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Where is that SPAM coming from?

Are you getting a lot of SPAM emails?
Do you wonder where it is coming from?

If you have a host that offers you a catch-all account, you just might be able to limit the amount of spam you get in the future.


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First of all, let me explain what a catch-all account does. You know that if you send an e-mail to someone using the proper email address, it goes to their mailbox - same basic principle as sending regular mail. But what happens when you misspell their username - or what happens when you send an email to a username that doesn't exist? That email either bounces back or gets caught in what is called a "catch-all" account. If you are running a business, a catch-all account can be worthwhile, because a potential customer might just enter a typo into the username of the email address. Since you don't want to lose that potential sale, having that email catch into an administrative account can be worthwhile.

A catch all email account is an email address that collects (or catches) all the mail sent to your domain name that was not specifically sent to the other email addresses listed on your server.

For example, any emails sent to misspelled recipients at your domain, for example, will be "caught" by the catch all account. Using my domain name as an example, the catchall could be defined as Suppose an email intended to be sent to is actually sent, misaddressed, to The email will get redirected to thecatch-all mailbox of Without a catch-all email address declared on the server, the email would have been bounced back to the sender instead.

An advantage of the catch-all is that it is like having unlimited aliases.

One disadvantage of a catchall is that more Spam may be sent to your domain since messages are not bounced but accepted by default to non-defined email recipients.

This advantage and disadvantage combined is what leads me to my way of identifying where spam is being sent from (and stopping it in its tracks).

End Spam as you know it!

So, let's say you have to sign up for an account to receive a newsletter from (which doesn't exist, as far as I know). And let's say your domain is called and your catch-all email account is called You would set up this catch all account in Outlook (or other email program) or just go to it periodically on webmail.


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Then, when you sign up for my newsletter, you could put your email address as Then, when you receive the newsletter, it would go to a "non-existant" email address and get caught by the Then, let's say you started receiving Junk Mail in your catch-all account that was being sent to your account. You would then know that sold your email address and/or sends out spam messages. At that point, you could contact them and find out what they did (and you would know with certainty that they were the ones that comprimized your email).

Or, you could do what I would do, which is to set up an email account on the server called and then no longer monitor it. That way, all junk mail sent to that address just goes into a black hole of sorts.

Ever since I started doing that, I have really limited the amount of junk mail I receive in my inbox, and when I do get junk, I know where it came from and how to prevent it from usurping my inbox in the future.

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Gregory Motes

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