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Reporting spam resulted in domain/hosting provider issue


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Hi,

I've had a Spamcop email address for a number of years now. I've been receiving a LOT of spam in my inbox lately. My solution: Report it directly through the webmail interface. I used to move spam messages to Held Mail then report them from there but I figured it would be better to report messages that made it through to my inbox.

My setup: I own a domain. I forward email addresses from my domain to Spamcop. Example: me[at]mydomain.com gets forwarded to me[at]spamcop.net.

I received an email today from Bluehost (my web hosting company) stating my domain was deactivated due to "terms of service violation". When I called them they said that Spamcop had threatened to put Bluehost on some sort of spam black list. I can understand how this can happen but it's hard to imagine my situation is unique. Basically it appears that I've been inadvertently reporting myself when spam messages appear to have originated with me (the oldest trick in the book, right?).

So, assuming my understanding is correct as to what happened, is there any way around this? I would like to continue using my Spamcop account receiving messages forwarded from my domain. However, I would like spam reports not to incriminate me or my domain/hosting provider. I've had this setup (forwarding to Spamcop) for a number of years now. Are the spammers just getting smarter or is there something I can do?

Basically I had to delete my Spamcop forwards in order to reinstate my account. If I continue on this path my Spamcop email address will be a lot less valuable to me.

Thanks in advance.

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I've had a Spamcop email address for a number of years now. I've been receiving a LOT of spam in my inbox lately. My solution: Report it directly through the webmail interface. I used to move spam messages to Held Mail then report them from there but I figured it would be better to report messages that made it through to my inbox.

My setup: I own a domain. I forward email addresses from my domain to Spamcop. Example: me[at]mydomain.com gets forwarded to me[at]spamcop.net.

So, assuming my understanding is correct as to what happened, is there any way around this? I would like to continue using my Spamcop account receiving messages forwarded from my domain. However, I would like spam reports not to incriminate me or my domain/hosting provider. I've had this setup (forwarding to Spamcop) for a number of years now. Are the spammers just getting smarter or is there something I can do?

Moving this to the Reporting Help Forum section with this post, noting that the real obvious action would be to merge this 'new' post into one of the numerous previous Topics/Discussions that cover the same ground.

The SpamCop.net Parsing & Reporting System is only a tool. You are the responsible agent for which reports go out to which targets. In this post, you are suggesting that you have not been making the effort to perform your part of the process, which is to review and agree (oe not) with the parser results.

The most likely response to "what you can do" is the MailHost Configuration of your Reporting Account process, but noting that even that situation/configuration requires oversight and attention.

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Now that Wazoo has graciously pointed out your various failures, maybe I can step in and actually help you.

I figured it would be better to report messages that made it through to my inbox.
I'm thinking that there are two possibilities...

One is that the "Inbox" you're talking about is the one at home or work, and you're forwarding the spam to your SpamCop address so you can report it from there. That won't work because SpamCop correctly identifies you as the one who sent the email to your SpamCop account. If you get the spam at home or work, you have to report it from there.

The other possibility (probability) is that your email provider(s) are not properly registered with our Mailhost system. There may be an error or an omission.

Please email me directly with your account details (login email address), and with any report info (details) that you know about the SpamCop reports that got you in trouble with Bluehost.

Do NOT post your account details in this forum because it is publicly archived.

Send the information to me at: service[at]admin.spamcop.net

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

- service[at]admin.spamcop.net -

.

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Now that Wazoo has graciously pointed out your various failures, maybe I can step in and actually help you.

I'm thinking that there are two possibilities...

???? Nice to see that you have to guess at the actual isue also, seeing as how the "complete" details of the issue were not provided in the initial Post. The provision of a Tracking URL could have 'defined' your first example for sure, and most definitely the same suggestion that we both made. I stll see the issue of being some history of bad Reporting being involved. It seems odd that you chose not to mention that scenario at all.

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Now that Wazoo has graciously pointed out your various failures, maybe I can step in and actually help you.

I'm thinking that there are two possibilities...

Please email me directly with your account details (login email address), and with any report info (details) that you know about the SpamCop reports that got you in trouble with Bluehost.

Thanks for your offer of help. I'll email my account details. For the record I'm getting spam on the addresses that are setup to forward to my Spamcop account but I am reporting all the spam directly from the Spamcop webmail interface. I'm simply checking the messages and clicking "Report as spam". I'm not forwarding any messages to myself other than what's automatically happening with the forwarders at Bluehost. I hope that's clear but again, I'm emailing my account info now.

I don't know what's considered "good reporting" vs. "bad reporting". All I know is I do my best to report spam in the easiest and most direct way I now of-- through the webmail interface.

Moderator Edit: excessive quoting and vertical whitespace removed from this Post.

Edited by Wazoo
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Thanks for your offer of help. I'll email my account details. For the record I'm getting spam on the addresses that are setup to forward to my Spamcop account but I am reporting all the spam directly from the Spamcop webmail interface. I'm simply checking the messages and clicking "Report as spam". I'm not forwarding any messages to myself other than what's automatically happening with the forwarders at Bluehost. I hope that's clear but again, I'm emailing my account info now.

One could say that your "forwarding action" is allegedly 'clear' .. however, the actual content, manipulation, data that's found within the headers of that forwarded e-mail is as yet unknown, other than the obvious situation that you appear to have been reporting yourself to your ISP.

I don't know what's considered "good reporting" vs. "bad reporting".

Reporting yourself to your own ISP/Host is considered one of the worst forms of bad Reporting. The "problem" is that this certainly implies that you are not actually reviewing the parser results and suggested targets before you tell the Reporting System to "send" out those Reports.

