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Miss Betsy

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Everything posted by Miss Betsy

  1. Q: Do I have to register all the email addresses at my domain? i.e. webmaster at; info at, etc. A: You only need to register one email address per host. SpamCop is only interested in the hosts that handle your email, not the email addresses. Once you register a host, running the Mailhost utility for other addresses handled by that same host will replace the email address shown on the registration, but there won't be any other effect. See Richard's explanation of how mailhosts works Q: I have lots of email addresses that forward to one main email address. Everything is forwarded from there to SpamCop. I have registered the main email address with Mailhost. Do I need to register all the others? A: As long as they are not in the same domain, you have to set up each email address you use to report spam. Think of it as the mailpath rather than mailhost. (for people who have several domains or can set up their own SMTP servers see dbiel's post immediately following for exceptions). Q: Yes, when I went for "test email", Spamcop offered 5 server names for "test email". I had no idea which to choose... A: You do NOT make a choice at this point, simply accept all of the them. This is the list of servers that your mail may be going through and which one is used at which time can be simply a matter of chance and/or location. If you were using an ISP like earthlink, the list could seem endless. Q: I never received the Probe E-mail. Why not? A(s): * You may have actually received it, but it's been shuffled off to the Bulk/Junk folder by your ISP's filters. Check those folders first. * Greylisting: Greylisting usually indicates that the first message is rejected with a temporary error code, which indicated the sender should try again and when that retry happens within a certain amount of time, the message is passed through. There is no human intervention required for greylisting. The SpamCop MailHost system is not the typical e-mail server, so there is no machine/software intervention here either. Probe e-mail is requested and sent, end of story. One Solution: If possible, turn off Greylisting until the MailHost configuration is finshed. Another Solution: If possible, whitelist the SpamCop 'robot' address and try again. The currently seen data (and subject to change at any time) is (note slight mung): From: SpamCop robot <spamcop[at]devnull.spamcop.net> If neither of these are an option, run through the process twice, on the premise that the timeframe involved with the second probe e-mail arriving will fit into "the window of opportunity" for the retransmittal. *Challenge/Response Solution: If possible, turn off Challenge/Response until the MailHost configuration is finshed. If possible, whitelist the SpamCop 'robot' address and try again. The currently seen data (and subject to change at any time) is (note slight mung): From: SpamCop robot <spamcop[at]devnull.spamcop.net> Error Messages One Solution: Post a copy of the entire error message in Mailhosts Forum Mailhost System Configuration Another Solution for people with email addresses at different domains: Start over. dbiel's instructions: Open up the reporting window and click on MailHosts. Delete anything that shows up. (the delete option is near the bottom of the list) Now click on "Add new hosts" and enter myname[at] firstdomain.com and enter firstdomain in the next box. Complete the registration process for that one account before trying to add the second account. If you receive an error message, follow the instructions contained in the message. If you can not understand the instructions, than post a copy of the entire error message. But remember, you have to complete each account BEFORE starting to add the next account. Another solution and if you get both a success and a failure email.: If you are technically fluent, read the Mailhost FAQ started by Wazoo that is found in the FAQ here. If you are not technically fluent, contact the deputies at service[at]admin.spamcop.net. Caution You still need to check your submissions or the Quick Reporting report to make sure your ISP is not being reported (or you if you have your own SMTP server and have made changes). If something changes, it still can happen. see dbiel's post for more info. Edited by Miss Betsy 6/24/2006 to point to dbiel's clarifications. 7/15/2006 to include start over instructions 7/17/2006 added dbiel's answer to confusion over which server to choose 10/3/2006 to include Richard's explanation; edited by Miss Betsy 10/8/2006 to correct email address that JeffG pointed out.
  2. Miss Betsy

    How to hard-boil eggs

    The easy way to peel hardboiled eggs is to crack them all over before trying to take the eggshell off. BTW, I read that the 3 second rule is bogus - that germs adhere immediately. I would think that would include the 5 second rule also. Miss Betsy
  3. Miss Betsy

    Help about administrative password!

