Why are spammers faking our email address?
Email is a great way to communicate and to share ideas with people you would never have had a chance to meet otherwise. We used to have our email address right on the website, and people all over the US and even the world would write with questions and comments. We think the world would be a better place if people were helping each other and learning from each other regardless of geographical boundaries. It's hard to hate the people of another country if you just got a great recipe from someone there!
But spammers have ruined it. The use automated robots to go through every page on the internet looking for email addresses, then send spam to those addresses, and even sell them to other spammers. People set up spam filters to try to keep spammers from filling up their mailboxes. So spammers send even more spam in hopes some will get through the filters. Then other spammers try to get their spam noticed by sending more than the other spammers, and the other spammers have to send more spam, and ... it's gotten to the point where over 90% of emails are spam, and many good email messages are blocked with the spam. Now people have to keep their email addresses secret -- so we're back to only communicating with the same people we already know.
We hate spam as much as you do. Probably more. We report it. Spammers know that. (They aren't quite as stupid as they seem.)
So they want to retaliate against us. Being cowards, and stupid, they have somehow decided that they can frighten us, or annoy us, or ... something ... by sending us more spam.
Spammers don't list their own email addresses as the "from" in their spams. They don't want to make it quite that easy for the FBI. They usually just make them up. Occasionally they make up an address that really belongs to someone. That means the person with that address gets all the spam sent to bad addresses that bounces back. Since the spammers' addresses aren't on the email anywhere, it can't go to them.
That's why sometimes spammers use our email address as the "from" address in their spam to retaliate against us. It's called a "joe-job." When they send out a few million spams, a few thousand with bad addresses bounce back to us -- not the spammers. And the other emails they send are part of the millions of spams that annoy people like you every day. So when people get mad about spam, sometimes they mistakenly think we're the ones who sent it.
We're sorry you were inconvenienced by receiving spam. Unfortunately, you were going to get it anyway, no matter whose address was used in the "from." After all, the dimwits keep sending it to us even though they apparently are unhappy when we report them.
We will continue to fight back against spammers by reporting them to their registrars, to their hosting services, to the innocent people whose hijacked computers are being used to send spam and host spammer websites, and to law enforcement.
That means you'll probably continue to see our email address in your spam folder. We hope you understand that means we're still fighting spammers on behalf of people who hate spam, like you.
If you would like more information about spam and how to fight it, there are many places on the internet with information:
InboxRevenge.com Anti-Spam Forums
Discussion forums for learning about how to fight spam and avoid internet scams/viruses
The Spam Wiki
This is an ongoing project to collect information about the people spamming you and their criminal operations
Malware Removal and Prevention Wiki
These are instructions to help check your computer for viruses and other malware, and clean it if necessary. Once you complete these steps, if necessary, experts at Castlecops will help you finish cleaning your computer for free.
Mozilla is a volunteer organization that develops browsers that are usually safer than Internet Exporer, the browser that comes installed on Windows computers. Mozilla products are free. The NoScript add-ons are among the many free add-on programs to get extra functions from your Mozilla browsers; they are very useful for making it safer to visit websites you don't know.
NoScript add-on for Firefox
NoScript add-on for Seamonkey
McAfee Site Advisor
This is a program that will rate many internet sites to warn of dangerous ones. There is a free program that will pop up a warning for some bad sites. But remember, it takes a little while for dangerous sites to get rated. So volunteer reviewers often start adding helpful information here before the McAfee staff can make a final determination.
This is a program to help you sort your good mail from spam and viruses
before downloading them onto your computer
(but no, you can't bounce spam back to the spammers anymore --
they fake other people's addresses)
Complainterator is an automated tool to report spamvertised sites to their registrars. Since many spamvertised sites are hosted on hijacked computers, there isn't a paid hosting service to complain to. A registrar can stop the spammer from getting any web traffic anyway by removing the domain name record.
I Kill Spammers Blog
Serious spamfighting, as well as some humorous observations about spammers
News and links about anti-spam websites
This is a site for reporting the computers which are sending spam (usually without the owners' knowledge). You can also paste in a website address and it will tell give you an address for reporting it to its hosting service.
A lot of joe-jobs try to make you think someone is selling child pornography when they aren't. US residents can't go to those sites to see if they're real or not before complaining -- it's illegal to visit a child pornography site. Report possible child pornography here, and law enforcement will check it out for you.
Javawoman's Spam Reporting Addresses
a collection of addresses for various countries for reporting spam about child porn, pirated software, etc.