Home / Tech / Internet
To Catch A Spammer
Getting Started


Let's say you get SPAM from this e-mail address: <spamboy@spam-em-all.com>, actually, this isn't a good example, because if the domain name is "spam-em-all.com", then chances are that they will not be very receptive to your complaints about SPAM ;) So let's try another. <spamboy@juno.com>. Here's what you do:

Cut and paste the address into a new message, delete the word spamboy (or whatever is to the left of the "@" symbol), and replace it with the word "abuse". So now it looks like <abuse@juno.com>. Almost all of the major servers for services like these have a valid "abuse" e-mail account. This is one place where you send SPAM complaints.

From the SPAM message, cut and paste the whole message to include the headers. This is a very important step. You need to include the headers (the information that shows where the message came from etc.) It generally looks like garbage. Below is a sample of what headers look like:

Received: from nf7.netforward.com (nf7.netforward.com []) by msw0.attnet.or.jp
id FAA26243; Tue, 29 Sep 1998 05:27:21 +0900 (JST)
X-Forwarder: NetForward.com
Received: from default ([]) by
mtiwmhc03.worldnet.att.net (InterMail v03.02.03 118 118 102) with SMTP id <19980928202717.JISB6151@default> for <ldgregory@biogate.com>; Mon, 28 Sep 1998 20:27:17 +0000
Message-ID: <000f01bdeb1e$7948c3c0$2491440c@default>
From: "Your friendly spammer" <spammer@spam.com>
To: "Leif Gregory" <ldgregory@biogate.com>
Subject: Make tons-o-bucks
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 16:27:54 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.5
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
X-UIDL: 90ec3b8f3f25224f6d25cb98dc5ac57d

If you don't include this information as well as the text of the spam, then it doesn't do any good to send it. They won't be able to track the message back through the hops to find it's origination (or as close as they can get.) Most often the headers are suppressed, with exception to the TO, FROM, SUBJECT, and DATE so that they don't clutter up the message. The difficulty here lies in discovering where the option to show headers is in your e-mail program. The only advice I can give you is to open the message, and right click somewhere in the text portion. Hopefully, in the context menu that pops up will be an option to show the headers.

Now, before you go sending off this message, you may want to find a couple of more addresses to add to your recipient list as well as tell them who you are and why you are sending them this information.

Word to the wise Sleuthing
leftbutt.gif (1704 bytes) ritebutt.gif (1709 bytes)


pcwizess.jpg (8520 bytes)

* PCWize Award Winners *
Click either button to see the winners of these awards.

pcwizeww.jpg (8540 bytes)
Copyright 1997-2009 Leif Gregory. TB Community | privacy policy | home | write me | advertise | about