How to Report Spam
Unfortunately, few among us are strangers to spam email. In fact, we have become so accustomed to receiving it, most of us are on autopilot when it comes to how to handle spam - we delete it. Although this may appear to be the simplest - and certainly the most convenient - solution, it will actually cost you a lot more time down the road.
Indeed, the only way to ensure spam becomes a thing of the past is by confronting it head-on. Learn how to report spam, so you can prevent unsolicited messages from entering not only your inbox. If we all took these simple measures, we could lead the way to stopping spam altogether.
Reporting Spam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
One of the fist steps to take when dealing with spam is to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Send a copy of the unsolicited email to email@example.com. Your email will then be stored in a database, so that the appropriate measures can be taken to deal with those at the heart of the offense.
If your request to be removed from a mailing list was not honored, you should also report to the FTC. Simply fill out the online form located at www.ftc.gov. This will send the site to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database so that both law enforcement and consumer protection agencies may access it.
You should also send a copy of the email to your Internet service provider (ISP). Normally, their abuse desk will have the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. This will alert them to the problem and help them to prevent it in the future. Likewise, you should also send a complaint email to the sender's ISP. They are usually glad to rid themselves of anyone abusing their system.
When reporting spam email, you will need to have the full header of the email you received. Most email programs have a method of acquiring this information. For example, if you use Microsoft Outlook, here are the steps you need to take:
- Left click the email in question and click on 'Properties'.
- Click the 'Details' tab, and then 'Message Source' - this will make the full header of the email available for viewing. You should then copy and paste this into the body of the email you send for reporting spam.
If you are unclear on how to retrieve this information, consult your email software's FAQ page on their website.