:bobox00
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40005466
At this point, they are probably Not being sent from your actual email account but from a spam account somewhere else.  I've been getting emails like that off and on for months.  Some of them are obviously picking up emails / names from Facebook, some are from other infected computers.
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Expert Comment

by:Rafael
ID: 40005481
I had a same problem until I began to use a service called Spam Soap. It is a managed hosting email service that I use it for myself as well as my MSP clients. Fees will vary based on what you sign up for.  i.e. $25 for 5 email accounts.  All email is screen and filtered based on rules.  Each day there is an automated email sent to your inbox of "suspect mails" that were blocked. See my attachment screen shot from today. You would have the ability to either release them or delete them. When clicking on the link it will take you to a separate portal where you control what you want to release or block.  There is also an Outlook plug in for your email so that in the event one makes it through you can tag it. At that point it will send it to Spamsoap and will block it for your future ones.  Each month you would receive a report on similar blocks.

It does inbound and outbound scanning and supports  IMAP, POP and have setups for smartphones, tablets. Mac and IOS. Neither do a response challenge to potential spam :)

I use Spamsoap for business, other than price, I'm very happy with it.
spamsoap.png
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Dave Howe earned 500 total points
ID: 40005657
You can't.

I can send an email as you today, using any email client, and you could do nothing about it.

What you can do, if you own the domain and control the servers the email address "belongs" to, is set up a SPF record (there are tools available to help you with that) which can allow you to specify that servers give a dubious/spam rating to mail received from that email address that doesn't come from the authorized servers.

Note, recipient servers are not required to honour or even check this, but it is free to set up so worth doing if you have control.

DKIM is a much better system which involves actually digitally signing the mail at your mailservers to mark it as authentic - however, because it is much more complex, it is also much more work to set up (You need to ensure your mail server CAN sign mails, and configure it to do so) and is much less supported - few mail servers honour it because configuring to do so is significant work, so most mail admins don't.

However, bottom line - sender email address is just a text label on the email, and you can't prevent anyone sending an email with any text label they choose. All you can do is try to indicate using the above methods that mail that doesn't come via your servers be marked as spam, and hope that the recipients honour that request.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bobox00
ID: 40037496
The recent AOL email hack was the cause.
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