My domain's e-mail is being spoofed (I think); any remedy?

I just checked my e-mail this AM and found about a hundred undeliverable e-mails in my inbox. I manage a couple of web sites, and saw that one of them was listed as the domain for the “from” address of these spams (advertising various dubious pharmaceuticals)–even though those accounts do not really exist.

Is there any way to prevent this stuff (a. e-mail being sent out allegedly from my domain and/or b. undeliverable e-mail of this sort bouncing back to me) from happening ?


Let’s try this again:

Nope. Anyone can put whatever they want in the “from” field of an email, and it’s part of the mailserver’s job to bounce undeliverable messages. It sucks that people take advantage of email like this, but there’s not a lot that the average Joe can do about it.

Track down the spammers and bust their kneecaps. Other than that (or slightly less violent solutions such as sueing them), not much.

Coincidentally, a proposed scheme to combat such fraud was discussed on Slashdot just today: Similar schemes have been proposed in the past as well; they al rely on the owner of a domain publishing a list of IP addresses which are authorized to relay mail for that domain. Mail servers should then be configured to discard (without bouncing) any mail from a server not on the list.

Unfortunately, none of these are currently being deployed widely if at all. And anyway, they all rely on the admin of the receiving server to cooperate, so the problem is not going to be solved anytime soon.

Just so you know, this kind of thing is called a “Joe job” when done deliberately with the intent to cause trouble for the entity whose address is forged.

For a very detailed report of such an incident and how damaging it can be:
Question 10 answers your question of what can be done about it (not much).

Same thing is true of regular Postal Mail.

We used to have a nutcase in the Mpls-St. Paul area who would mail anti-semetic diatribes to Jewish organizations, and carefully put the address of local black organizations as the return address on the envelope. And he would mail the black organizations racist literature with a local Jewish organizations’ return address.

I guess he thought he would get them fighting withe each other over this, without bothering to check it out. He must have thought they were as stupid as he was!

I worked at an interior decorator, and one day we had a package returned to us because the address was undeliverable. But nobody in the shop had sent it. I called UPS to try and figure out what to do and the next thing I knew we had a visit from the cops. The package was full of Thai sticks and apparently they had been trying for some time to nail someone who had been regularly mailing this stuff with us as a return address. Someone actually called us to reclaim the box, asked us to leave it out front and they would pick it up after we closed. The place was crawling with undercover cops, a taxi pulled up to the box, pulled away. . . without taking it. End of story.