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Spam Flagging

FIXED
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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Spam Flagging

Can anybody tell me who flags incoming email messages with ****SPAM**** in the Subject Title?  All the messages currently being flagged are being received from a family member.  Is there anything that can be done to stop it?

My apologies if this question has been asked before but I have searched without success.

14 REPLIES 14
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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,063
Thanks: 1,369
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

The spam settings for your account are controlled by settings in Manage My Mail in the Member Centre. To view these login to Member Centre (at https://www.plus.net/index_nlp.html) then click Email Settings on the left and Manage My Mail (centre). Select the Spam tab.

Spam tagging is controlled by one of the settings there. However I don't think turning that off is the best approach for this problem. The messages concerned are being tagged because the Cloudmark spam filters suspect they are. They need to be trained to take a different view.

Training is done by submitting incorrectly classified messages from webmail. To do this login to wemail at https://webmail.plus.net/. If problem messages are still in Inbox (because Cloudmark thinks they are just slightly spammy) you need to move them to the Junk/Spam folder. Clearly if they are already in the Junk/Spam folder moving them is not necessary

Now click on the Junk folder to display its contents. Select one of the messages to be reported and click the This message is not spam button illustrated. That should submit a report and move the message to Inbox (though the [-SPAM-] tag will not be removed).

WMreportNotSpam.png

Report several using this method and hopefully Cloudmark will change its behaviour. However if tagging of messages continues Plusnet will have to analyse typical messages to establish what is happening.

David
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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

Many thanks for the response.  I don't use WebMail as I download email to my PC at home at regular intervals throughout the day.  I mark them as "not spam" which as you say does not remove the tag but I imagine does not train any of the spam filiters.  I know that the [-SPAM-] tag is added by PlusNet and I can control it from Settings in Manage My Mail.  But, as you suggest I don't want to turn this off.

Do you know who adds the [****SPAM****] tag?  Is there any way this can be controlled, either by me or the sender of the emails?

Thanks again for your response.

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,063
Thanks: 1,369
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

Sorry, I made the assumption that the asterisks shown in your opening post were for emphasis rather than the actual marking. It won't be Cloudmark tagging that gives asterisks.

It would be rather perverse if such a marking was added by the sender's email system though since it is purely text it could be put (or left) there by the sender. Since the sender is a friend have you asked?

Assuming it isn't there at source, and assuming you don't use email forwarding, the next potential origin is after arrival in your mailbox. Do you use a tool such as mailwasher to preview your messages before downloading them? After that comes your own email program/client - is spam checking built into that? You mentioned "downloading messages during the day" - are you using POP3 collection (not that that matters)?

Which email client do you use?

David
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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

Many thanks for your reply.

I am confident the tag isn't there at source.  I think the message headers for the most recent tagged email show the message was tagged as spam in transmission (see attached PDF).  I don't use any tool to preview messages before downloading them.  We both have our own domain names so emails are forwarded to our ISP using an actual email address.  I use POP3 and MS Outlook and am not aware it has any spam checking built in.

The attached PDF has had all personal information removed - I hope!  My concern is for my son (the sender) as he uses his business domain name for all email and it might not be too good if messages to clients are being tagged as spam.

I appreciate your help.

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,063
Thanks: 1,369
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

Thanks for attaching the headers, having sight of those is very useful. Thumbs_Up

They are a little difficult to follow since the same name1 and name2 substitutions appear to have been made for sender and recipient. However it seems to me that your domain is hosted by 123-reg and emails to you are sent there. They are then forwarded to your Plusnet address.

The servers at 123-reg do SPF checking and this passes. Antivirus checks also give a clean result. However Spam checking is also done, and that fails leading to an X-Spam-Flag header being set to YES. I assume this results in the Subject line being tagged with ****SPAM**** before the message is forwarded.

So I think you need to look into how your emails are handled at 123-reg to understand why the messages are scored as Spam (which leads to them being tagged).

The example transaction has not raised any Spam related concerns from the Plusnet Cloudmarks. It might be useful to check if that still holds if the sender sends a message directly to your Plusnet address rather than sending to your domain.

Unconnected question - are you running both AVG and Avast antivirus on your own PC? Both of these appear to have scanned the incoming message. Running more than one antivirus is generally not recommended.

