E-mail return to sender

Is there a way on any e-mail system to send a message back to the sender, unread?

If you’re thinking of spam, no.
Most of it comes with imaginary return addresses. You try to reply and the system says “undeliverable”.

If it’s a lover’s quarrel, then you can just send it as an “attachment” and tell the person it was unread. This won’t be believed, however, so I don’t recommend it.

If it’s spam I wouldn’t reply anyway. Spammers often harvest email addresses by sending random messages and seeing which ‘live’ email addresses reply.

If it’s not spam, it may depend on your email system. I don’t know of any web-based email provider that lets you return messages without replying to them. I’m not sure how the recipient would know you hadn’t read it anyway. As far as I know (my experience with these is slightly more limited) neither Lotus Notes or Outlook Express offer the ability to return mail unread.

Once you have read it, it’s read…

Some clever types might be able to fudge some header information, like in the subject area, & put the standard unable to deliver message from Mailer Daemon (sp)

You could try Bounce Mail. It is freeware that you can use to bounce back mail to spammers to make your e-mail address look invalid. I’m sure you could also use it so bounce back mail from people who send you chain letters or people you don’t want to hear from anymore.

I can’t remember if heard about it on this board or over at Slashdot.

I don’t know if the link to the other board is allowed or not. I was not in any way attempting to advertise for that board. Please delete it if it is not appropriate.