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claco

SpamTrap+DoubleOptIn?

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I've been in contact with a very helpful and patient lady (Ellen) at 'disputes' about our recent listing. since I've asked a lot of questions and I'm sure she would like to get some other work done, I figure I would move over to the forums for more help.

Our primary server (208.44.49.5) was listed with the usual spamtrap reason:

> Causes of listing

* System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)

After asking a few questions, I was able to find out that the subject of the email trapped was an order confirmation email we sent out in response to an order place in the system. I haven't yet been able to confirm that the body of the message is actually matches the test we use for order confirmation emails.

Assuming it is a real order confirmation that was caught in a spamtrap, I have a few issues and questions about how to keep this from happening again.

I'm sure the first question/suggestion will be to double-opt-in all email addresses we accept. Leaving all corporate politics/policies aside, I'm curious at a technical level how this can be achieved without ending up on the blacklist via another spamtrap.

Let's assume that:

  1. The user places an order, submitting an email address
  2. We send a 'double' opt-in confirmation email to that email address
  3. The opt-in email goes to a spamtrap
  4. Now we're blacklist for doing the right thing

Now I know what you're going to say: "spamtrap emails are secret". I would argue that given the present situation that we were blocked by a real order confirmation*, that is either not entirely true, that we have a customer who plucked a spamtrap address from a web page somewhere, or that by complete accident, they mis-spelled an address close to a spam trap address.

* again, assuming the email caught matches what we send out. I can't say since I can't inspect the caught email.

So, all things being equal, what can be done here? It seems that the spamtraps, (not just these, but spamtrap email addresses on websites) can be used to put innocent peoples email servers on the blacklists. Even if they are doing double-opt-in confirmation emails, that email itself would be a trigger.

-=Chris

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there are recent real reports that are consistent with bounces:

Submitted: Monday, June 26, 2006 7:05:33 PM -0400:

Global Net Access [incident: 060626-003811]

1813820743 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:41:23 PM -0400:

Undeliverable Mail

1749404052 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: spamcop[at]imaphost.com

1749404050 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

there are other reasons that make your scenarios unlikely, to start with, the spamtrap addresses don't look anything like a everyday e-mail address...they are nearly impossible to guess or duplicate...

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Well, if someone did intentionally find and use a spamtrap address with the intent of getting you BLed, then that address would be compromised, and it would not surprise me if spamcop killed it or changed it.

That is much more likely than the misspelling scenario as it is unlikely that a spamtrap address would be anywhere near a legitimate user address, they are usually selected so that they will not be hit "accidentaly" by a simple typo, however, it is not entirely impossible, only improbable.

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Lets "assume" everything you said was true.

One report will not get you listed. So what about the others?

also there is this:

Submitted: Monday, June 26, 2006 7:05:33 PM -0400:

Global Net Access [incident: 060626-003811]

1813820743 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:41:23 PM -0400:

Undeliverable Mail

1749404052 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: spamcop[at]imaphost.com

1749404050 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, I "assume" by double opt-in you mean confirmed opt-in (if you don't know the difference then look it up. Double opt-in is what the spammers call it. You might want to change your terminology :-)

Maybe you are bouncing emails to the "from" or "reply-to" address????

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I believe that there is a way to determine 'confirmation emails' for confirming that this email address is legitimate so that spam traps do not 'report' them.

As dra007 said, it looks as though you misunderstood Ellen about why there were reports from spam traps since it looks as though bounces are causing the listing. Perhaps there is another problem in that spammers are using one of your forms to send spam? I am not a server admin nor a web host so I don't know the proper terms or where to look. However, there are rare (if any - I can't recall ever seeing one on the forum) complaints about legitimate email hitting spam traps. Usually, it is misdirected bounces (there are FAQs about them) or auto replies.

Miss Betsy

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Lets "assume" everything you said was true.

One report will not get you listed. So what about the others?

also there is this:

Submitted: Monday, June 26, 2006 7:05:33 PM -0400:

Global Net Access [incident: 060626-003811]

1813820743 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Submitted: Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:41:23 PM -0400:

Undeliverable Mail

1749404052 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: spamcop[at]imaphost.com

1749404050 ( 208.44.49.5 ) To: dlance[at]summitracing.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, I "assume" by double opt-in you mean confirmed opt-in (if you don't know the difference then look it up. Double opt-in is what the spammers call it. You might want to change your terminology :-)

Maybe you are bouncing emails to the "from" or "reply-to" address????

