How do I know you're spamming?

There are a number of reasons I know that mail coming into my mailbox is spam.

  1. I get 15 copies. There are a lot of spammers out there who buy and scrape addresses and don’t do even the simplest of de-duping. Send multiple copies to a single address, you’re probably spamming.
  2. I get mail to a non-tagged address. I use tags for every signup, and have done since mid-1999 or so. If I get commercial email to a non-tagged address, I know it’s spam.
  3. I get to a tagged address from someone it wasn’t given to. As above, the tags remind me who was given my email address. If mail comes into a tagged address and it wasn’t given to the sender, then I know the mail is spam.
  4. I get mail to a poorly harvested address. Another subset of the tagged addresses, there are a couple badly written web harvesters out there which add random characters onto the end of my tags. So I get mail to -infon@ and -infonn@ and -infonnn@ addresses, and I know the sender is spamming.
  5. Someone attempts to send mail to an address that never existed at my domain. Even better, I don’t have to receive the mail for this one. If you attempt to send mail to a non-existent user here, I know without even looking that the mail was not asked for.

Am I wrong?


  1. Catherine Jefferson says

    No. That about covers it for me, except that I don’t get to play as many games with tagged addresses because I used to use a short-term email address at Yahoo for any business transactions. Not doing that any more, and what I’m learning from leakage of tagged addys is amazing!

  2. Martijn says

    At the very least they have a serious problem. (5 can be caused by typos of course. But that shouldn’t really happen when it’s a bulk email.)


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