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Old 29 Dec 2020, 06:26 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1
Right user name wrong provider

I keep getting emails sent to my user name but the wrong provider. Like my account would be [email protected] but the emails I get are to [email protected] or even just my [email protected]. Is there any way to stop these spam emails from coming in to my mail? Alternately can I aim them to spam automatically?
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Old 29 Dec 2020, 11:20 AM   #2
Intergalactic Postmaster
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 8,656
Originally Posted by Ghayes48 View Post
I keep getting emails sent to my user name but the wrong provider...
Welcome to the EMD Forums!

If you have an account at Gmail, the only way that you can receive an email at that account if if the message is sent to the server. Here is an explanation of what is probably going on:
  • If you send a piece of physical postal mail, the envelope shows the actual address the mail is sent to, no matter what is shown inside the envelope.
  • Similarly, there is an envelope address which is used to direct the email to the proper receiving server (in this case at Gmail). The envelope details are hidden from direct view by the user in most cases.
  • The email which is transferred to the receiving server contains several email headers in addition to the message body. These headers contain the contents of the To and Cc addressing fields as well as the From address and subject. These headers are usually available to be seen by the person reading the received email.
  • If someone sends you an email via BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), the addresses in the BCC field are used to generate envelope addresses, but these BCC addresses are hidden from all recipients.
  • This means that you can receive an email which does not contain your email address in To or Cc, since the sender placed your address in the hidden BCC field when sending.
My guess is that these were spam messages, and the sender just copied the user portion of the address (left of @) to various other domains so they could try to get their message to that recipient if they happened to use the same address at different domains. They could have left the To and Cc fields empty, but that might cause you to question the message. They hope that if you see your username in part of the To field you will not reject the message.

Since the message was actually sent to your Gmail address (although you can't tell that in the To or Cc fields since they used BCC), it's not possible to easily block all such messages unless you want to not allow your friends and businesses to use BCC. You should just mark spammy messages as spam and delete them. If you get on a valid commercial mailing list, use the unsubscribe link at the bottom or inform the sender that you don't want such messages. But if you see your username at a different domain in To, it's pretty obvious it's spam and it's best to just delete it without replying.


Last edited by n5bb : 29 Dec 2020 at 11:37 AM. Reason: I hit send too soon!
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