Gmail Spam - lots of spam

Everything was going great with my Gmail account until about 2 weeks ago when I started to receive tons of spam. There is a spam filter and it does do a good job directing the crap to the spam folder. But I’m getting 6 - 10 per day.

I don’t use the account as my primary address - I’ve never given the address out.

I have a hotmail account I use if I feel that I’m going to be spammed by signing up for something. I’ve never received this amount of spam on hotmail.

Does hotmail do a better job a filtering spam before it reaches the spam filter?

Anybody else have Gmail spam experiences?

I’ve started to get a little spam in my Gmail account lately, more than before. Not a lot though, maybe 5 a week or so.

You say you never give it out - what do you use it for? Do you use it all?

Is your account of the form “firstname.lastname”??

Since gmail tends to suggest that, it didn’t take long for spammers to figure they could just guess names by using a large list of firstname/lastname and trying every combination.

I’m guessing that’s how I get my gmail spam. Only took about a week before the first one showed up.

The gmail spam I get (not much, but it has increased in the last few weeks) is not actually addressed to me, but to a similar Gmail address, i.e. instead of it’s addressed to “fredbloggins” or “fred.blofeld”.

The spammers are obviously just guessing likely addresses as usual, but it seems that Gmail attempts to guess who an email might have been intended for, presumably to cope with typos, and delivers it to the closest matching address. If true, it’s debatable whether that’s a desirable feature.

In my limited experience, Gmail sends incoming e-mail that has a similar-appearing but nonexistent address into your box. Let’s say there’s an elmwood at You may get mail for emwood, elwood or elmwod at, even when those addresses don’t exist.

Even though I own my own domain, I have a few gmail accounts, just in case. Today, in my d[mylastname] account, I recieved a bunch baby pictures from someone I don’t know; they were addressed to [my last name], and my address is nowhere in the headers.

That’s not “tons”, that’s “a little”, or “more than you should be getting”.

“Tons” is what I get at work, namely 400 a day, or poor little Billy Gates, who gets 4 million a day!

Hotmail, in my experience, is woeful at intercepting spam, which is why I’ve stopped using it!

Gmail is probably not directing mis-addressed mail to your account. What’s happening is that the spammers create a message with a certain To address (like To: and then send that message to a million different email addresses. They may send the emails in blocks that are all related somehow and they may set the To address to be something related to that (like all the emails to all the bloggs have the same To address)

The To Field in your email is not necessarily who the email is going to be delivered to. The person sending the email connects to the email server and uses certain commands to indicate who the email is for. They then send the text of the message which includes the header fields and the text of the message. So it is very easy for the spammer to tell the mail server to deliver the mail to even though the To: address in the email text is something completely different like It’s sort of like telling the postman to deliver a letter to you even though the address on the envelope is addressed to someone else.

Spammers create email lists with millions of generated emails like:

Then they just blast the emails out. They don’t care if many of the emails aren’t valid–they know that some of them will be. If your address fits a commonly-used pattern, you’ll eventually get spam.

The way to insulate yourself from this type of random spam is to have an email which doesn’t fit that pattern.

I just recently started getting spam in my gmail account and it is all very specifically one kind of spam so far: cheap software offers. I have been getting maybe 1 or 2 a day, and I just assume that (despite judicious efforts otherwise) I used my email address somewhere that I shouldn’t have. But every single one has gone to my spam filters, so I don’t really worry about it.

Wow, thank goodness for this thread – I, too, have been getting offers for cheap software, but I thought that Valve software had sold my address after I purchased Half-Life 2 from them. I’m pretty lucky because my address is a non-standard format. In an effort to help them out, I added filters to kill anything with the word “software” in the body that has a particular pattern in the subject… but apparently your filters don’t execute on things that go straight to Spam, only on e-mails in your inbox. Argh.

I have my primary email account forwarded to gmail. This does 2 things. I can keep gmail open in a tray at work where it constantly updates itself. It’s also a good place to store emails that I don’t want to lose. Much more secure than Outlook.

No - the accout is username@… the spam goes to variations of the username.

It seems that filmore describes the situation that is affecting me. My gmail address could fit into a profile that would be blasted by spammers.

Thanks to everyone for responding.

FWIW, I got my first two spams into my gmail account sometime between Thursday and Sunday. I’ve had since this past summer. I’ve used the address only for sending mail to trusted friends in the hopes of keeping it spam free. Alas.

My address is in the format of [First Name][Last Name Initial][Last Two Digits of Birth Year]. Not easily guessible, but I guess someone did manage. Damn.

Curious now - of the people receiving spam in their Gmail boxes - what kind of Spam is it?

I’ve had the Gmail account since July, and I got my first spam on Dec. 3.

I now have a total of 5 spam messages. 2 are for software, 3 are for Vicodin.

Gah! You jinxed me. I got my first spam today.


I’ve always received a lot of spam, but I’ve noticed a remarkable increase in the past couple weeks in the number of spam mails that the Gmail spam filter is not intercepting. And I mean, stuff that’s really obviously spam. I actually was wondering if Gmail had done something to the filter.

I’ve had my account for six or seven months, and just started getting spam recently. (12 so far, and I think it started last week. Not so terrible, but still.)

There are a bunch advertising cheap software and rolexes, and one offering cut-rate Vicodin. Yippy skippy.

It’s kind of depressing, after getting to see my spam folder sit empty for so long.

Yeah, having checked I see that the first of the eleven spams I’ve received through Gmail was sent on December 1st. Something is afoot.

Well cheap software and Vicodin seem to be a common theme. Does that mean that a certain group of spammers suddenly decided to start attempting gmail boxes, knowing that they’re becoming more prolific?

Or does it mean that something went screwy with Gmail at the beginning of the month?

Tough to say, but the more I think about it, the more I lean towards the former. Because most of the spam seems to be for the same things, it sounds more likely that one group recently added an algorithm to their process for attempting to deliver to gmail accounts.

I’ve had my account for many months now, and I’ve not gotten a single piece of real spam (one or two requested emails went to my spam filter, but that’s it).

I also received the first spam in my gmail account yesterday. It’s pretty clear that it’s a new list or algorithm that’s going around.

I got five pieces, all for vicodin or cheap software.

Although my username is larrymudd (one word,) each spam’s subject was clumsily prefaced with “Larry.” ‘Clumsily’ as in, ‘with no space or punctuation:’ ie; “Larrywe’re your source for vicodin.”

Damn and blast those people who are really named “Mudd” for opening me up to this vulnerablity. :smiley: