Why did I receive an email from unknown addresses?

Dimal C July 24, 2013

I’ve a yahoo mail address which I use for my regular mailing activities! ( registering for sites, contacting friends, etc ). Recently I received a mailer daemon with unknown addresses attached to it and the mail was about a video link. I didn’t send this mail to any one.

Can anyone explain me what has happened here and what steps should I take to prevent this in the future!

I changed my password immediately when I saw this!

  1. amanda
    August 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hey Dimal!
    No need to worry at all. It might be some spammer that is sending the bulk messages.
    If you still continue to get the emails then, you can filter them by setting various criteria such as:
    You can block the emails from particular sender so that is doesn’t come to your inbox.
    • You can click the "Spam" or "Report Spam" button so that they will go to spam folder instead of inbox.
    • You can apply basic filters by the option: click the "More" drop-down menu and select "Filter messages like these."
    • You can also set advanced filters by clicking the "gear" icon in Gmail's top-right corner and selecting "Mail Settings," and then the "Filters" option in the main pane.

  2. MakeUseOf TechGuy
    July 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

    You can't prevent it - just ignore it. It doesn't mean your account has been compromised, it's just random silly messages generated by spammers.

  3. Oron J
    July 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    If I understood you correctly, you got a Non-Delivery-Receipt from an address you don't know. If so, I can think of two possibilities:
    1. There was a major breach in Yahoo's security around March so there's at least a chance that your account was hacked, and used for sending messages to all your contacts (and possibly some other addresses). I would suggest you reset your Yahoo password and security questions, just to be on the safe side.
    2. This could be backscatter. You can read the article on backscatter in Wikipedia, but in a nutshell, it's what happens when someone sends spam in your name (but NOT from your account) and some of the addresses the spam was sent to are invalid. The NDRs would then be sent to you, as it's your address on the "From" line, even though you didn't send the messages and they have nothing to do with you really. There's nothing you can do about this.

  4. dragonmouth
    July 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    You received spam. It could be an attempt to infect you with a virus. It could be an attempt to take over your computer. Whatever it is, it is not good.

    The first thing you should do is to report it as spam. Yahoo Mail must have a way to label emails as spam. Use it. Whatever you do, DO NOT open the message. Scan your computer for viruses. Scan your computer for other malware. In the future you can expect more spam. Not from the same sender but from many others.