How Do You Identify Spam Traps
There are a few types of spam traps, so lets go over them.
Pristine or Pure Spam Traps
This trap should not really impact you as long as youre not doing anything shady, but it is important to bring it up anyway. Email addresses used for spam traps in this category are hidden in web pages. The address is never made public, so the only way to get it is by using scraping software to illegally harvest email addresses in bulk from places like forums.
While sometimes the scammer may send offers to this list themselves, its more likely that they will try to sell it to someone who doesnt know any better. This can get you into a lot of trouble, and you should never purchase an email list from anyone. While it can be tempting to jump start your business with an existing list, these shortcuts will only bring you trouble.
Recycled email traps
Most providers have a time limit for email addresses. If you dont use that address within a specified time frame, then it will be released to save space on their servers. Sometimes though they actually repurpose these emails as spam traps.
They look just like real addresses because they used to be, but they dont communicate at all. Sending an email to an address like this will result in a hard bounce. If you see any hard bounces at all on your list you should remove them immediately as this is a metric that providers will use to judge your trustworthiness as a sender.
Typo, fake or incorrect domain traps
Clean Your Email Lists On A Regular Basis
Building a hefty email list might make you feel accomplished and proud, but if its filled with dead weight, or unengaged contacts, its better to trim the fat than to stick with your pride.
Most mailbox providers decide if youre actually a reputable sender and deserving of a high deliverability score by keeping an eye any inactive email addresses that have been converted into recycled spam traps and dinging any IP address or domain that sends emails to them. In your database, any contact that hasnt engaged with your email program or opened one of your emails in a year could possibly be a recycled spam trap.
To avoid sending emails to recycled spam traps and getting blocklisted, run one-off reengagement campaigns with your inactive contacts. Its up to you to decide how long a contacts disengagement with your email program deems them an inactive contact, but if they dont open your reengagement email, its probably a sign to scrub them off your list.
Protect Yourself From Telephone Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling . If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, theres a good chance that the calls are scams.
Be wary of callers claiming that youve won a prize or vacation package.
Hang up on suspicious phone calls.
Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen. This is called spoofing.
You May Like: How To Send A Video Through Email That Is Too Large
How To Unsubscribe From Spam Emails
If a reputable company sent you a spam email, you can unsubscribe from that company’s messages by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Taking this action might take your name off the list immediately, or it could take you to a website where you have to click a confirmation button.
Some shady companies, however, will continue to send you messages even after you try to unsubscribe. You can report spam email to your email provider and also to the sender’s email provider . Be sure to include the entire spam email and say that you’re complaining about spam.
How Does An Email Blacklist Work
At a high-level, anyone who sends an excessive amount of emails that are marked as spam will be added to a list of offenders and will no longer be able to have their emails delivered to users inboxes.
For a more detailed understanding of how blacklists work, take a look at the Spamhaus diagram below. In the event an incoming email fails to meet the Spamhaus criteria for legitimate emails, the senders IP gets added to the list. There are some ISPs that use this data to make their conclusions on filtering the email messages sent on various IPs.
While Spamhaus doesnt have any control over the delivery or placement of the messages, it does aide many ISPs in making their decision as to whether or not to deliver your message to your target users inbox or to send it directly to their spam folder.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Not Getting Emails On Gmail
How To Block Emails On Iphone And Ipad
With iOS13 and iPadOS, you can block unwanted emails under Contacts or using the Mail app.
Blocking unwanted emails using iPhone Contacts
Blocking unwanted emails using the Mail app
You may unblock senders by going to Settings > Mail > Blocked. Find the name of the blocked sender and simply hit Unblock.
How To Check If You’re On An Email Blocklist
Sometimes, a pristine or recycled spam trap can slip through the cracks and get you blocklisted. Fortunately, your email service provider will usually notify you when this happens, but if you want to be absolutely sure that your IP address or domain isnt on a blocklist, use blocklist checking tools, like Sender Score or MX Toolbox.
Read Also: How To Find Email In Archive
Dont Respond To Spam Emails
Dont waste your time by responding to spam emails. No matter how nicely or menacingly you ask them to stop emailing you, you will only make the situation worse. When you respond to a spam email, youre automatically flagged as a responder. Spammers will then focus their attention on you, trying to continue the communication and make you click on malicious links or get you to send them money. Instead of responding, simply move the message to the spam folder and forget about it.
Unfortunately, not all spam emails are as easy to identify as those containing ads for medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. Spammers sometimes go to great length to make their emails seem completely legitimate, and they may even attempt to impersonate someone you know, such as your colleague from work or relative. When in doubt, look for the following telltale signs of spam emails:
Have A Separate Email Address
Many people have multiple email addresses for different reasons, such as separate accounts for business and for private use. It is an excellent option to have a separate email for instances that might invite spam email. Perhaps you can make an old childhood email that you no longer use regularly into your spam email address.
Many people have old Yahoo! Mail or AOL email addresses that they can access if they havent already been deleted due to inactivity. If you know or can recover the password, you can send all of your erroneous registrations to this address and check it occasionally. Creating a whole new email address is also a very simple process as most popular email clients are free to register.
Clients such as Gmail allow users to be loggedinto multiple accounts at the same time and users can switch between addresseson desktop and on mobile. This makes it easy to keep a spam email accountwithout having to log into a new client.
Recommended Reading: Accessing Archived Emails In Gmail
How To Get Rid Of Your Existing Spam Emails
To get rid of existing spam emails in your inbox, you can use the search function in your email client for unsubscribe. Then select all the emails and click delete or the trash can icon. If you are using Gmail, make sure to click Select all conversations that match this search.