Confirmed Opt-In, Double Opt-In. Who cares. Worrying about what spammers call it in this forum context amounts to a what-text-editor-is-best holy war. Even if the email server is bouncing back to forged From/Reply-To addresses, that would end up as user complaints/submissions, not spamtrap catches. Since I'm not the current maintainer of the email server in question (Imail. Ick.), I can't testify as to how if deals with bounces on forged froms....and that wan't the point of my post.

My point was that fact that there is an email in the spamtrap, that appears to be a real order confirmation. An email which I'm not allowed to view, or inspect to find the offending order/customer number so that we can mark them as undeliverable so this won't happen again the next time the user places an order.

That's all management cares about, and that's all I'm permitted to care about at the moment.

With that said, how do I get more information about the other incidents above to see what the cause was?

I believe that there is a way to determine 'confirmation emails' for confirming that this email address is legitimate so that spam traps do not 'report' them.

As dra007 said, it looks as though you misunderstood Ellen about why there were reports from spam traps since it looks as though bounces are causing the listing. Perhaps there is another problem in that spammers are using one of your forms to send spam? I am not a server admin nor a web host so I don't know the proper terms or where to look. However, there are rare (if any - I can't recall ever seeing one on the forum) complaints about legitimate email hitting spam traps. Usually, it is misdirected bounces (there are FAQs about them) or auto replies.

I don't think I misunderstood this:

-----Original Message-----

From: SpamCop/Ellen [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]

Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 2:21 PM

Cc: Chris Laco

Subject: Re: ISP Contact: blocked individual, business email to [at]eibach.co m from ngelhard[at]summitracing.com

Chris -- you asked about the subject lines of the mails; this is what I can show you:

Your Summit Racing Order

Ellen

SpamCop

Please include all correspondence with replies

That's a order confirmation email, generated by the biz system and sent out the door, not generated from a web server or any form. But again, without the ability to actually view the thing, I can't confirm it's real. No other mention of the other incidents was made in the conversation about why we were blacklisted in the last 24 hours.

Like I said, I'm ok with being blacklist due to issues with bounces. But the fact that a spamtrap has cought a real customers order confirmation has me more than concerned, if for no other reason than that customer isn't getting the information they need about their order/shipment; and the fact that I can't fix it for the customer.

The bounce issue can be corrected.

(P.S., thanks for the help. :-)

Edited by Wazoo

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As I said, I don't know exactly how 'your' subject line could be the subject line for an email that hit the spam traps, but I expect there is a reason. It could even be a virus that is using it after infecting a customer's computer (and you are bouncing). I don't know how you would send an order confirmation to a spam trap. They obviously would not be easily mistyped addresses. Another scenario would be that somehow your order system replied to spam instead of an order.

If it really was an order confirmation, then your customer will probably contact you if he needs to get it. I don't understand the problem because if an order was placed, then you will be sending that order and the customer will be happy whether or not he received a confirmation email.

If, after the bounces problem has been fixed, you have another problem with the same subject line then I would be worried. But, I would bet that it is a problem with your order confirmation software rather than the spam trap.

Miss Betsy

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Confirmed Opt-In, Double Opt-In. Who cares. Worrying about what spammers call it in this forum context amounts to a what-text-editor-is-best holy war.
Chris:

...When you are going to experts (of which I am not one) for help and the experts advise you that your terminology is that used by criminals and offer a preferred phrase, you are well advised to not argue but rather to take their advice.

Even if the email server is bouncing back to forged From/Reply-To addresses, that would end up as user complaints/submissions, not spamtrap catches.
...I have to admit at being a bit lost as to why you would say this. It seems to me that if the forged From or Reply-To address is a SpamTrap address, then it would cause SpamTrap catches. Can you explain your reasoning to me and the other uninitiated?

Since I'm not the current maintainer of the email server in question (Imail. Ick.), I can't testify as to how if deals with bounces on forged froms....and that wan't the point of my post.
...You are inquiring as to a SpamCop BL listing. The folks here looked at the information available to them (none of us here can see what Ellen can, the spam Trap information) and what they could see all looked like bounces presumably to forged "From" or "Reply-To". The others here are very good at a lot of things but conjuring unknowable information isn't one of them. :) <g>
My point was that fact that there is an email in the spamtrap, that appears to be a real order confirmation. An email which I'm not allowed to view, or inspect to find the offending order/customer number so that we can mark them as undeliverable so this won't happen again the next time the user places an order.