    If you select an alphanumeric user name (so that the 'dictionary' spammers don't guess it), such as myk1d, make sure that it is not published on the internet every so often (you need to make your child promise NOT to provide his email address to anyone - if he wants to, then he has to ask your permission), and put his junk folder on high (you can have it as high as only the people you want him to correspond with - that's called a whitelist and is available on most email clients. I don't recommend that since every once in a while your child may want to get an email from someone whom he meets. OTOH, if only the ones on his whitelist get through, you will know who your child is emailing and you won't have to be concerned about hir having to check the junk mail folder for false positives.) I changed my email address and haven't had any spam. I haven't looked at them because I don't have children at home, but there are sections on yahoo, hotmail, and gmail on Parental Controls. Miss Betsy
  4. IMHO, It is worthwhile, if you have time, to report the 'drop boxes' if you are sure the ISP is not the spammer. It does not do much good to contact the spammer who may target you for various kinds of retaliation. Miss Betsy
  5. Miss Betsy

    [Resolved] please remove blacklisting

    Perhaps you need to talk to ironport support about this coincidence. You also might be able to contact those who are using the spamcop bl to block your emails and see if they would whitelist your email addresses. If you explain to them that you have fixed the problem, they might be willing to let your email in. Not everybody uses the spamcop bl to block; in fact, most use it only to filter - those people might find your email in the junk folder. You could call your clients and see if they have received your email and tell to look in the junk folder or whitelist it. One of the basic premises of spamcop is that when spam stops, the listing stops. If the spam does not stop, the listing continues. I don't think that you can be listed for anything else. Spamcop will tell you about other problems that will get you listed on other lists, but AFAIK, spamcop only lists IP addresses that have sent spam. I don't think fixing the internal dns address fixed the problem. Miss Betsy
  6. Miss Betsy

    Blacklisted twice can find no cause

    If Don doesn't provide any more information than he already has, it is still possible to find out to prevent a recurrence. I don't know very much about how real server admins do it since I am not one, but I think that using a really aggressive spam filter before returning any email accepted or only returning whitelisted addresses (for Out of Office replies) is the way that those who insist on accepting email and then automatically answering it are able to avoid sending to spam traps. As I said before, I also think that it would be wise to invest in whatever hardware/software that allows you to reject email only at the server level. If Don says that it is a 'huge' problem, you know that the big boys like Comcast, RR, Time Warner, hotmail, yahoo, etc. are just dropping them. It is only the smaller ISPs who bother to send notifications that it is on spamcop bl. I never get a rejection to my spammy hotmail address and it must be forged on dozens of lists every day - not even with junk mail turned off completely. Miss Betsy
  7. How do you know that NSI won't be interested in helping you run this down? It certainly would be worth an email to the support desk showing them the headers and asking them to fix it. They might be grateful. Miss Betsy
  8. Scams are important to report. I am not quite sure why you want to add an address to the one that spamcop picks. Usually, the abuse desk spamcop picks is the correct one that would want to make sure that the scammer does not use their network to scam again. There is no point to contacting the scammer since he has tricked someone into allowing him to send his scams. I have not paid any attention to the User Defined Reports - there is discussion somewhere around - because I decided that it was not productive to send reports to the FTC and other reporting places as a copy of the spamcop report. If I did decide to report them, I would send a copy of the spam directly. You also want to report the contact emails within the scam. A very long time ago, spamcop did report email addresses within the body of the spam. However, the spammers included so many 'innocent bystanders' and reporters were not diligent in identifying the contact addresses, that email addresses are not reported any more. You can manually report them and many people do since it does protect the gullible. You can cut and paste the email address to the web form and spamcop will give you the abuse address, I believe. It has been so long since I have done that, I am not sure if it still works. Usually, I look them up myself via ARIN and abuse.net. As you say, IMHO, it is a good deed to notify abuse desks of scam contact addresses and most of them take immediate action. If the scam is 'Yummy Fresh', you will get a different response sometimes than you get if it isn't. And that means to me, that I was the first one to report! But usually, I am not. Keep up the good work!! Miss Betsy
  9. If you can see the submitted spam and can post the tracking link here, it will show what spamcop did with the headers and perhaps someone will see where the problem is that no reports are sent. Also, you /never/ want to use the bounce function in Mailwasher Pro!!!! What that does is send your spam to the forged return path to some poor person who is the spammer's choice to be forged. Sometimes it is not much of a problem, but a few people get absolutely inudated with them and it is a real nuisance. Miss Betsy
  10. Miss Betsy

