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Very few people know how to properly report spam.

This is a quick guide which outlines the best way of dealing with spam, with the aim of getting the underlying spammers shut down.

The most effective way to deal with a spam email is to report it directly to the organization that is responsible for the spam email’s originating IP address. These organizations will usually respond very quickly to such requests (as they care about their own reputations).

You will firstly need to locate the following information:

To find out the originating IP address of the spam email, view the spam email’s headers. There are many ways to do this, as every email client is different. Here are some examples:

hotmail-source-example

You will find the IP address in the section labelled “Received: from”. Usually there is more than one of these, so select the last one, which is the earliest. This will be the IP address of the actual computer from which the spam email originated.

header-1024x249

Go to the DomainTools website: whois.domaintools.com and put in the IP address we found in the previous step. Click “Lookup”.

domaintools1

Look for an “abuse@” email address. If it is not available, look for another email address that seems likely to be checked by someone. This could be labelled “support” or “admin”.

domaintools2

With all this collected information, compose an email. Address it to the responsible email address from the above step, and request that the spam originating from the IP address be stopped. Paste in a copy of the spam email’s headers to finish the message.

Below is an example:

spam-complaint-email1

An alternative to doing this manually is to use the free service provided by SpamCop. This website will analyse the headers and automatically make contact with those responsible for the IP address.

The advantage to the above manual technique is that it is more likely to be effective (because the email is manually written, it is more likely to be taken seriously).

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