<snip>

...Hopefully, that level of detail isn't necessary. It you sent an e-mail confirmation to a SpamTrap address, there are only a limited number of ways that can happen. One way is for someone posing as a potential customer entering a SpamTrap address they harvested into your order form. IIUC, a single confirmation e-mail to a SpamTrap address will not cause a SpamCop blacklist listing.

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As I said, I don't know exactly how 'your' subject line could be the subject line for an email that hit the spam traps, but I expect there is a reason. It could even be a virus that is using it after infecting a customer's computer (and you are bouncing). I don't know how you would send an order confirmation to a spam trap. They obviously would not be easily mistyped addresses. Another scenario would be that somehow your order system replied to spam instead of an order.

Me neither. WIthout seeing the email, I'm flying blind. The order sysm isn't attached to the internet. I can/does send email order confirmations for orders also place over the phone, and order place over the internet, the worst that would happen is that it will accept any email address the cusotmer has entered on the web site.

How could this be a problem with the order confirmation software? We took an order, maybe even over the phone, and the system sends out an email to the specified address in the order details. There's not much room in there for anything nefarious.

I guess time will tell.

Thanks,

-=Chris

I have to admit at being a bit lost as to why you would say this. It seems to me that if the forged From or Reply-To address is a SpamTrap address, then it would cause SpamTrap catches. Can you explain your reasoning to me and the other uninitiated?

Well, if it's near impossible that a customer found an entered a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address into an order form, then it should be just as unlikely that a spammer would sent out a spam, with a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address in the forged From/Reply-To for me to send a bounce to. RIght?

That's why I said that my bounce problem would yield user submissions, not automatic spamtrap catches.

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Are you sure someone didn't order a catalog and unclick the catalog option and clicked the email option?

They could have seeded it with a spamtrap address or an invalid email address.

What do you consider double opt-in?

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Are you sure someone didn't order a catalog and unclick the catalog option and clicked the email option?

They could have seeded it with a spamtrap address or an invalid email address.

What do you consider double opt-in?

Define "order a catalog"? They would have to place an order for real products using a real credit card.

They certainly could seed a spamtrap address when placing an order. But, every says it's next to impossible.

s/double opt-in/confirmed opt-in/. Send an email to the submitted address, and requiring a reply, or web link click to confirm they are the email address.

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<snip>

The order sysm isn't attached to the internet. I can/does send email order confirmations for orders also place over the phone, and order place over the internet, the worst that would happen is that it will accept any email address the cusotmer has entered on the web site.

...Um ... if your order system isn't attached to the internet, how does one enter an e-mail address on the web site?
We took an order, maybe even over the phone, and the system sends out an email to the specified address in the order details. There's not much room in there for anything nefarious.
...Unless, as I wrote earlier, your "customer" entered a SpamTrap address in the order details, which SpamTrap address they harvested via a worm or some such tool (I'm not clued in on exactly how SpamTrap addresses find their way into "From" or "Reply-To" addresses).
I have to admit at being a bit lost as to why you would say this. It seems to me that if the forged From or Reply-To address is a SpamTrap address, then it would cause SpamTrap catches. Can you explain your reasoning to me and the other uninitiated?
Well, if it's near impossible that a customer found an entered a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address into an order form, then it should be just as unlikely that a spammer would sent out a spam, with a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address in the forged From/Reply-To for me to send a bounce to. RIght?

That's why I said that my bounce problem would yield user submissions, not automatic spamtrap catches.

...Again, somehow SpamTrap addresses get included in e-mail "From" or "Reply-To" addresses so there might be some way for them to get to your order form.

...Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply to my question and best of luck getting this tracked down and fixed!

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Define "order a catalog"? They would have to place an order for real products using a real credit card.

http://www.summitracing.com/store_bin/freecatalog/

Select Catalog:

[ ] July/August 2006 Summit Catalog

388 pages of parts for street cars, racing, trucks and off-road, and late model Mustang and Camaro/Firebird. Includes engine, suspension, exhaust, dress up, gauges, wheels/tires, audio, and more!

