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

DAve dave.list at
Mon Apr 30 22:01:24 IST 2007

Furnish, Trever G wrote:
> 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).

An exasperating situation. We have been dealing with the same issue for 
quite a awhile. Our current solution is to use verp, if AOL returns the 
message in a scomp report we remove the users email address and add it 
to a subscriber black list. That email address is never allowed to 
subscribe to another mail list we host. So far, no client has 
complained, AOL is happy, our scomp reports have plummeted.

You might see if there is a way to inject something into the headers 
that AOL will no redact. Then, if the user reports their forwarded mail 
as spam, simply stop forwarding. Not the best solution business wise, 
but the safe option for certain. If the user wants the authority to 
declare spam/not spam, they should be responsible for the actions they 
set into motion.

In the end we all want to make the client happy, but protecting your 
network must come first. You can't make a client happy if no one will 
accept your server's mail.

> How do you handle mail that you forward?  As I see it my only options
> for dealing with aol are:

As above, if AOL sends an scomp report, the forward stops immediately. 
This has happened only twice. Both time I sent the report to the client 
and explained the situation. There have been no repeat incidents.

Good luck,


>     - 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.
> --
> Trever Furnish, tgfurnish at Herff Jones, Inc. Unix /
> Network Administrator
> Phone: 317.612.3519
> Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Unix.

Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
for other non-international holidays, but nothing for

Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.

More information about the MailScanner mailing list