Am I Wasting My Time Reporting Scam and Spam Emails?

You once said that when it comes to email scams, we should just mark it as a scam or spam and move on. But I’ve found websites to report them to, and some email addresses to forward them to, and I’d like to think I’m doing some good. Are you saying that I’m wasting my time reporting email scams directly to these agencies?


I just don’t believe reporting spam to these sites and services is worth the time and effort. I don’t see any harm in doing it; I just don’t think it helps.

I do want to be very clear, however, that a different type of “reporting spam” is very important, and we should all be doing that.

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Should I Worry If Email I Send Is Marked as Spam?


A business I was working with told me that they ‘sent my email address to spam’ because they didn’t like what I was asking of them. Now I’m a smidge worried. If they added my email address to their spam filter, does that mean I’m somehow going to be pegged as a spammer in the larger Internet world? I seem to recall that someone once told me that anytime someone clicks that a message is spam, it’s a strike against you. Enough strikes and we’re in trouble. I don’t remember how many strikes he said it took to be in trouble, though.

So…am I worrying about nothing? Or should I do something about it, if there’s anything to do, that is?

The answer is simple: do nothing.

The reason behind the answer, naturally, is quite complex.

Spam filters – particularly good spam filters – rely heavily on users marking things as spam. In a way, it’s a form of “crowd sourcing”, where  the actions of users build a database used to determine what is and is not spam in subsequently received emails.

Where your email is marked as spam, and who is doing the marking, has a lot to do with any potential impact on emails you send in the future.

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Can’t We Just Spam the Spammers to Death?

I received a rather lengthy question that mentioned a specific service that claims to turn the tables on spammers either by spamming them back or by somehow using the content of their spam messages in an attempt to harm them in some way… or at least annoy the heck out of them.

Now as much as spam angers us, besides ultimately being ineffective, vigilante justice just isn’t the answer.

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Why am I suddenly getting spam in my inbox?

Hi, there. I’ve been using my Yahoo email since 2009 and I’ve never had problems with receiving so many spams into my inbox folder. But recently, within like the last two weeks, there was an abrupt influx of some spams claiming that I had won lotteries other that I’m eligible to their belongings and they’re all managing to authenticate themselves to Yahoo’s servers because I’m finding themselves in my inbox folder, not my spam folder. Now I know that these are scams but my question is why is it after all these years of using my email, I’m now encountering this problem?

Spam and spam fighting is a really complex game of cat and mouse. Spammers are constantly trying to find their way into your inbox. I have a few ideas of what could possibly have happened in your situation.

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Why Am I Being Labeled a Spammer?

As I write this, over 125,000 people have my email address. Probably more, but that’s the number of people subscribed to my newsletter. Right there on the “From:” line is an email address.

Naturally, some of them will forward me jokes, virus warnings and other hoaxes or urban legends. I know that they mean well and do so with the best of intentions.

But, I mark them all as spam. I have to.

Because that’s what they are.

Even if I don’t, others may, and because of that, there’s a very important lesson here in making sure that the rest of your email keeps getting delivered.

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Why Shouldn’t I Use the “Report Spam” or “Junk” Button?


As I was dealing with my email the other day, a friend was with me. He nearly when ballistic when I used the “Report Spam” button to get rid of some email in my in box. He said I was using it wrong. There’s a right and wrong way? Why shouldn’t I just use it?

Oh my. Yes, there is most definitely a wrong way to use it. In fact, it’s so wrong, that you could be contributing to other people not being able to get their email.

Their legitimate, non-spam email.

Read moreWhy Shouldn’t I Use the “Report Spam” or “Junk” Button?