Summit Racing E-mail:

[ ] Send me Summit Racing e-mail

Check "Send me Summit Racing e-mail" to make sure you receive news, event information, and special offers.

Both are checked by default. (Hint: You should uncheck the send me email box by default)

They certainly could seed a spamtrap address when placing an order. But, every says it's next to impossible.

Doesn't look impossible it looks easy!

s/double opt-in/confirmed opt-in/. Send an email to the submitted address, and requiring a reply, or web link click to confirm they are the email address.

Good!

Another question:

What do you do when your mail sever receives an email to a non existant acoount on your server?

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http://www.summitracing.com/store_bin/freecatalog/

Select Catalog:

Summit Racing E-mail:

[ ] Send me Summit Racing e-mail

Check "Send me Summit Racing e-mail" to make sure you receive news, event information, and special offers.

Both are checked by default. (Hint: You should uncheck the send me email box by default)

Doesn't look impossible it looks easy!

Good!

I'd love to. I fought against it. It should always be off by default. Not my call or decision, and marketing rules the roost in this situation.

But again, what does the catalog request page have to do with an order confirmation from a real order going to a spamtrap address? I guess I don't see the connection, since it's "near impoosible for someone to guess a spamtrap address". If the email in the spamtrap was some stupid sales newsletter email we sent out, I could understand it all. But an order confirmation is a different bird.

I never claimed we do confirmed opt-ins. I've also fought for that for years. See previous paragraph.

Another question:

What do you do when your mail sever receives an email to a non existant acoount on your server?

No clue since I don't run it. Running telnet now... let's find out.

....

Looks like we accept emails for any address at our domain. I assume this is due to the Imail server having a nobody[at] address to catch all mistyped addressed so they can be routed the correct people. I'd also assume that the bounces happen when the email box that accepts these emails is full.

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http://www.spamcop.net/w3m?action=checkblo...;ip=208.44.49.5

208.44.49.5 listed in bl.spamcop.net (127.0.0.2)

If there are no reports of ongoing objectionable email from this system it will be delisted automatically in approximately 9 hours.

Causes of listing

System has sent mail to SpamCop spam traps in the past week (spam traps are secret, no reports or evidence are provided by SpamCop)

Looking for potential administrative email addresses for 208.44.49.5:

cannot find an mx for summitproxy.summitracing.com

208.44.49.5 is an mx ( 10 ) for summitracing.com

The word "proxy" in there also has some connotations .....

http://www.senderbase.org/?searchBy=ipaddr...ing=208.44.49.5

Volume Statistics for this IP

Magnitude Vol Change vs. Average

Last day ......... 3.9 .. -71%

Last 30 days ... 3.3 .. -92%

Average ......... 4.4

per data shown at SenderBase's "Magnitude" Explained (found via the SpamCop FAQ links at the top if this page) there is an estimated 10,000 e-mails a day 'seen' by SenderBase .... take that number, take your "one erroneously addressed" e-mail and then go take a look at What is on the list? and try to perform the math .....

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...When you are going to experts (of which I am not one) for help and the experts advise you that your terminology is that used by criminals and offer a preferred phrase, you are well advised to not argue but rather to take their advice...

Someone tell this page then:

SpamCop.net - SpamCop FAQ: Double/Confirmed Opt In:

http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/406.html

;-)

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Someone tell this page then:

SpamCop.net - SpamCop FAQ: Double/Confirmed Opt In:

http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/406.html

On one hand, we don't need yet another battle over the problems/issues with the 'original/official" FAQ ....\

On the other hand, it is a FAQ, thus terminaology is in place so that 'all' interested folks can allegedly find that which concerns them ....

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What Wazoo is saying is that it takes a lot more than one misplaced order to list a server that spews 10,000 e-mails a day. If I understand the math it would take many dozens if not hundreds of spamtrap hits. That again makes misdirected bounces a lot more a likely explanation for your listing. The implication is that you must fix that problem unlike you want to be listed again and again (and get your marketing people upset for the lost business) ... Lots of reading and solutions to this problem can be found searching this forum...Good Luck..

Edited by dra007

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So, all things being equal, what can be done here? It seems that the spamtraps, (not just these, but spamtrap email addresses on websites) can be used to put innocent peoples email servers on the blacklists. Even if they are doing double-opt-in confirmation emails, that email itself would be a trigger.