    Blacklisted twice can find no cause

    In the beginning when forged return paths were first used, even spamcop deputies defended the system of accepting email and then sending an NDR because of the advantages to the existing system. It wasn't long before they changed their mind - because it gets to be a 'huge' problem. Some domain owners are deluged with NDRs (how many in spam run? millions? and that could generate thousands of NDRs). Very early on, even AOL was convinced to stop accepting and then rejecting. I am sure that if you looked around at some discussions, you would find sufficient reasons why it is not a good idea in the present spam environment. Just think that the percentage of spam to real email is something way above 75%. That means that at least 75% of your rejections are forged by spammers. How many legitimate emails are you usefully rejecting? I don't know how difficult it is to reject at the server level. I think there is some expense involved in getting hardware that can do it efficiently. However, if you don't do it, then you are like the car on the road with the loud muffler and spewing oil fumes - a big nuisance and possible hazard (if the spammer targets just one domain). Miss Betsy
  11. Yes, you have gotten a reply to a spamcop report from the spammer (who thinks that he is conducting a legitimate mailing list) or knows he is spamming and wants to listwash your email address so that he isn't reported again. You can ignore it or you can respond to it. If you respond to it, you need to use an address that is disposable (or one that you don't care if it gets more spam or is listwashed). The only purpose to respond, IMHO, is to educate the person if he thinks he really is legitimate. Send him links on mailing list 'best practices' Explain that the email he sent to you was unsolicited and therefore spam and that you will continue to report them. It looks like English is a second language for him so use short, direct sentences that will translate well. However, if you don't have time, then you can ignore his request - you have no obligation to unsubscribe, dispute, or otherwise help the spammer with the spamcop report you submitted. It is now his problem. Miss Betsy
  12. Miss Betsy

    Wrongful Block list

    I am sure that you intend to be a responsible internet user. In the old days (and even today in some places) people could leave their keys in their cars, leave their house doors unlocked, did not have to show ID in order to pay a merchant, etc. Not so today. It is irresponsible to leave your keys in your car on the parking lot of the super market. I know one person who did. His car was stolen, driven to another state where a murder was committed, and driven back and dumped in a lake. It might have been a teenager taking a joy ride who wouldn't have done it without it being so easy to do. It is the same with the internet. The 'sending' end is the only place where the spam can be stopped. If you are not sharing this IP address with someone else (that's where the ISP comes in who is responsible for the other people doing what they should), then you are responsible for seeing that no botnet herder or other spam sneak does not use your space to send spam. There is no one else who can stop them. Just as a good driver understands how his vehicle works and maintains it properly. Since you have been on the internet for a long time and do understand about netiquette, I am going to skip advice on mailing lists. I am sure that if you do have a mailing list for your business, you observe best practices. Even people who have a lot more technical knowledge about computers and computer safety than you do have been known to let their wireless routers be vulnerable. Basically, every computer has an IP address when it connects to the internet. Some IP addresses are static which means that no other computer uses that IP address. Most email goes through an ISP or an email service (such as spamcop) and hundreds of people use the same mail servers. If anyone of them is careless and has been infected with a trojan, it will be sending spam. Then, the blocklists detect the spam, but they cannot pick which of the hundreds of computers that are sending the spam. Only the ISP can do so. If you are not sending your email through a common mail server and are doing it yourself, then there are other things that could get you on blocklists. The most common being that you do not reject email at the server level, but accept it and return it to the forged return path which goes to an innocent person as 'backscatter' As the technically non-fluent member of this forum, I can't explain how you use best practices as a server admin. I know how a car engine works; I have never replaced an air filter and couldn't tell you how to do it. As for ISPs rejecting your email. Every server admin in charge of receiving mail has hir own mix of filtering for spam. If you are lucky, they reject at the server level so that you get an Non-delivery message stating why the email was rejected. Too often, they are either dropped or shuttled to a Junk mail folder for the client. Most server admins do not use spamcop blocking list to reject email because it is very aggressive and will catch 'false positives' (the other users on a spamming IP address). Your problems are not with the blocklists who are simply stating facts that spam is coming from this IP address, but with the receiving server admin who is blocking your IP address for some reason - usually based on blocklists, but could be that he hates anyone named Steven. I repeat. There are people here who can help you figure out what your problem is - particularly Wazoo who will ask you all kinds of what seem to be irrelevant questions and is very blunt in his opinions so if you have thin skin, don't read his posts. I can only give you the concepts because I am only an end user like you. I hope this clears things up a little bit for you about how email works today and how one needs to be more security conscious to be a responsible netizen. Miss Betsy
  13. Miss Betsy

