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  • Mac "Mail": getting spam sent directly to "Junk", but cannot stop it coming.

    Posted on OscarCP Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS Mac "Mail": getting spam sent directly to "Junk", but cannot stop it coming.

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      • #2171829 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I was used to be reasonably spam-free, as far as the email I receive daily, until a few weeks ago, when I started to see, sent directly to the “Junk” folder by the Mac’s email client “Mail” — a client that I have used without problems for 2 1/2 years so far — several mails a day from places where someone wants me to buy from them home insurance, or get some software to prevent malware infections, etc.

        At first I deleted them by clicking on the “Erase Junk Mail” button, and then it was gone. That still works, but it is tricky: sometimes legitimate mails sent to me end up, for some obscure historical reason, in the “Junk” folder, for example recent ones from a college I know well at the German Space Agency, sent from his official address at the Agency. So I cannot have a policy set up to delete automatically  everything destined, otherwise, by “Mail” to “Junk.”

        So I have tried setting up “rules” to delete the offending ones, first going by the email of the sender, then by words that always repeat in the “subject”  field. I am not up to setting up a rule to delete emails that have certain words or expressions in the text, because ever if they are very unlikely to crop up, sensu stricto, in legitimate correspondence sent to me, they might still do in some metaphorical expressions where a legitimate correspondent may choose to use them, and I cannot risk that.

        By now, in the period of just one week, I have already setup 10 such “rules” causing the immediate deletion of the emails in question, but the spam still keeps coming, from the same sources, as far as I can  tell by the emails texts I can see in the review panel (I never open them).

        So any help, advice, etc. on what to do — preferably when using the Mac’s “Mail” client, that might help end this apparently endless game of junk email whack-a-mole — that someone might be able to provide here, shall be very much appreciated. And, possibly, not just by me.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2171854 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I’ve also had issues with Junk Mail and macOS Mail. I’ve been testing Outlook for Mac which has a Block Senders feature similar to Outlook for Windows. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, but it may also be a whack a mole feature.

        Apple does have a feature in macOS Mail in Catalina for sending certain email addresses directly to trash, but it is still a whack-a-mole feature.

        I have my Junk mailbox in macOS Mail set to purge after one day. That allows me to check for any legit emails I need to whitelist, then have the rest auto toss after 24 hours (when I actively use it).

        First of all, who is your mail provider? You may be able to setup some junk mail filters from the server side to block some junk mail.

        I’ve always had issues with iCloud email since it has virtually no server side junk filter. I have now resorted to forwarding my iCloud emails to a third-party mail server with WebMate, although occasionally Apple balks at the handoff between iCloud and WebMate, so a couple of legitimate emails have bounced (I’ve had to update those to go straight to my WebMate email address instead). At least with WebMate, I have the ability to server side block junk mail. Now 99% of the junk mail I receive each day comes from an older work email I have I may need to simply pull to stop its junk mail flow. The rest of the junk emails from iCloud are properly being blocked by filtering them through WebMate.

        There are a couple of client side junk filters which are decent. SpamSieve is one I’ve used in the past, and there used to be a version of SPAMfighter for Mac, but it may not be updated for modern Macs.

        I’d first check to see if your mail provider can do server side junk filtering. If so, set it up, and that should help. If it doesn’t, you could forward your email address to one that does (Gmail does offer it, although I use WebMate since their service is ad-free and only about $3/month for an enterprise-grade email box with 100% uptime and excellent support, if anyone does signup with WebMate, tell them I sent you since I know their support reps personally).

        You could also take a trial of a client side junk filter such as SpamSieve to see if it helps any as well.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171863 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Nathan, I find interesting the idea of letting “Mail” delete all junk mail after 24 hours. Can that be set up so it is done after 48 hours? And, if I have to go away for several days or something else is going to prevent me from checking my email for more than 48 hours, can I turn off the feature until I am back to working normally with the  Mac, so I then can first inspect the accumulated junk, see if something there should have been put instead in the inbox and, if so, move it there before deleting the rest and turning the “after 48 hours delete” feature back on?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by OscarCP.
      • #2171869 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        There is a way to disable the feature when need be (it can be switched on and off at will), as well as there is a way to bump up the number to a higher level (a week, a month, etc.). It should be under your Accounts tab in macOS Mail Preferences.

