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Forged email addresses and undeliverable email

I just received an email from Mike, who asks the following question:

I have been getting undeliverable emails sent back to me to email addresses that I do not recognize...Can you please tell me what the heck is going on??????

This is an excellent question, Mike! What's probably happening is this: Either a spammer or a computer virus has gotten it's grubby hands on your email address, and is forging it into the 'From' section of the email. In the 'To' section, it is putting other email addresses it knows.

Not all of the 'To' addresses are valid, since people do occasionally cancel email addresses. Thus, these invalid ones get bumped back to you, even though you didn't send the email in the first place.

What is even more frustrating is the ones that actually make it through. Then you get emails from angry people demanding to know why you are spamming them...or sending them viruses. What they don't realize is, the odds of an email actually getting back to the real originator of the email are vanishingly small.

Is there anything which can be done about this? Unfortunately, you've pretty much just got to grin and bear it.

A Helpful Hint
This one is a big irritation for me. The only thing worse than receiving spam is having other people think you are sending spam. If you're in this situation, and you get nasty emails from people telling them to stop sending spam, feel free to email them a link to this page!

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