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Update FAQ on Why am I blocked?

Miss Betsy

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I have looked (a little bit) and don't know where the revised Help FAQ that we started in the newsgroups went so I am starting a new topic.

The character of the questions is beginning to change slightly from people using spam friendly providers to people who have problems with their machines - in particular machines that have been infected by a trojan.

I found the posts about a new format and tried to combine them. It would probably be good to include some of the links that are presently in the pinned FAQ

New Alternative:

If your email has suddenly been blocked by the SpamCop blocklist, the likelihood that spam is coming from an insecure server is probably greater than that your provider is harboring spammers or that a mistake has been made. link to John's explantion of various problems

Am I listed?: You can check the status of any server by entering its address at http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml. The reason an IP is listed can also be obtained from that page. http://www.moensted.dk/spam/ will show if the I.P. address is listed in other lists, and those lists may provide what the real problem is. Some of the lists specialize in listing certain types of spam exploits, or return codes identifying the exploit.

(People who are operating servers and want to know why they are on the SpamCop blocklist can skip the rest of this FAQ and post the IP address that is blocked in the Spamcop web forum or newsgroup. There are many knowledgeable posters in the SpamCop groups who will help you figure out why and offer solutions.)

Your email doesn't pass through SpamCop's mail servers and SpamCop has no way of blocking or bouncing your email. The recipient's mail server blocks all email coming from a particular IP address. The blocking is based not on your email address (which looks like username[at]example.com), but on the IP address (which looks like This IP address is assigned to the mail server you use, which is probably run by your internet service provider (ISP). You may share this same server with hundreds or thousands of their other customers. If one of their other customers is sending spam through that shared mail server, it will cause the IP address of that mail server to be put on the blocklist.

SpamCop publishes a list of IP addresses (called a blocklist) that have been reported as a source of spam by SpamCop members. (link?) Many providers use this blocklist to protect their customers from spam. If providers did not use blocklists, your recipient would receive dozens of spam emails as well as yours - if the listing was accurate. Responsible ISP's welcome SpamCop reports and will remove spammers quickly from their systems. This keeps their mail servers from being blocked. If your own mail is blocked regularly, you may want to ask your ISP what they are doing about spam sent from their network. You have control over what email service you use – one that allows spam or one that does not.

It is annoying to have your email blocked. It is also annoying to have a backhoe interrupt email service. However, until the blocking problem is resolved, you can email people through a web based email service (the most familiar are hotmail and yahoo).

After you have taken care of the immediate problem of being able to communicate with someone by email, the next step is to see what can be done so this inconvenience does not happen to you again.

The one thing you do not want to do is to complain to those correspondents who are using an email service that uses the SpamCop blocklist. They probably really like the reduction in spam!

Your email service provider is the person to contact. Your ISP may have already acted on the Spamcop report he has received by the time you call. It may just have been a mistake on his part or, possibly, the reporter's part. As soon as your ISP stops the spam from being sent, or uses the procedures at SpamCop to point out the reporter's mistake, the IP address is taken off the blocklist (usually within 48 hours for spam; immediately for reporter error) (link?)

It may be that your call is the first time your ISP has heard that SpamCop has listed your IP address. Listings are made, in addition to member reporting, automatically from spamtraps. If this is what has happened, urge your ISP to contact SpamCop and find out what the problem is. If your ISP is unresponsive or blames somebody else, find out your IP address and post to the forum. There are SpamCop users who will help you find out what the problem is and what you can do about it.

If you are interested in finding out more about blocklists and exactly why your email was blocked, you may post in the web forum or in the SpamCop newsgroup. You will need to know your IP address for people to understand what has happened.

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Oh that's a rough one ... the IE6 newsgroup over on Microsoft as a comparison .. you've got the newsgroup, but there's also a "window" from MSN and I'll assume other places that let's folks type in their tales of woe ... lack of guidance and understanding starts there, like the fact that the default mode is that we'll say "threading is turned off", so the clue that one needs to hit the little "+" mark is a necessary action in order to not only see the questions posed, but to also see those responses ... so one of the more popular questions is .... I see a lot of people asking questions, why the hell doesn't somebody ever answer?"

Then the imaginative Subject Lines ... umm lemme see, it's IE6 that is causing me grief, so I'll title my question with IE6, so everybody will know what I'm talking about ....

Followed by the "I've searched everywhere, but haven't seen this one", even though there's a thousand posts prior (and yes, a thousand posts after) that ask the same question, already answered at least 998 times ... though I can see them missing some of them with IE6 as the title for the query <g>

Anyway, the point being that the boiler plate answer to the basic three or four situations is "check for scumware", with references to the AdAware, SpyBot-Search & Destroy, and CWShredder ... and an additional link to a tool to rebuild the winsock stacks because the infection was so deep that the use of the above tools killed network connection .... it's just so depressing when realizing that the problems repeatedly asked about 100's of times a day are only being asked by the few that figured out how to get to that support section to begin with .... gads ...

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Yes, that is exactly what I was looking for!

Thank you for being so kind as to find it.

Nobody ever discussed the various entries after it was posted on the web forum.

IMHO, if it ever does get to the point of being replaced, it should be read by Bri or some other very new user to see if they understand it.

Miss Betsy

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