> One of my mail accounts at a particular ISP receives an enormous
> amount of spam. The reason for this is that the mailbox is
> identified by '@domain.name.co.uk'. This means that any character
> string preceding the '@' symbol will result in the message arriving
> in my mailbox, even if the name is not mine.
> This kind of addressing scheme may be OK for families or groups to
> receive individual mail at a common address, but I am the sole user
> of this account. The spammers are aware of this address scheme and
> delight in prefixing garbage strings to their junk messages, in the
> hope that someone will download and open the message (mainly aimed
> at adolescent boys, I think). A typical prefix is 'bksqe'.
> So far, not a major concern - just a nuisance. My filters reject
> anything that is not addressed to 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
> Today, there is a message in my ISP mailbox addressed to
> 'email@example.com' and sent from 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
> My copies to self folder has no record of such an outgoing
> Is this the spammers forging my address?
> Is there a genuine <email@example.com> out there?
> Has my ISP become infected?
> The header has 'Message-Id: <20020101090209.5217.qmail@localhost>'.
> The return path is an address in Germany.
> The reason for calling for help here is that I do not have AV
> software. I have avoided infection for a couple of decades by being
> careful about where I surf, and deleting suspicious mail (or very
> occasionally, checking with the source whether mail has been sent).
Generally there is no harm at all downloading a message containing a virus with WinPMail. There is nothing that will happen when you download or even open a message containing a virus as long as you do not execute it.
That said, there are a number of free anti-virus software packages out there that can be used with the VirScan extension than you probably should be using anyway. There is nothing that says one of your friends will not become infected and send you and attachment containing a virus.
> Have I succumbed at last, or is there another explanation?
> I would like to avoid the hassle of wrestling with McAffee, Norton
> and others if at all possible.
> Ideas, suggestions, prayers, magical spells - all welcome.