    Peak 10

    Did unsubscribing work? Sometimes, I will unsubscribe, but I never use the unsubscribe link or form. I always try email addresses and tell them that I never unsubscribe to something that I have not subscribed to. They have subscribed me without my consent and that I want to be unsubscribed. It sometimes takes several emails to various people, but eventually I get someone who unsubscribes me. Miss Betsy
  14. Miss Betsy

    Wrongful Block list

    There are numerous resources on this forum that explain how email works and how the internet works on netiquette. You might have read the pinned FAQ Why Am I Blocked? It attempts to explain it in laymen's terms. 'poor' ratings generally mean that the administrator of that IP address is not diligent in stopping spam from being sent. On blocklists, an IP address is either listed or it isn't. There are no ratings. If you are having problems with rejected mail, it is between you and your ISP. No one wants to get spam and does not have to thanks to blocklists. As a responsible member of the internet, you are the one responsible for seeing that spam is not sent through the IP address you are using. Don is always willing to help you find the reasons, if spamcop lists your IP address. There are others who frequent this forum who may be able to help also, particularly with non-spamcop issues. Good Luck in finding out what is wrong and becoming a responsible internet user - just as I hope you are a responsible driver on the highway. Miss Betsy
  15. Miss Betsy

    Comcast starts fighting Bots

    Oh, I miss James Kilpatrick!! He must be so frustrated that newspapers are getting worse about the proper use of language instead of better. Not only do they misuse words (like 'trials' rather than 'tries'), but they actually use the wrong words. And, many times simple mistakes like 'its' and 'it's' are confused. It is a disgrace. And, it can't be blamed on texting either, because it was happening long before. It is a symptom of our times that too many people are so lamentably incompetent to do what they do. However, I do have more sympathy for those who seem to not understand simple organization and ideas after I was so confused because of the tumor on my brain. I did think I knew what I was doing, but things just didn't connect correctly. I suppose that is what happens to others all the time. I have known a couple of people who have had extraordinary IQs - they, too, saw connections that I could only dimly perceive. No wonder that communication is so difficult among human beings! But, I think that one characteristic of MENSA members is that they are all punsters! I know that the intelligent people I know are. And, I am not, but I enjoy it. Only once in a great while do I make a good pun. Miss Betsy
  16. Miss Betsy

    Spamhaus on "The Problem of Snowshoe spam"

    I don't like the idea of someone else filtering my email - unless I can give them the criteria to do so. I would never use an email address that did not allow me to receive all my email. Since one can have an email address that is not on any spam lists, you can have it unfiltered and not receive spam. Of course, the botnet spam can be detected and blocked so that even on spammy addresses, most of it is eliminated. Usually, the 419s are the only ones that come through and they are hardly more annoying that those of my correspondents who send all those stupid FWs FWs. They are worse because it takes longer (and may destroy the relationship) to stop them from doing so. Miss Betsy
  17. Miss Betsy

    Spamhaus on "The Problem of Snowshoe spam"

    I am still hoping that those who would want to force others to behave they want them to will learn that on the internet, there is no need to do so. Since they can't force you either, you can ignore them. Of course, that's a chore, but it is better than having to be forceful and possibly hurt in the process. It would be much better to block any email that is not properly constructed and sent than the present system of dropping them. People who use the internet should be able to make choices on how to filter their email. Like many here, I do not have to filter some of my email accounts at all. There will never be a solution to the criminal activity of phishing, etc. as long as there are gullible people. On the other hand, I can't get rid of the idea that some spam activity is not so much about making money as it is a game to evade filters. Someone not quite malicious enough to write viruses, but someone who wants to pit hir skills against the pros. Miss Betsy
  18. Miss Betsy

    Supposed HotMail Accounts Compromise

    Out of curiosity, I checked my email accounts. One hotmail account that was established in 2002 has one spamcop entry. It was going to be a throwaway account, but when I discovered how to post with an invalid email address, I stopped using it. It didn't get any spam either (except when I mentioned it in a post when someone immediately sent a spam!) so I have continued to use it. When the spam spiked a few months ago, there were a few 419s to it. I also have another one that was used deliberately for manual reports to spammers in case I got the spammer himself - which I did on a couple of occasions. I could not convince one organization that I did not want my email address published on the web so now that's my 'online' account. Before hotmail got a handle of filters, it had an incredible volume of spam and still gets some almost every day. I have a transfer/forward hotmail account that is not published anywhere and neither is my isp email account. And then, there is my Red Cross account - it has almost a page of entries because I don't know how to publish it without being scraped. Of course, since I don't how many hundreds of spam are dumped by hotmail - especially for the one that is still published, I don't know how much nuisance it is to have it published still. I really don't see how spam is worth anything to anyone anymore. There just can't be that many idiots out there! Though I admit that I did a really dumb thing recently when my brain was affected - crossing my fingers that I was able to undo it. Miss Betsy
  19. Miss Betsy

