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What You Can Do...

Report Spam

NEVER REPLY TO SPAM (It can validate your address to those who only guessed it originally)

Spam in Your Inbox

What is spam?

Spam e-mail has the following characteristics:

  • Identical or nearly identical messages are sent to a large number of recipients.
  • The recipients have not granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for the messages to be sent.
  • The transmission and reception of the messages appear to the recipients to give a disproportionate benefit to the sender.

How do spammers get my e-mail address?

Spammers can get your e-mail address in a variety of ways:

  • They find your e-mail address on a public web site.
  • They use viruses and spyware to harvest e-mail address and other personal information from address books and messages on your computer or a computer that has your personal information.
  • They use programs to guess e-mail addresses based on variations of other e-mail addresses.
  • Sometimes messages sent to guessed addresses contain instructions that verify your e-mail address when the messages are opened with a web browser or other program that interprets HTML.

In addition, spammers routinely sell and trade lists of e-mail address.

Does DU do anything to block Spam?

Information Technology uses Microsoft Office 365's online protection features to block messages from known spam addresses. Tens of thousands of messages are blocked every day. However, spammers routinely send messages from new addresses, which is why this method can catch only a portion of the spam.

Where can I report spam?

Report spam that originates at the University of Denver by forwarding the complete message, including message headers, to

Unfortunately, it's impractical for us to exert much direct control over spam that we receive from the outside world. Spam that does not originate at the University of Denver, is best reported to the originating Internet service provider (ISP) or to a national service. Here is a list of a few sites that either accept reports themselves or provide assistance in contacting ISPs:

Spam that you think is deceptive can be sent to the Federal Trade Commission at Be sure to include message headers.

What should my report include?

Generally, message content is of little use in identifying spammers. Message headers, which generally are not displayed by e-mail programs, are much more useful. Be sure to forward a spam specimen as an attachment, in order to include complete message headers in your reports.

Windows users of Outlook can do this by opening the email and pressing CTRL + ALT + F and then entering "" Mac users of Outlook should look for the "Attachment" button next to the "Forward" button in the home ribbon. Weboutlook users can right-click on the email message and choose "forward as attachment."

If you plan to report spam directly to ISPs, you may also want to read one or both of the following tutorials:

What else can I do?

By far, the easiest thing you can do is refuse to purchase anything from organizations advertised by spammers.

Here are a few links to sites with additional suggestions: