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Forwarding Mail To Aol And Spam Complaints

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After several HUNDRED spam complaints from AOL, and some investigating by the TCH staff, we think we have found out the reason for 90% of the SPAM complaints.


If you use AOL and have your e-mail from your TCH site forwarded to your AOL address, PLEASE remove the forward. Every time a SPAM e-mail is forwarded to AOL from a TCH hosted account it looks like the SPAM is comming from TCH, so AOL flags it then sends a SPAM report to us. After so many SPAM complaints/reports, the server gets blacklisted and it is a nightmare getting AOL to remove a server from their blacklist.

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Awesome point, Mike.


When I first started hosting with TCH I had a website for a client and had the contact address auto forwarding to him. He was someguy@aol.com and wheneven a spammer harvested his web page email address my site was forwarding to AOL and they reported it back.


TCH properly shut off my account to protect the other accounts on the same server. Afterall, if AOL decided that server was a spam source it would have affected many sites and would be lengthy and painful to get turned back on.


We found the problem and I have since found another way to get the email to him. It is unfortunate but the health of my site and the others on that server depend on my responsibility for all email going out, automatically or otherwise.


Remember, this is not true of only AOL! Any email destination that automatically detects and reports spam is exactly the same... it is just that AOL is the most common about it right now. Anything that could get our servers blacklisted has to be stopped and the auto-forward is the most easily misused feature, even by those who have only the best intentions. We have many alternatives including webmail access and I have sworn off forwarding except to services I know will not blacklist us for it.

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I mentioned to Mike that I thought about 90% of the Spam Complaints from AOL had something to do with this topic. Since I teach Probability and Stats I thought I might check and see if my estimate was correct. I just looked through about 20 complaints that we have received in the last 24 hours.


If the message looked like Spam (BREAKING NEWS on TRHL is one that popped up a lot as did one promising better fuel mileage) then I went in and looked at the forwarders set up for the domain AOL was complaining about. I didn't find that 90% of them had forwarders set to to an AOL account, the percentage was 100%. That's right, every single one of them had a forwarder set to AOL and in a few cases an AOL account was set up as their default address which means any message sent to an address that doesn't exist for that domain (such as the ones that look like kasijdhuyi786@domain.com) would be forwarded straight to AOL.


(TCH-Jim, I think your case was the first one I saw that was a result of this problem.)

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I'm glad I wondered into this discussion.


I was having a terrible time getting the mail from TCH when I signed up. Every time something came through, AOL popped it into my spam folder. Luckily I have 9.0 so I can get into my blasted spam folder. The previous versions don't allow any control so the mail just goes *poof*.

Each time I knew I was expecting TCH mail, I looked in the spam folder and clicked the "not spam" link to move it back but darn it, it's not like other filters I've used on OE - AOL doesn't seem to learn.... :)


Will be wandering back.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Glad to hear about this problem being resolved and worked on to not be a future problem. As one that had mail to AOL people returned saying "it appeared my email was span", I am glad to know what happened. I spent quite a bit of time with AOL myself to see what was going on. They were helpful but said the server had to handle it. YOU OBVIOUSLY DID, and good job. Rock Sign :dance: I'm a happy camper again!

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  • 5 weeks later...


Im new to totalchoice. Fully intended to forward to my aol address, oops!


Time for plan B- someone said they dont forward to ANY service that bounces spam, does that leave any options?


So... Im adjusting. I thought aol was bad for spam, but now Im finding how much they apparently filtered (I run an older version, so I dont get to see the spam folder).


Checking mail on my server at totalchoice is an onerous task, and one of the chief culprits is my "unlimited POP accounts". Read: unlimited spam opportunities. I used one of the suggested modes of cloaking e-mail addresses in my web pages, but Im getting mail to bill@, bob@, joe@, etc.


So Ive set my default e-mail to dump all usernames except accounts Im using currently. Kinda clunky, but I dont know any other way around. And Im using "spam assassin" as a filter (my experience with losing important mail @ aol has me scared of the inaccessible "spambox"...) and I seem to have to invent all my own filters in order to get ANY results. Any guidance would be welcome!


Dexter Payne


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First off, welcome to the family Dexter. :)


Do you access your AOL from more than one computer? Is that the reason you want to forward your email to your AOL account? If so you may consider web mail to access your domain account. On your primary computer, you could run an POP3 email client (Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora, etc...) to access your domain email.

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Hello -


Although I won't be here officially for another day, I saw this discussion and realized it pertains to me. My group offers several workshops and I want to be able to offer links for folks to register online - we're not going to take payments, just the contact info. The lady to whom the e-mail will be forwarded is an AOL customer.


