Then what action should I take?

When people receive a spam email, their most common reaction is to simply delete it. This is a quick and effortless method of dealing with spam, and although it will not stop spam from arriving, at least it doesn't waste alot of time.

However, it is sometimes the case that you would like to see an end to spams originating from a particular source, or for a particular offer. There are several methods available to you for dealing with spam in a more direct manner. Before we get into these methods, we must first dispell a few myths:

  1. It is impossible to find spammers: although spammers use many ploys to hide their identity and whereabouts, usually with a little digging, it is possible to locate the actual originating email address.
  2. You need to be a computer wiz to fight spam: this is far from the truth. In fact, the vast majority of spammers are really technologically (and socially) inept. Hunting them down, and reporting on them is easier than you may imagine.
  3. Spammers don't care if you find them: this may be true if all you do is send them a nasty email; however, if you take the proper measures, you can shut down the email address(es) that a spammer is using, or get their mail server blacklisted. This is a large inconvenience for spammers, and will slow their activity or stop it completely.
  4. Spammers will stop sending you spam if you ask them to: most spammers would love to have you believe this one. Some people think that simply sending the spammer a response email telling them to "get lost" will be enough to deter future spams. The opposite is often the case. Sending a response email tells the spammer that your email address is active, and that you are paying attention to the messages it receives. This may actually serve to generate more spam for you in the future.

With these myths safely behind us, lets now delve into what you can do as a concerned internet user to stop a particular spammer in his or her tracks.

If you would rather have someone else deal with the matter, you can simply notify your postmaster about the spam you have received and ask them to do something about it. Your postmaster can usually be found at where the "" portion is the domain name portion of your email address. This may result in the spammer's server or email address being blacklisted by your domain's servers.

However, sometimes the postmaster is too busy, apathetic, or otherwise unwilling to do anything. With this in mind, you may wish to take action yourself to see to it that the spammer is stopped.

The first step in actively fighting spam is to trace the message and find out where it is coming from.

Once the originating email address or domain name has been found, there are a number of ways for you to report the spammer to the proper authorities.