How to Report Spam

Trying to fight spam? Here's how you can report unsolicited email...

If you're like me, your email inbox will be deluged with unsolicited bulk commercial email (spam) messages, anything from get rich quick schemes to pornography. Unfortunately, spam seems to be a modern curse that afflicts just about anyone with an email address!

It's often simpler to just ignore the spam messages and delete them - after all, it takes just a few seconds to read an email, decide it's junk and delete it. But if you want to take things one step further and report it, here are some resources to help you...

Spamcop maintains a guide to finding the full headers of an email address, for users of the most popular email programs. You'll need the information contained in the full email headers in order to make an accurate spam report.

The US Federal Trade Commission dedicates a section of its site to spam, and how to report it. You can forward offending messages to them, or if you want to file a more detailed report e.g. about a particular email scam or hoax you may have fallen victim to, you can fill in their online Consumer Complaint Form.

The US Department of Justice has a page about reporting specific types of unsolicited email fraud, including investment schemes and medical spam.

If you're in Australia or suspect that a spam you received came from there, then you can try reporting the spam to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

If the spam message originated from a Yahoo Mail account, Yahoo maintains a Mail Abuse Feedback Form that you can use to report the spam. If the spam is validated by Yahoo, the originating email account will be cancelled.

To report a spam message from a Gmail user, you can use Google's Incident Report form

If the owner of the domain name that the spam message originated from is protected by the WhoisGuard privacy service, you can report the spam directly to WhoisGuard.

Finally, Google has a handy page summarising some more places to report spam if you're located outside the USA.


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