Slightly OT: How do you deal with domains you forward to whoconsider you a spammer based in user reports?

Gareth list-mailscanner at
Mon Apr 30 21:51:06 IST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mailscanner-bounces at
> [mailto:mailscanner-bounces at]On Behalf Of Furnish,
> Trever G
> Sent: 30 April 2007 20:08
> To: mailscanner at
> Subject: Slightly OT: How do you deal with domains you forward to
> whoconsider you a spammer based in user reports?
> This probably only applies to folks on the list with large counts of
> users, but I appreciate any input.  I also realize it's not directly
> related to MailScanner, but I value the thoughts of this list's members
> as email administrators much more highly than any other list I know of,
> so please forgive me.  If you suggest more appropriate lists, thank you
> in advance.
> Ok, enough pre-amble. :-)
> This is specificly related to, but generally the problem is I
> forward to about 150 addresses at a given domain (out of the ten
> thousand or so I accept mail for) and the relatively small number of
> spam I DON'T catch are being reported by those users to their ISP as
> spam, causing my outbound server's IP address to be blacklisted by their
> ISP.  AOL makes this extremely convenient for their users (so convenient
> that quite a few of the messages reported aren't even spam, but are
> actually just mail they're too lazy to unscribe from).
> How do you handle mail that you forward?  As I see it my only options
> for dealing with aol are:
>     - Don't miss any spam (uh, I wish) so none is forward to
> addresses.
>     - Don't forward to outside addresses (definitely the choice I wish I
> could implement, but not really an option).
>     - Convince aol that even though I frequently forward spam, they
> should let me.  (Again, doesn't seem likely to happen.)
> Anyone have any other suggestions?  I would expect this happens to quite
> a few of you with large user counts, if not with aol then with some
> other large provider.
> In my case it's been 500 reported "spam" sent to 150 addresses
> in three weeks, so 3 messages per user per week missed.  I don't yet
> have a way to know the total count of messages forwarded for those
> users, but I doubt 3.3/week is a very high false-negative rate.  The
> problem is just that from's point of view they're all spam from
> me, even though they're actually just being forwarded by me upon request
> of their users.

For AOL there is a service you can subscribe to and give details of the IP
address of your mail servers and your email address. Any spam complaints
they receive are then passed onto yourselves. We do that so if someone
reports one of our newsletters as spam we can look at the headers to see who
it was sent to and then remove them from the list.

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