    Are we making a difference - 2009 update

    Yes, it does make a difference. Reporting spam has gone through various cycles. In the beginning, often the focus was on education about why unsolicited email is not a good idea. Reports were the contact. Then, as decent people understood, reports were mainly for the blocking of those who were too arrogant and rude to stop. As criminals and shady characters entered the arena, other lists were more useful because they could be permanently blocked. And, that caused the rise of botnets, etc. which made spamcop again useful for those who are responsible users because a spamcop report alerts them to infected computers (no one is perfect!). It is a little bit like litter offline. Taking a walk and picking up any litter that you see really does keep your route clean looking for a long time. OTOH, perhaps, you don't have the time to do that. Then, just being careful not to litter yourself is the best thing to do. That would be like getting a new email address and letting the old one be dealt with by someone else (email lists never go away, IIUC, and undoubtedly, the server admin does have a plan for one that is only receiving spam). Many people concentrate on one aspect. I don't have the time anymore to regularly report spam. However, once in while, I like to take the time to report drop boxes in 419 scams - especially if they are fresh. yahoo, etc. do respond promptly - and once in a while, you alert some server admin to a newly infected computer. Others like to track down registrars, etc. or concentrate on some other kind of spam. So, it depends on your time and inclination whether you participate or not. Noone can do /all/ the good things that need to be done in this world! Miss Betsy
  20. Miss Betsy

    Moron spammer screws up

    Because of netiquette, the virtual world is more polite than offline. Even though people can, and do express themselves in ways they wouldn't in person. The difference is that if you call someone names in person, he is likely to use violence to retaliate. Online, you can just ignore it. You can't force anyone online to do what they don't want to do whereas offline, it is possible to force someone to do something they don't want to do. That's why so many people want laws online. Actually, I hope maybe the netiquette will cross over to offline where people realize that it is possible to get along with different people without forcing them to be the same. MIss Betsy
  21. The FAQs were intended to be 'scripts' so that when we found an answer that seemed to work, anyone could use it by linking to it. Also newcomers could find them without our help. Unfortunately, they are not always clear and, usually, we don't get feedback on what could be improved. Maybe the feedback here should be added to the FAQ. Part of the reason our FAQs are not clear is because techies need to understand the why before they get to the how. non-technically fluent people like me are content with the 'how' and to think about the 'why' later.
  22. Miss Betsy

    Hats off to Microsoft

    Occasionally I have come across a 419 fax that includes an email address to reply. Hotmail, did provide a fax number eventually and so did yahoo recently: So if you get a faxed or mailed 419 that wants you to reply via email: Here's the yahoo response If you have a hard copy of an unwanted email you have received, you may fax it to us for investigation at: (503) 844 2399 The Hotmail one was so long ago, I don't have it anymore. It does no good to write an email to the abuse desk - they have to have a copy of the solicitation which you don't have if it was faxed or mailed to you unless you have a pdf scanner. Miss Betsy
  23. Miss Betsy

    Snail mail scam

    See...I am not afraid that the whole internet knows I am not paranoid! Miss Betsy
  24. Miss Betsy

    Snail mail scam

    I suppose that being paranoid would be another criterion for being an agent - and I am not paranoid enough at all or maybe foolhardy (as in 'fools rush in...'). It's amazing that I have survived at all (online or off). Miss Betsy
  25. Miss Betsy

    Snail mail scam

    I think my college roommate worked there. I got married the day after I graduated and I was counting on living a work life vicariously through her, but she couldn't even tell me where she worked! She wasn't an agent. I always wondered how I would do as an agent. I think that if I were living a lie, it would show. But, since I am not, people trust me. I can cash out of state checks. Now that I am older, it's a little bit more difficult, but I can talk my way in to most any place. (now I need retirees as security guards - even then someone would accuse me of being a cougar). My main obstacle to being an agent is that I am not detail oriented. I would miss most of what I was supposed to be looking for. Miss Betsy
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