But you should be able to go through your logs and view the list of unconfirmed email addresses to whittle down what IP tried to do this to you (this IP entered this address at this time, etc.). You then could present this evidence to Ellen (or another deputy) and they could reverse the listing. That evidence would also work for false human reports (you really did request this message).

Even if the email server is bouncing back to forged From/Reply-To addresses, that would end up as user complaints/submissions, not spamtrap catches. Since I'm not the current maintainer of the email server in question (Imail. Ick.), I can't testify as to how if deals with bounces on forged froms....and that wan't the point of my post.

Incorrect. If a message has a forged sender that was scraped from the web and happens to be a spamtrap address, that reply would go to the spamtrap.

Well, after testing, your server does NOT reject incorrect email addresses, but may have a catch all address so any address is accepted.

220 summitracing.com (IMail 8.15 279324-5) NT-ESMTP Server X1

helo underwood.spamcop.net

250 hello summitracing.com

mail from: <underwood[at]spamcop.net>

250 ok

rcpt to: <12345tester67890[at]summitracing.com>

250 ok deliver to alternate

data

354 ok, send it; end with <CRLF>.<CRLF>

This is a test of bouncing on your server. If I don't see this message again, that is a good thing.

.

250 Message queued

quit

221 Goodbye

Connection to host lost.

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My point was that fact that there is an email in the spamtrap, that appears to be a real order confirmation. An email which I'm not allowed to view, or inspect to find the offending order/customer number so that we can mark them as undeliverable so this won't happen again the next time the user places an order.

That's all management cares about, and that's all I'm permitted to care about at the moment.

However, if you continue with Ellen and use this reasoning, provide the format of a valid order confirmation, and ask for specific data (order number/customer number), you might get that. Though, without being able to prove what IP address actually made a request, your "they used a spamtrap address in their order form" is not provable, and from what I have heard about the format of spamtrap addresses, highly unlikely.

If you take that out of the equation, it now looks like you are trying to listwash (remove address which report you) which is not an appropriate response to a spam report. I am not saying that is what you are doing, your first comment just sounds funny saying you were making headway with Ellen, then you stopped dealing with her.

Well, if it's near impossible that a customer found an entered a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address into an order form, then it should be just as unlikely that a spammer would sent out a spam, with a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address in the forged From/Reply-To for me to send a bounce to. RIght?

That's why I said that my bounce problem would yield user submissions, not automatic spamtrap catches.

Wrong. Spammers collect their addresses in many ways, including scanning web pages for things that look like email addresses. Spamtrap addresses are hidden in the coding of the web pages, not visible to humans unless you are in the habit of reading the source of every page you view. Programs can't tell that 123ncnkjsadifuwerkjq.mvasdv[at]domain.tld is not a valid address.

Then those addresses are used to send spam to. In the last few years, those same addresses have been used to forge the senders address. For a while, most every spam I received had my address forged as the sender. That was the way that spammer did it, probably hoping each user had themself whitelisted.

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Well, if it's near impossible that a customer found an entered a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address into an order form, then it should be just as unlikely that a spammer would sent out a spam, with a "secret hard to guess" spamtrap address in the forged From/Reply-To for me to send a bounce to. RIght?
Wrong!

Spammers sent out robots that search the web for addresses and harvest those addresses to add to their mailing lists. This is the primary way spamtrap addresses end up in mailing lists.

Spammers also randomly select addresses that they have harvested to use as the Reply to address for the messages that they send out. As such, Spamtrap addresses can and do appear in outgoing mail as either the From or Reply to address. Bouncing those messages is the quickest way to get on the SpamCopBL

Note: I realize this is not your primary question, but only a reply to one specific point in one of your posts.

So lets get back to your main question about real confirmation messages going to spamtraps.

If I were you, I would continue trying to work with Ellen on that one as only the deputies have access to the information you are asking for, but generally are not too willing to give it out. So try this. Have you system send out a confirmation message to an email address that you have access to. Then forward a copy of the message to Ellen and ask her if it compares to the message that went to the spamtrap. If the only difference between the message you sent her and the ones in the spamtrap are specific customer identification information, she might be more willing to provide that additional information. Since it appears that the confirmation messages are also sent when ordering a free catalog, I would also send her the direct links to your order system, so she could test the confirmation message if she wanted to.