        I may also take a trial of SpamSieve and see if it’s worth using (it’s been a while since I’ve last used it). Recent reviews on it are quite favorable. It seems SPAMfighter is no longer available for Mac (I found it was effective on Windows). It seems SpamSieve is the preferred third-party client side filter.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171879 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Clearing the junk folder after one day doesn’t allow you to have a holiday or be sick. Less than a week is bad, m’kay.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2171898 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Pul T wrote: “Clearing the junk folder after one day doesn’t allow you to have a holiday or be sick.” Or, I may add, getting up much later than usual. I agree entirely. So, following Nathan’s explanation of how to get Mail to delete all that ended in Junk after it’s been a certain time there (choices being: one day, one week, one month, and the default: never), I have set it up to remove all the mails accumulated in Junk after one week. The next possibility up, after one month, is probably longer than I could bear.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171900 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I was used to be reasonably spam-free, as far as the email I receive daily, until a few weeks ago

        If you are suddenly starting to get SPAM mail it may mean your email address has been hacked.
        Check it at ‘;–have i been pwned?

        https://haveibeenpwned.com/

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2171908 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          More likely it’s been harvested. Nothing you can do about that.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171911 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Alex and Paul T, you both are right, at least going by the assessment at “haveibeenpawned” :

        Pwned on 1 breached site and found no pastes

        Also, according to the same site, my password has not been “pawned.” (As far as the information available at this site goes.)

        I understand this to mean that some site where my email was kept along with other personal data was broken into and had this information stolen (along, most likely with the information of many others), that it has been put on offer at some convenient Web site and then sold to spammers, that some email addresses, etc. have been put in lists as ammunition to be fired away by their attack software, hoping to hit enough possible “marks” to make money scamming some of them. As Paul, wrote, there is nothing one can do about this — other than to take measures to make sure that most spam ends up in the junk mail and then either delete it soon by hand, or, as what I think is a better idea and one I am now about to test in practice, to have it automatically deleted after a week of being junked.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171921 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        As Paul, wrote, there is nothing one can do about this

        You can change your email address for that site/sites…

        • #2172160 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Alex, correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I know, I can only change my email address for everybody, and that would mean much more trouble than just letting the junk pile up for up to a week, so I can inspect the pile daily to see if there is anything legitimate that should have been put in the inbox, not in the Junk folder and move it out of there, letting all the rest go down the tubes at the appointed time.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2172165 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Alex, correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I know,

        If you use that same email address for everywhere : registered services, sites, friends, contacts…
        so yes, replacing your email address will be a burden.
        If you use the email address with your banking, mortgage, loans, credit companies, ISP,… you may be in trouble.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2189928 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I managed to dig up my old license key of SpamSieve (works with the latest version). I installed SpamSieve tonight on my Mac and am testing it with Outlook and macOS Mail. I will test for a bit and give my review in an upcoming AskWoody Column.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2189954 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Something interesting has happened since, ten days ago, I set “Mail” in the Mac to delete Junk mail after a week. It might or it might not have to do with my ISP (originally, it was Verizon, but then Verizon bought AOL and let it take over the email part of the business, so oddly enough, now, in the 21st Century, I have AOL as my ISP).

          Well, the remarkable thing that has happened is twofold:

          (1) The steady deluge of junk mail that moved me to  begin this thread in the first place, has ceased since the moment when I took action and only ten emails already in the Junk folder that day (the ‘0’ day), remained there.

          (2) Slowly but steadily, no new pieces of junk arrived, while the ones already in the folder from day 0 gradually disappeared. At the moment only three of the “0 day” ones remain, and they are older than one week already, so the “flush them out after seven days” Mail is set to do is not happening with those as it did with the others.

          But as long as no more junk comes in, I am glad to let those remain there, unless someone has a different suggestion. For all I know, they might be working as a cork or stopper to block new ones from coming in… Not all that computers do can be explained by logic and science: magic is also a reason, and more often than many would expect.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2189970 Reply
            Nathan Parker
            AskWoody_MVP

            Glad your junk mail is slacking off! Great news!

            Nathan Parker

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2209592 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I believe that something I had to do stanched the deluge of junk emails and kept only a few already in at the time.

        After Verizon farmed off the email part of its business to AOL (that now it owns, having bough it a few years ago) I remained connected to a Verizon server, besides to the one of AOL (having two might be better than just one, I thought). Both servers received and forwarded mail to me, so many, not all, emails were showing up twice in my email client’s “In” box. That was a very minor nuisance: I just read one of them and then deleted the other. But something happened recently, and Verizon’s server started to play up. So I cancelled the Verizon account and kept just AOL’s. And, after that, I noticed the stopping of the massive influx of junk that had become, out of the blue, a real problem for me. And, so far, things are back to normal, already some weeks after the problem first seem to go away.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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