Doing this can get rid of lots of spam emails in your inbox all at once.
Once you know how to block spam in Gmail, check out our guide on how to organize your Gmail inbox, so you see your most important messages at the top.
How To Get Off An Email Blocklist
In the MLB, or Major League Baseball, players who have used performance enhancing drugs have also tainted their careers. Even if they slugged the most home runs in the history of the game, like Barry Bonds did, or won the most Cy Young Awards ever, like Roger Clemens did, their accusations of steroid abuse will most likely block their path to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
For years, many baseball players abused steroids, and it sparked an aggressive campaign to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from the game.
In 2006, the MLB set up a drug policy that suspends first time drug violators for half a season, second time drug violators for an entire season, and third time drug violators for their entire lives — three strikes and you’re literally out.
In the email marketing industry, sending spam, or unsolicited bulk messaging, is a lot like using performance enhancing drugs in the MLB. Any organization who is a known spammer has tainted their brand. And, similar to a suspension, mailbox providers will filter their messages to the spam folder or block them altogether.
These “suspended” brands are on lists called email blocklists, and they can tarnish your sender reputation in the eyes of mailbox providers worse than steroid use can taint a once-presumed Hall-of-Famer’s career in the eyes of the Baseball Hall of Fame voters.
Never Click A Link From A Spam Email
One of the best ways to deal with spam emails is to minimize all interactions with them. You shouldnt even open them, but if you do, avoid clicking on any link within them. Clicking on links alerts the spammer that the account is active, thereby giving them the push to continue inundating you with more.
Only Accept Emails From Known Senders
Arguably the most effective way how to stop spam emails is to only accept emails from known senders. However, not all email services will let you do this easily.
In Gmail, your best option is to set up a filter that only looks for emails that are not from the intended recipients. The same is true for Yahoo Mail.
Outlook.com users can go to Settings -> View all Outlook settings -> Mail -> Junk email -> Filters. There, select the Only trust email from addresses in my Safe senders and domains list and Safe mailing lists checkbox.
Don’t Miss: How To Unarchive An Email In Outlook
Register With The National Do Not Call Registry
The National Do Not Call Registry lets you limit the telemarketing calls you receive. Stop unwanted sales calls by registering your phone number:
- Online: Visit DoNotCall.gov
- By phone: Call or TTY:
If you register online, you will receive an email to complete your request. You must click on the link in that email within 72 hours in order for your registration to take effect. Visit DoNotCall.gov or call to verify the status of, or unsubscribe, your phone number on the registry.
Placing your phone number on this national registry will stop telemarketing sales calls. But you might still receive calls from scammers and robocallers. Some telemarketing calls are still permitted. You may still receive phone calls from:
- Political organizations
- Telephone surveyors
- Some organizations with which you have a relationship
Some states have their own Do Not Call registries. Contact your state consumer protection office to find out if your state has its own Do Not Call list and how you can add yourself to it.
Use An Alternate Email Address
Today, most email services, including Gmail and Yahoo Mail, come with an option to set up an alternate email address alongside your primary address. With an alternate address, you can interact with websites and platforms or forums that could potentially inundate you with spam messages. You can even filter anything addressed to your alternate address into a specified folder for easier management .
Also Check: How To Find Email In Archive
How Not To Be A Spam Bot
Hackers and spammers troll the internet looking for computers, phones, tablets, and other connected devices that arent protected by up-to-date security software. When they find unprotected devices, they try to install hidden software called malware that lets them control the devices remotely.
Many thousands of these devices linked together make up a botnet a network used by spammers to send millions of emails at once. Millions of computers, phones, and Internet of Things devices, like smart cameras or voice assistants, can be part of botnets. In fact, most spam is sent this way.
You dont want spammers to use your device. It can cause a lot of issues, from slow devices, legal trouble if attacks are traced to you, and stolen personal information that can be used for identity theft.
Heres how to reduce the chances that your device will become part of a botnet:
- Keep your devices security updated. To be secure and effective, the software that comes with your device needs occasional updates. Whether you have a new or existing device, visit the manufacturers website to see if theres a newer version of the software to download. Register your device with the manufacturer or sign up to get updates to keep the software current. Set your updates to download automatically and, if possible, set up your device to automatically update.
How Do I Spot Spam E
Spammers often send emails in a way that makes them seem urgent, important, or personalized.
Good tips to spot spam emails include realizing youve never previously engaged with the sender. Another way is identifying email that is different from known product updates from a company. Always check the From address: if it does not match the companys official contact email address, its most likely a fake email.
You May Like: How To Access Deleted Gmail Emails
How To Get Fewer Spam Emails
Use an email filter. Check your email account to see if it has a tool to filter out potential spam or to funnel spam into a junk email folder. Many popular email providers have strong spam filters on by default. But there are some things you can do to make them work even better. For example, if you see any spam that makes it through to your Inbox, be sure to mark is as Spam or Junk. You can usually also block specific email addresses or email domains . Remember that the filter isnt perfect, so youll also want to occasionally check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure any legit, non-spam email didnt end up in there.
Limit your exposure. You might decide to use two email addresses one for personal messages and one for shopping, newsletters, coupons, and other services. If you want to be able to see all your emails in one place, you can usually set up email forwarding to your primary email account. You can set it up to come into a separate folder or your main Inbox. That way, if the second email address starts getting spam, you can shut off the forwarding without affecting your permanent address.
Also, try not to display your email address in public including on social media sites or in online membership directories. Spammers scan websites to harvest email addresses.