The more useful information you provide her and the better you identify yourself as an official representative of your domain address, the better. The best way to identify yourself as being responsible for your domain, is to use a reply address that is registered as on of the administrative or abuse address for your domain. Otherwise it can be too easily seen as just another attempt to listwash a mailing list which is an area the deputies definitely are not willing to help with.

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It might just be that you are between a rock and a hard place - between marketing and blocklists.

Spammers sell lists - the more names on the list, the better. Personally, I suspect that spammers make more money selling the lists than they do from replies to the spam. (except, of course, the really criminal scams).

They randomly put the names they gather into the forged return paths. They don't care who gets the bounces because they neither get the bounces nor do they get blocked since they are using compromised computers or open proxies.

Aside from the fact that it is highly unlikely that a customer would give you a spam trap address, it is highly unlikely that one order confirmation would cause a listing. It is also highly unlikely that a customer would be upset that he didn't get an order confirmation - especially if he gets his order. If he did get upset, you would have heard from him by now.

If it is not the bounces that are causing the primary problem, then it is probably something that you are doing or not doing. You could have a compromised machine on your network. You don't follow good practices for email newsletters (like buying an opt-in list - I know <g> marketing made you do it).

The point is that legitimate email to a spam trap does not trigger the blocklist. I think you said earlier that you were going to deal with the misdirected bounces so I think you have probably solved your problem - unless, of course, you are still wasting your energy on worrying about that one possible order confirmation.

Miss Betsy

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Wrong!

Spammers sent out robots that search the web for addresses and harvest those addresses to add to their mailing lists. This is the primary way spamtrap addresses end up in mailing lists.

Spammers also randomly select addresses that they have harvested to use as the Reply to address for the messages that they send out. As such, Spamtrap addresses can and do appear in outgoing mail as either the From or Reply to address. Bouncing those messages is the quickest way to get on the SpamCopBL

Right. But there is no way that an order confirmation email can get to a spamtrap, unless the customer entered that address.

Note: I realize this is not your primary question, but only a reply to one specific point in one of your posts.

So lets get back to your main question about real confirmation messages going to spamtraps.

If I were you, I would continue trying to work with Ellen on that one as only the deputies have access to the information you are asking for, but generally are not too willing to give it out. So try this. Have you system send out a confirmation message to an email address that you have access to. Then forward a copy of the message to Ellen and ask her if it compares to the message that went to the spamtrap. If the only difference between the message you sent her and the ones in the spamtrap are specific customer identification information, she might be more willing to provide that additional information. Since it appears that the confirmation messages are also sent when ordering a free catalog, I would also send her the direct links to your order system, so she could test the confirmation message if she wanted to.

The more useful information you provide her and the better you identify yourself as an official representative of your domain address, the better. The best way to identify yourself as being responsible for your domain, is to use a reply address that is registered as on of the administrative or abuse address for your domain. Otherwise it can be too easily seen as just another attempt to listwash a mailing list which is an area the deputies definitely are not willing to help with.

This was my primary course of action Friday. I sent Ellen full copies of our outgoing order and shipping confirmation emails. I don't believe that people requesting catalogs get any sort of confirmation email at that time. Even if they do, they're certainly not the same as the order confirmation email caught in the spamtrap.

For that matter, and tie ins with mailing lists of sales emails are a red herring for this thread. Those types of emails go out from a completely different server. Any problems they cause should lead to the blocking of that server ip address, not the one in the beginning of thie topic.

-=Chris

Aside from the fact that it is highly unlikely that a customer would give you a spam trap address, it is highly unlikely that one order confirmation would cause a listing. It is also highly unlikely that a customer would be upset that he didn't get an order confirmation - especially if he gets his order. If he did get upset, you would have heard from him by now.

Unlikely or not, that is the only way an order confirmation email could end up in a spam trap. The customer would have had to enter that email. It's not like we just make up order confirmations and send them out to random addresses. It's an order confirmation from a non-web business system, not a newsletter, or an email generated from some web server page.

If it is not the bounces that are causing the primary problem, then it is probably something that you are doing or not doing. You could have a compromised machine on your network. You don't follow good practices for email newsletters (like buying an opt-in list - I know <g> marketing made you do it).

