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Email spoofing

Spoofing and Bounce Messages (aka Backscatter)

Email spoofing is a practice in which spammers use a legitimate email address-possibly your email address-in the "From" field to send spam email. They are not actually using your email account to send the message so your account has not been compromised. However, if your email address is being spoofed, you may experience large numbers of messages appearing in your inbox that have bounced back because the original spam message was undeliverable to the intended recipients. These messages are referred to as "backscatter."

What can you do?

If your University email account has been spoofed, there is little you can do other than delete the bounced messages from your inbox. You can create a temporary rule in your email client to move the bounced message to a separate folder or delete them.

You can reduce the risk of being spoofed by using a non-university email account for personal activities.

For more details on backscatter, check out the article Dealing with Backscatter,

While spoofing is the most common cause of backscatter, there are other possible causes, such as a compromised email account or computer, or a virus infection. If you have a reason to suspect one of these causes, change your email password and contact IT Central located at Social Science 120 or by phone at 243-HELP (x4357).

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