Tuesday Tip: Don’t Get Spoofed

Have you ever received an email bounced back to yourself, but it looks as though it was actually sent from your own account? That might have been a bit confusing, but I’m trying to explain email spoofing. In an effort to flood our personal inboxes with everything from Obama grants to penis enlarging medication, the Spam-bots out there have devised a way to actually spoof your personal email.

Basically this means that there is a program floating around that sends out hundreds of emails per minute, but their trick is that they have devised a way to make it look like the spam is being sent from you. The program then goes through a series of letters and numbers of email addresses and just spams the world. This can result in a number of bad things including being locked out of your own email account. It could also result in your friends and loved ones deeming you a spammer, creating an awkward conversation to try and resolve the issue.

If you ever receive and email from what looks like yourself but you definitely did not send it, here’s how to stop it.

First, report the issue to the Federal Trade Commission. Spoofing is illegal because it could be considered identity theft. report the example of spoofing by sending an email to spam@uce.gov.

Secondly, in your report make sure to send what is referred to as a “Header.” Depending on your personal email preference, the Header can be found in a number of ways. If you click on any “Help,” sections for email clients like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail or even AOL you will be able to find out how to find the Header.

Thirdly, copy and paste the entire Header (don’t worry if you don’t understand what you’re copying) into a .txt file and send it in your email to the Federal Trade Commission.

Spoofing is annoying, let’s make sure to stop it where we can.