Some ISPs are marking my email as SPAM

rhatsaruck

Senior member
Oct 20, 2005
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I've discovered that some ISPs are marking my emails as spam. My email address is in the @att.net domain. I use att.net as my email provider.

I discovered this because some friends are responding to my emails and their ISPs have marked my emails by adding"SPAM" to the message subject.

I don't know if this matters but I use BellSouth's DSL service. I have my Outlook Express client connect directly to att.net's mail servers using the appropriate non-standard (port 465 for outgoing mail and 995 for incoming mail) but documented ports because att.net is not my ISP.

I'm not sending spam. I'm certain that my machine is not a part of some bot-net and that my machine is virus-free.

Two questions: first, is there a way to determine which ISPs are marking my email as spam? Second, how do I get my email address removed from the spam blacklist?

 

clange50

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Apr 9, 2005
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Second, how do I get my email address removed from the spam blacklist?
If you've actually been placed on a black list, someone should get an email detailing what needs to be done to remove you. Either yourself or the recipient. It could also be domain blocking for something like att not having reverse dns set up (not saying thats the case, but who knows). Have your friend call their ISP if you cant get any more info.
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
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Also, you may simply be sending emails that have Spam-like characteristics, causing the Spam-filtering systems to tag it as Spam, and possibly block it if it's too "Spammy." That happens all the time. One way to lower your "Spam score" is to send your email in plain-text format.
 

rhatsaruck

Senior member
Oct 20, 2005
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Originally posted by: mechBgon That happens all the time. One way to lower your "Spam score" is to send your email in plain-text format.
I do in fact use HTML format for my email. However I always use a reasonable Subject line and my emails contain full sentences and nothing that could in any way be construed as sexual or spam-like.

I'm finding that this happens most frequently for email I send to Comcast. Are they known for having unusually restrictive rules for identifying spam?
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
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Originally posted by: rhatsaruck
Originally posted by: mechBgon That happens all the time. One way to lower your "Spam score" is to send your email in plain-text format.
I do in fact use HTML format for my email. However I always use a reasonable Subject line and my emails contain full sentences and nothing that could in any way be construed as sexual or spam-like.

I'm finding that this happens most frequently for email I send to Comcast. Are they known for having unusually restrictive rules for identifying spam?
The point remains: Spam filtration is getting more difficult, and there are going to be "false positives" like yours. The Spammers can also use reasonable subject lines and fill their Spam with lots of decoy material to dilute the Spamminess of their Spam. Try switching to plain-text and don't send links or pics in the body of the email, and your chances will improve.

Honestly, the ones you need to worry about aren't the ones that get tagged SPAM, it's the ones that never arrive at all, because they met the "throw-it-away" threshold that the Spam filters are using.

 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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Originally posted by: mechBgon
Honestly, the ones you need to worry about aren't the ones that get tagged SPAM, it's the ones that never arrive at all, because they met the "throw-it-away" threshold that the Spam filters are using.
Yeah. I've had to turn my client's SPAM filters WAY up. Junk email has gone out of sight the past three months and, supposedly, comprises 80% of all email.

My Exchange Server Connection Filters, which use several public Block Lists, are rejecting half of the connection attempts by other email servers.

Originally posted by: rhatsaruck
Two questions: first, is there a way to determine which ISPs are marking my email as spam? Second, how do I get my email address removed from the spam blacklist?
Mail servers don't GENERALLY block email addresses. They block email SERVERS.

If your email is being accepted, but is being marked as SPAM, it's likely because of the content. Perhaps accentuated by some complex Comcast formula that says that emails from att.net's mail servers are more likely to be SPAM than emails from other servers. Which is most likely true if att.net is allowing non-standard port connections to their mailservers.

And, no, there's really no way for an individual to be put on a "white-list" for an entire ISP.

As mechBgon notes, about all you can do is:
Change your email provider.
Switch to plain-text.
Don't send links.
 

TG2

Banned
Nov 14, 2005
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Maybe Comcast is seeing the email coming from another network that the originating IP range?

(ie being on Bellsouths network but mail coming out as Att.net?)
 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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Originally posted by: TG2
Maybe Comcast is seeing the email coming from another network that the originating IP range?

(ie being on Bellsouths network but mail coming out as Att.net?)
Probably not. Email headers only show the IP address of the originating MAIL SERVER. There's no way for Comcast to know the sender's IP address or network.
 

rhatsaruck

Senior member
Oct 20, 2005
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Originally posted by: RebateMonger
Originally posted by: TG2
Maybe Comcast is seeing the email coming from another network that the originating IP range?

(ie being on Bellsouths network but mail coming out as Att.net?)
Probably not. Email headers only show the IP address of the originating MAIL SERVER. There's no way for Comcast to know the sender's IP address or network.
Are you sure about this? Messages I receive from my friends on Comcast *do* contain their IP addresses in the header under "Received:"; Outlook Express displays this.

TG2's point is well taken. My IP address is issued by BellSouth (they provide my DSL) but my email originates from att.net because I connect directly to their mail server to send and receive email. Could this cause Comcast's spam marking software to raise a red flag?
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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Here is an extract of a tech message I got today from my ISP. It is relevant.

"Due to both a larger than expected influx of spam and viruses from the internet as a whole and an unanticipated hardware system problem that did not show up in our testing or previous migrations, you may have experienced slow email sending or receiving and/or outright failure of mail to be processed. In addition, if you are connected to the internet via some other provider, you may have experienced a problem sending mail via an email client like Outlook Express using smtp on port 25. Port 587 with SMTP authentication must be used if you are connecting to our mail server to send mail but are not physically connected to our network.

"In addition, you may have been experiencing problems with "failure" messages from AOL, Comcast, Earthlink, Verizon and possibly a few other ISPs. This is due to an increasing global problem of spammers using trojan horse and "phishing" software to capture unsuspecting users personal computers to send large numbers of spam messages through infected customer computers to our servers. This is not limited to Nationwide Internet, but is a problem all across the internet with many large and small ISPs whom we work with daily. Unfortunately, in the case of spam and virus proliferation, we are all innocent victims of the explosive spam phenomena
."

 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
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Originally posted by: rhatsaruck
Are you sure about this? Messages I receive from my friends on Comcast *do* contain their IP addresses in the header under "Received:"; Outlook Express displays this.
Yeah, it's true that sometimes you will see an IP address of the original Sender. It's optional with the originating mailserver.