Why Am I Getting “Email Rejected” or Undeliverable Messages?

Every now and then we get a call from a client, telling us that they are receiving messages stating that their emails are being rejected, or “bouncing.” The catch? They never sent the email in the first place. So what’s going on?

Although we don’t see as much of this as we did several years back, what’s often happening is that someone else, with whom the client has corresponded, has a virus-infected computer, and that machine is sending out junk email (or viruses), purporting to be our client.

Forging an email, purporting to be someone whom you are not, is trivial, and unless you and/or your email provider have taken steps to secure your systems and your domain, anyone with a little know-how can easily send email as anyone, including you.

In the following graphic, we see an example, where [email protected] corresponds with [email protected]. An Evil Badguy manages to insert a virus onto Sally’s computer, and it starts to send out spam and viruses. But, this virus is smart! It doesn’t send the emails as Sally – it sends them emails as some random recipient in Sally’s address book, in this case, Joe. When Bob receives “Joe’s” email, he emails Joe to complain, but Joe has no idea what’s going on. He’s even scanned his computer for viruses and found no sign. In an effort to prevent this, Joe could set up an SPF record on his domain,, so that only authorized computers could send emails claiming to be, which could help cut down this sort of behavior.

3rd party virus emails
3rd party virus emails

If you think you are the victim of such a charade, contact us to see how Paradigm can help shield your domain from these attacks.

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