The providing of a Tracking URL on one of the suspected 'bad' Reports would have allowed the opportunity to analyze the issue and provide a much more precise response from many folks perusing the Forum. (And yes, the SpamCop FAQ as found 'here' has an entry on how to derive a Tracking URL from a Report ID.)

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Reporting yourself to your own ISP/Host is considered one of the worst forms of bad Reporting. The "problem" is that this certainly implies that you are not actually reviewing the parser results and suggested targets before you tell the Reporting System to "send" out those Reports.

I'd agree that reporting myself is "bad". I assure you I wouldn't have reported any spam messages if I'd realized this would be the result of my reporting. But then again, why would I pay for this service if I can't report spam messages?

There's another thing that's unclear to me. How am I supposed to review parser results or retrieve a report ID? On the webmail interface I select a spam message and select "Report as spam". The following confirmation appears: "Are you sure you wish to report this message as spam?" Yes. Done. Am I missing something?

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...How am I supposed to review parser results or retrieve a report ID?
Does http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=4498 help? Logging into your account page will give you a "Past Reports" Tab and the rest of that reference is how to extract a tracking URL if you want to discuss a past report here, in public. Only SC staff can reference those results from the report ID number the way you can yourself (and we're mostly not staff). If you want to review results before reporting, you will need to "full report" (as addressed further below).
... On the webmail interface I select a spam message and select "Report as spam". The following confirmation appears: "Are you sure you wish to report this message as spam?" Yes. Done. Am I missing something?
That is the way it is supposed to work but there is always the danger of reporting your own ISP through any of a number of causes affecting the way the spam is routed to your account. All you are missing is the history and discussion which occurred when such things have happened in the past. Some discussion and an approach to guard against 'self-reporting' is covered in http://forum.spamcop.net/scwik/HowIuseSpamCopSkiwI (which in turn was lifted from a newsgroup discussion which is referenced in that link). There are many other references in these forums - see if the Wiki helps, if not come back with questions. Well, you will need to look at "full reporting" first.

The general background to "quick reporting", a form of which you are using, is covered at http://forum.spamcop.net/scwik/QuickReporting - it presupposes a user will have started with "full reporting" (which many commentators in these forums would recommend with some vigor) and there are links there which you can follow for more information. The essential knowledge on the nuts and bolts of reporting (including the "full reporting" thing) is in the official FAQ (SpamCop Parsing and Reporting Service).

Unfortunately, this reporting business does carry a certain burden of complexity which cannot be entirely avoided without risk.

HTH (Well, if looks muddled, start at the SpamCop Parsing and Reporting Service FAQ first. As said, essential knowledge.)

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You do not have to report spam in order to get benefit from the spamcop email service. The spamcop blocklist and the way you can tweak the filters should keep your inbox free from all but a few spam.

Of course, if you report spam also, you help to feed the spamcop blocklist and make it a better filter.

Miss Betsy

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I'd agree that reporting myself is "bad". I assure you I wouldn't have reported any spam messages if I'd realized this would be the result of my reporting. But then again, why would I pay for this service if I can't report spam messages?

Perhaps there's some information missing on the SpamCop Reporting Accounts page that doesn't spell out the difference between a Fuel/Premium Reporting Account and an e-mail Account?

There's another thing that's unclear to me. How am I supposed to review parser results or retrieve a report ID? On the webmail interface I select a spam message and select "Report as spam". The following confirmation appears: "Are you sure you wish to report this message as spam?" Yes. Done. Am I missing something?

Yes, as noted by others, you have missed the entire Reporting side of the house, Rules, Guidelines, Process, etc. In all honesty, there is a normal presumption that folks find SpamCop.net through the use of the free Reporting tools. That you seem to be suggesting that your initial exposure was inly though the use of a flatrate e-mail account, this might explain how you got yourself into trouble so easily. On the other hand, it's also the norm here to point out that the Parsing & Reporting Sysetm is only a tool, and like any tool, one must learn to use it properly.

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There's another thing that's unclear to me. How am I supposed to review parser results or retrieve a report ID? On the webmail interface I select a spam message and select "Report as spam". The following confirmation appears: "Are you sure you wish to report this message as spam?" Yes. Done. Am I missing something?

Well, unless something changed since I setup my email account (many moons ago), originally, the reporting account is set to full reporting because there is no mailhost configured and the reporting account is set to send a response when spam is ready to report. In order to actually report anything, you have to follow the link in the email and parse the spam and send the messages.

Only after setting up MailHosts and turning on quick reporting does the Report as spam link report using quick reporting which still sends a confirmation or the reports sent, though after the fact, unless you turned off that option in the reporting application.

I will try and report my next spam message through the webmail interface and see if it still works the same way (I do have quick reporting enabled, though I rarley report that way any longer (so few spam messages make it through greylisting).

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<snip>

(I do have quick reporting enabled, though I rarley report that way any longer (so few spam messages make it through greylisting).

...And it's (IMHO) just too darned dangerous: My warning in forum thread "FAQ Entry: What is Quick Reporting?", your reply notwithstanding since (apparently) not everyone does as you suggest (for example, our OP)!
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It is as I remember... Selected the 2 spam from the Held Mail folder, clicked the Report as spam link and confirmed I wanted to report. A few minutes later, I received the following email:

Subject: [spamCop] Quick reporting data

Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 19:40:17 GMT

SpamCop.net

Here are the results of your submission:

Then it shows the parses it did and includes tracking URL's.

The only thing I can not confirm is that it simply submits for full parsing if mailhost is not enabled.

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This sure sounds like the OP never set up any Mailhosts...or did I miss something? "30/30," did you go through the Mailhosts configuration process? That's the way to avoid reporting yourself.

Now that Wazoo has graciously pointed out your various failures, maybe I can step in and actually help you.

Pointing out the likely need to configure Mailhosts was indeed "actual help."

DT

Edited by DavidT
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