I won't deny the bounces are the bulk of our problem here. My main point was the issue of that lack of information and the fact that the last email I was given from disputes was an order confirmation. We don't buy emails. And again, confirmed opt-in is not my call, no matter how much I bitch about it.

The point is that legitimate email to a spam trap does not trigger the blocklist. I think you said earlier that you were going to deal with the misdirected bounces so I think you have probably solved your problem - unless, of course, you are still wasting your energy on worrying about that one possible order confirmation.

Miss Betsy

It's easy to blow off an order confirmation, but those kinds of problems snowball when left alone. If it happened once, it will happen again in all likely hood. I know it's easy to say who cares, if the customer was mad, they'll contact us, but that's not how we conduct business.

If you take that out of the equation, it now looks like you are trying to listwash (remove address which report you) which is not an appropriate response to a spam report. I am not saying that is what you are doing, your first comment just sounds funny saying you were making headway with Ellen, then you stopped dealing with her.

What? I've never mentioned or requested anywhere in this thread that I was trying to remove user submitted reports. The more of those we get, the better (to help convince people that confirmed opt-in is necessary), esp. reports about the server/ip that sends sales newsletters. This is a spamtrap issue, not a user report issue.

And I did not stop dealing with Ellen. I simply went home at 5:30pm on a Friday and started talking about it here. :-)

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What? I've never mentioned or requested anywhere in this thread that I was trying to remove user submitted reports. The more of those we get, the better (to help convince people that confirmed opt-in is necessary), esp. reports about the server/ip that sends sales newsletters. This is a spamtrap issue, not a user report issue.

No, you mentioned editing the customers information so the next time they ordered your server would not hit a spamtrap and get you listed. Pretty much the same thing.

I might be opening up another can of worms here but we can never prove there is no way for a confirmation to be sent from your system without an actual order (perhaps someone has cracked or is trying to crack a scri_pt on your site?), however if it did come from an actual order, it is possible this person also used a stolen credit card. You need to be dealing with Ellen or another deputy to get the facts.

And I did not stop dealing with Ellen. I simply went home at 5:30pm on a Friday and started talking about it here. :-)

That is NOT how you started this thread:

I've been in contact with a very helpful and patient lady (Ellen) at 'disputes' about our recent listing. since I've asked a lot of questions and I'm sure she would like to get some other work done, I figure I would move over to the forums for more help.
You went form dealng with an employee of spamcop (which many here have trouble contacting) to dealing with other users who do not have access to the information you need.

WE can not see the spamtrap message and confirm/deny that it has a valid account/customer order.

Perhaps, your confirmation emails should contain the order number? That way, each would be unique.

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It's easy to blow off an order confirmation, but those kinds of problems snowball when left alone. If it happened once, it will happen again in all likely hood. I know it's easy to say who cares, if the customer was mad, they'll contact us, but that's not how we conduct business.

You are right. It probably is better to track down what this order confirmation is now. However, as others have pointed out, people on the forum really can't help you because we can't see any more than you can.

However, if you are asking Ellen to help you find the customer so that it can't be repeated, I don't think she will help you. I know that you are a legitimate business because I know someone who has ordered from you, but the policy is that spamcop doesn't help listwashers. OTOH, if you are looking for a way to prevent it happening again to someone else, you might get somewhere.

I don't quite know how to say this and I don't mean to be offensive, but from reading other comments and from the responses from admins here, IMHO, most IT people are not very strong in dealing with customers or other departments. IMHO, you need to learn how to persuade other departments to listen to you about internet protocol and responsibility.

There are several points where an email address can be mangled between the initial order and the sending of the email, it looks like. The customer can give the wrong address; the order taker can write it down wrong; the person who sends the email can transpose characters. Is it really necessary to send an order confirmation by email if the order comes in by phone? Probably that's what marketing wants so they can send sales letters. Insist that the order taker be upfront with that information and ask for the email address in order to send sales email. It is not helping your sales if your order confirmations go to spam traps and your customers get their emails returned because of being on a spam bl. If marketing won't listen about their sales letters, then, at least, you can protect the order confirmations and insist on responsible internet protocol. (possibly a customer gave a sneakemail address which possibly could have been close enough to a spamtrap address to have made a mistake at one point in the chain).

Order confirmations are necessary for online ordering (because email is not always 100% reliable), but the chances of a mistake there are probably minimal.

Hope Monday brings a solution.

Miss Betsy

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