There are many ways that you can get email that you do not want - or to get email that appears as if it is from someone or some organization you know when in fact it is not from them at all.
There are times when you may get bombarded with messages saying your email could not be delivered and you know you did not ever send the email the mail is referencing.
There are a few different ways these emails come about.
1) Mail you actually though inadvertently agreed to receive:
When you sign up for something online - or make a purchase - there are terms you must agree to - sometimes those terms include the right of the service to share your information with partners. Sometimes another box is checked that indicates you want to hear from them periodically. Do not opt-in for anything you do not explicitly want. Read everything before you agree!
2)Forged email headers:
A spammer gets a list and they do not want to get the bounces or the blame - so they pick a name from the list and send "as" that person. That person then gets the bounces from machines that are not sophisticated enough to determine the forgery.
Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing typically c directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Even when using server authentication, it may require tremendous skill to detect that the website is fake. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to fool users into providing important personal information used in identity theft scams. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.
Learn how to read mail headers!
The headers of an email can help you identify the origination of the email. You must be very careful though - I have seen instances where a scammer has registered domain names that are almost identical to the real site. That leaves you to a "best practice" concept of NEVER clicking on a link in an email if the site in question has any identifying information about you.
This is a pet peave of mine...
Your well meaning friends send an email about somebody somewhere who had this horrible thing happen because they dialed an area code or stopped for a policeman in sunglasses or some other thing...
Please do not forward it to everyone you know! You will not get a happy surprise if you forward a prayer and Timmy will not be disappointed if you break the chain... PLEASE use email to communicate real information to people who want it.
Email Petitions are bogus
But spammers and ID thieves think they are a wonderful way to collect information... stop the insanity delete it!
I copy the subject line and paste it into google with the word "hoax" and usually come up with loads of ammo for my well meaning ininformed friends - who are too lazy to do that before sending it to me.
Please go to google!
OH AND - just because an email SAYS they have confirmed it on snopes - many times what they have confirmed is that it is listed on Snopes! Please please please - do not forward what you have not validated!
Look on Hoax Slayer:
NOTE: CompanyV will not ever inform you by email that your account has been disabled - we would call you if we saw you were spewing spam - or we would shut off your account and then call you. We would not send you an attachment with a password to a zipped file.
If you do not know about our services to stop spam and scan for virus before your mail reaches you please check out DeSpaminator !
This page is in response to calls we have received from customers who have been sent email that looks like it is from someone they know - but the email actually contains a virus.
You or your customers may have received email regarding your email account being disabled - or email warning you about sending spam. Or other email - that looks like it came from someone you know. BE VERY CAUTIOUS!
There have been many other mutations of this email since we first posted this page.
NEVER open attachments that you are not expecting!
At CompanyV we do take SPAM very seriously and will contact you if we see a spam run from you on our servers. BUT - we will contact you directly!
If a users machine gets infected with some viruses it can send auto generated emails from the mail account using Outlook and other email programs.
This is an example of what some emails looks like:
Subject: Email account utilization warning.
Dear user of YourDomain.com,
Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper using in next three days, if you are still wishing to use it, please, resign your account information.
Please, read the attach for further details.
In order to read the attach you have to use the following password: 
The YourDomain.com team
The email was generated by a machine infected with the virus
W32/Bagle.Q@MM (aka W32/Beagle.O@MM)Symantec Last Updated 3/18/04 11:30AM
Several new variants of the W32/bagle@mm email virus are in the wild. W32/Bagle.q@MM, W32/Bagle.r@MM, W32/Bagle.s@MM, and W32/Bagle.t@MM are all mass-mailing HTML email worms.
The email contains HTML code that will propagate when the email is opened. The HTML email uses a Microsoft Internet Explorer vulnerability described in security bulletin MS04-004 to download the worm on port 81 without requiring user intervention/action.
Call us - we can set up a spam and virus filters on your email that will blow away most of your worries!
CompanyV.com does not recommend the use of ANY of Microsoft products for internet use!
TURN OFF any Outlook mail viewers in other products like Eudora.
Keep all virus protection current on all machines.
Scan all incoming email, files and attachments.
Follow strict professional internet protocol when sending mass email communications.
Never open anything if you do not know what it is - and if you know what it is please scan it for virus anyway!
Do not use html formatted email- - the message is important - your website is the place for pretty backgrounds and fancy formatting.
CompanyV has two kinds of spam and virus solutions - either for your domain or for your company. This is not an off-the shelf product - this is an ongoing service system. Call us for details. 310 395-745
WHAT ABOUT OTHER WARNINGS?
You might get other warnings like a message from a site saying "The following message had attachment(s) which contained viruses". You look at it and know you did not send an email to that person.
Same thing - when the virus gets in a computer it raids the address book - it then send mail to and forges mail from everyone in the address book.
If we could truly predict the future we would make millions! Until we get that figured out we stay on top of emerging security technology as well as emerging trends and threats. However with the proliferation of "online accounts and applications" it is more and more important that you protect passwords and account information! Generate passwords that can not be guessed - a great way to put a secure password together is to think of something that only you really know - like:
I grew up in a house at 43 Green Street in Boulder Colorado and loved summers.
from that thought I could create a password: Igu43gsbcs I could Obfuscate it a bit more by changing the first letter to a number and inserting the @ sign changing it to:
NEVER obfuscate your name or dictionary words to use as passwords - they are as easy to hack as a word. Once a hacker has a password to server the entire server is then vulnerable.
Another threat is the meltdown of a computer that has your important information on it. If you do not have both backups and offsite backups call us! We can image your computers and run hosted offsite backups to suit your specific needs!
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
TO COMPANYV CUSTOMERS:
If you would like assistance in finding header information for an email please contact us.