David
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Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,177
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Registered: ‎25-03-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

Hi @Lucifer,

I've discussed this with a colleague and it doesn't appear to be us, but what @spraxyt has said sounds plausible.

 

The servers at 123-reg do SPF checking and this passes. Antivirus checks also give a clean result. However Spam checking is also done, and that fails leading to an X-Spam-Flag header being set to YES. I assume this results in the Subject line being tagged with ****SPAM**** before the message is forwarded.
So I think you need to look into how your emails are handled at 123-reg to understand why the messages are scored as Spam (which leads to them being tagged).

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Infrastructure Operations Professional
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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

Many thanks to you both.  I have had a somewhat unsatisfactory conversation with 123Reg but my conclusion is that 123Reg are the source of the tag (I only use 123Reg for the registration of my personal domain name and mail forwarding).

To change the settings select the domain in question and drill down through “Manage Email”.  Find the “Forwarder Settings” page (see attached) and select “Preferences, Spam Filtering, Change Settings”.

On the "Spam Filter Settings" page there are two controls for Flagging and Deleting (see attached).

"Anti-spam filtering is set at the domain level. The settings on this will affect all the email addresses registered with this domain. The list below displays all of the email addresses affected by these settings"

The controls are well hidden and I have not yet found anywhere on the 123Reg website where it specifies the tag used to flag spam above the selected level.

SOLUTION:  Set 123Reg Spam Flagging down a notch or two, or better still find out why messages from the family member are being tagged.  Meanwhile I am going to set the flagging level to zero (very high) to see what happens.

123Reg informed me that these "Forwarder Settings" only apply if I have a mailbox with them.  My tests so far indicate this to be not correct.

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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

HarryB.  I posted a reply to you and Spraxyt. It popped up, then there was a message I didn't get to read, and now my reply has disapperead.  I think the message was about my message being junk!  Can you rescue my reply?

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Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 29,972
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

Moderator's note by Dick (Strat): Posts released from Spam Filter.

Customer and Forum Moderator. Windows 10 Firefox 83.0 (64-bit)

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Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,915
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎11-01-2018

Re: Spam Flagging

 

Hi @Lucifer

 

Your post has been released from the spam filter now (no irony intended!)

 

From what you've written I would concur with @HarryB and @spraxyt that this does indeed relate to 123Reg rather than ourselves.

 

All the best getting this resolved.

 

Dave

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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

Having set the 123Reg spam flagging level to maximum all messages to a personal domain name email address are now being flagged.  My conclusion that 123Reg are the source of the ****SPAM**** flag would appear to be correct.

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,063
Thanks: 1,369
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

Fix

If you move the 123-reg top slider fully over to the right (10) - and save settings - I think you will find forwarded emails do not get tagged. Absence of the tag would add further credence that 123-reg are the source of that tag.

David
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Dabbler
Posts: 17
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Spam Flagging

The slider has now been moved to minimum and I am confident messages will no longer be flagged. The following is the one useful thing that came out from my unsatisfactory conversation with 123Reg.

In order to avoid your emails being flagged by spam filters due to their content, please avoid as much as possible the following:

- using HTML;
- using links;
- using attachments;
- using coloured fonts;
- using words and phrases that trigger spam filters:

The messages from the family member fell foul of most of the above!  However, my conversation with 123Reg was somewhat confused so how reliable is this information?

A message (HTML, links and coloured fonts) from said family member has just been received ... flag free.

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Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,063
Thanks: 1,369
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Spam Flagging

I'm pleased that the source of the annoying tagging has been discovered with acceptable mitigation applied. Thumbs_Up

I think the list of spammy characteristics you were given by 123-reg is realistic.However taken literally avoiding all those rather limits the richness of a communication. The problem is always the machine (algorithm) based spam filtering is never going to be as good as a human doing it. Getting the balance right is the challenge for spam protection vendors.

The headers you attached to an earlier post included

X-Mailcore-Spam-Score: 6.0 (++++++) 
X-Spam-Score: 6.0 (++++++) 

where 6.0 struck me as a high value (assumed out of 10), for a normal communication you were obviously happy to receive. However maybe the style of message does indeed justify suspicion by the spam filter. What you've done now is move your tolerance level to the right of 6 (in fact to 10) to override the machine..

David