Now, our domain name is ourgroup.org and she has set up an ID on her AOL account of ourgoup@aol.com for forwarding - is there someway to make this workable other than using the aol addy right from the link? I really, really don't want to use the aol addy unless I absolutely, positively have to. Yuck!


The other element here is that this very lovely lady is not at all computer confident and I don't think she'd feel up to coming into the site to collect her mail.


Figured I should ask now while I'm building my pages and do it right instead of creating mischief on the back end. You're terrific and I appreciate you more than you can know!! :heart




PS: Does anyone know if there's a way to have the subject line filled in when you pop up the e-mail from a link, besides just the addy? That would be just too cool if there were! :(

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Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the problems come mostly from me forwarding to you@aol.com and "you" says "This guy spammed me." by clicking on the report spam buttons.


It may not be intentional but in my case I had a web page client that I was forwarding for and he was reporting the spam as spam. The problem started when AOL through its laziness reported to TCH that *I* was the spammer rather than the original source of the email.

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maybe there's an aol guru around. I had a similar problem when I used a hotmail account for a classified auto ad. . .all the responses went into the junk mail/spam folder without my knowledge. Someone had clicked "report as spam" to an address that came from the reply to form on the newspapers website. . . Yuck!

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  • 2 months later...

I am going to be setting up a website for a client that uses AOL and I was wondering if it is wiser to advise them to either check email using webmail or for them to get another ISP and set up Outlook for them.


It's a small office and these people barely know how to use the computer and check email. I think using webmail might be daunting for them. Only one person in the office really knows how to use email but he has never used Outlook before, just AOL.


The gist I'm getting here is that forwarding domain email to an AOL account is a real troublesome thing.


I'm meeting with this client next week and will be reccomending that they get hosting with TCH. I just want to alert them to the possible AOL conflict.




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Hi all,

can this work? to solve the problem of TCH being looked as relaying spam, which infact is just due to forwarding of emails.


May be anyof TCH staff can experiment this.


Setup a forwarding of mails for a domain to 3rd party e-mail service(of course other than AOL) and forward all incoming mails from that account to AOL user, Check Does AOL still takes it as spam.


Don't :dance: me for this idea

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I set up what Manu is suggesting for my client. I ran emails through Spam Assasin and it still sent enough to him that he reported as spam that they threatened to ban TCH so I had to shut that down.


What I do now is I forward incoming mail at his site to another 3rd party mail system, run it through Spam Assassin there, and then forward to AOL. This service does not seem to have a problem and has not been banned in the few years that I've used them. They are only $40/year too and have full features so these types of services do exist.


I'm an affiliate with them so I'll not name them here as we don't allow using the forums for profit, but I have been using this method for about 7 months and it's working fine.


As an aside, I accidentally turned off SA for his account and his spam went from 3-5 per day to almost 200 in one night! Thanks to the hard working folks that create programs like this!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went through something similar a while ago when I wanted to read my e-mails through wap on my cell phone. Not yet a TCH customer, but this should work here too:


I get loads of spam on one of my primary accounts that I use a forwarder on. So I needed an account that would filter spam.


Tried Hotmail. The Hotmail spam filtering is done by analyzing the SMTP server connecting to their server. So that broke the filtering. Plus it doesn't work with wap except through third party services


Settled on Yahoo. Their filtering isn't broken even when you forward through another server. The filtering is obviously done in some other way. I had to fish out an e-mail from ONE friend from the bulk folder, and of course plenty of mail doesn't get filtered. Apart from that it's absolutely wonderful. Wap works great too.


BTW, if you want to try the same thing:



There are also different country portals, just check Google for wap yahoo.


Another thing, make sure you use GPRS (only slightly newer phones) and check what you'll be paying for traffic.

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  • 5 months later...

I just finished setting up my first redirect to a Hotmail account and came across this thread. What if the email is encrypted on the site with an anti-robot option (javascript or decimal encoding)? Would that solve the problem of possible spam and make it ok to do the redirect?


Thanks for the input.

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The problem isnt spam bots picking up an e-mail off of a site, the problem is forwarding spam e-mail to an AOL account.


for example, you get one of those Nigerian scam e-mails that claims they'll send you XX millions of dollars in your TCH e-mail account. You have that account set up to forward to an AOL account, as far as AOL is concerned, the spam e-mail came from your TCh account, not from some spammer that sent it to you and you forwarded it on. So now lets say you get 30 spam e-mails a day on that account, so you forward 30 spam e-mails to your AOL account, now AOL thinks that your e-mail address is a spam source, so they do a reverse lookup on the domain name and trace it back to the IP address of the server your account is on. Once they get X number of complaints, whether they are forwards or not, they blacklist the server. Once the server is blacklisted no customer on that server can send mail to an AOL account, and it can take weeks to get them to remove the server from their blacklist.

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