Some time back I got a horrid, curse-filled email from someone who had decided to lay into me in no uncertain terms because I was sending them spam and they wanted me to stop. Their rant was vicious, and I was utterly confused. I’d never sent anything and had no awareness of what they were talking about. As it turns out, I had nothing to do with the spam they received. I got torn a new one for something I had no control over, and I’m not the only one this has happened to.
In case you haven’t heard of it, there’s this thing called email spoofing. Basically, a spammer uses other people’s email addresses to send their junk out to other people. Sooner or later, they’ll use yours. What really sucks is that there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the internet equivalent of someone sending a letter through the postal service with your return address on it. You can’t stop it from being done, and you won’t know that it’s happening.
For those who are thinking that they’re safe because they have a really secure password and change it often, that doesn’t matter. It’s not something that’s a result of being hacked. Anyone can figure out how to send an email from someone else’s address. Spoofing happens all the time and no one is safe. Even big companies like PayPal and Google get spoofed.
So here’s the real message here: Don’t go sending an email to someone who you think is sending you spam, tearing them a new one over it. Even if they did do it on purpose, there’s no need for you to be an ass about it. Most likely, they have no clue at all about what’s happening. Hell, I get spam from myself at least once a week! I’m obviously not really sending myself junk. The person on the other end of that email you received may be completely innocent. You may want to write to them and suggest they change their password on the off chance that they’ve been hacked, that would be nice. Otherwise, just delete it and move on. Don’t even block them, because you may stop legitimate emails from that person just because they got spoofed. Really though, do not write hate mails to people over spam. You never know what the real circumstances are, and you might be hurting someone’s feelings or ruining their day over something they didn’t even know was happening.