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What To Do If Your Company Is The Victim of Domain Spoofing

Dec 24, 2007
When it comes to your company website, one of the most important things for ensuring continued business is your reputation. And one of the best ways to ruin your online reputation is through spamming, or sending out mass quantities of unsolicited emails.

However, even if you are the most moral and law-abiding person in the world, you still might be accused of spamming due to an illegal practice of spoofing. Spoofing is when a spammer decides to use the domain name of your company as the return address for the unsolicited emails he/she is sending out, and doing this is now illegal under the Federal CAN SPAM Act of 2004.

So how can you tell if a spammer has been using your domain name as a return address and potentially ruining your good name and reputation? There are a few ways to tell: First, you might start to get emails in your company inbox from lots of people that you do not know, asking you to remove them from your mailing list. This would be an especially good indicator if you do not even have an email list!Another way is if you begin to receive large quantities of returned mail in your company inbox, and it is for emails that you actually never sent.

If this begins to happen to you, the worst case scenario would be that somebody has gained unauthorized access to your mail server and is using it to actually send the messages promoting viagra or xanax from your company email addresses, instead of just using your domain name as the return address. What you will want to do is contact your web host as soon as you can and probably forward a few of the emails that you have been receiving to show them what is happening.

Something that can happen due to domain spoofing is that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may give you a temporary ban because you are suspected of sending unsolicited spam emails, so it might be a good idea to either contact the ISP yourself, or if you have a good relationship with your hosting company then you might ask them to do it.

You will also probably want to report this activity to the Federal Trade Commission, which is the main organization body that deals with spam and cyber-crime related activities. You should be aware though that spamming does not rank the highest on the FTC's 'spectrum' of illegal activities, so they may not come running to help you, but they should still advise you on what moves to take next in order to minimize the damage.
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