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jctennis123's avatar

It looks like a spam message got sent out from my hotmail. How can I make sure this doesn't happen again?

Asked by jctennis123 (427points) February 10th, 2010

It looks like a spam message just got sent out from my hotmail address. What the heck?????????? Anyways, I don’t want that to ever happen again. Should I just delete that email address? If something like that happens again I will have to. But until then what can I do?

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14 Answers

MrItty's avatar

What do you mean “it looks like” a spam was sent from your hotmail? What makes you believe that happened? Do you see this message in your own Sent Mail folder? Or did someone you know tell you they got spam claiming to be from you? Or did you receive the spam in your own inbox, claiming to be from you yourself?

Buttonstc's avatar

Switch to GMail. Far superior a service.

jctennis123's avatar

I have a gmail account too. Anyways I wake up this morning and I see a sent message delivered to several contacts that had a spam link on it for Canadian meds. It was sent to over 10 people. How could something enter my email account and send out spam like that? Also my inbox had several clues because it said “delivery to the following recipients failed” and about 3 of the 10 contacts apparently did not get the spam email. I am very concerned about this.

MrItty's avatar

@jctennis123 So you saw it in your own Sent Mail folder? Is that what you’re saying? If that’s the case, I’d say there are two possibilities: 1) Your computer has a virus. Install antivirus software immediately. 2) You unknowingly gave out your email password to someone. Maybe you fell for one of the “your email account will be deleted unless you send this back to us with your email and password!!!” scams. Maybe you installed some program that asked for your email address and password, and you thought nothing of it. Regardless, the fix is simple and obvious – change your email password.

jaytkay's avatar

Immediately change all your email passwords.

Also change any other passwords where money is involved; Paypal, banking, credit cards, iTunes, eBay, etc.

There has been a problem with hacked accounts, where somehow they obtain your password.

I am looking for a link for more info, but change the passwords pronto!

Apparently this can be malware on you computer which grabbed the password.

Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a full scan.

Install Microsoft Security Essentials (or Avast or Avira ) and run a full scan.

Those free programs are better than the for-pay (Symantec, Mcafee) solutions and they don’t bog your system down is much while begging for $$.

More details here: Windows Live Help – Recent reports of Account hijacks

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Something similar happened to me a month ago. Check out my Q&A on the topic. The answers there seem to have helped, because it hasn’t happened again.

jctennis123's avatar

Well I know my computer doesn’t have any viruses because its a mac. And I changed my password to a more complicated password. I read this article which said this is type of hotmail scam is starting to happen frequently. I also sent a message to the Hotmail team so they know about what happened. If this happens again I will probably just delete that account. @jaytkay Thanks for the tips. However my other passwords are different than my hotmail password so I know I am safe.

jctennis123's avatar

Thanks @CyanoticWasp I just read your previous Q&A

davidbetterman's avatar

Use your onscreen keyboard when entering password(s) to sensitive sites, like bank, paypal,, etc…You may have a keylogger spy on board.

jaytkay's avatar

The other passwords should still be changed, because the bad guys could have clicked on “I forgot my password” on one of those sites and received it via email or reset it, locking you out.

The email inbox is the key that opens your online identity.

robmandu's avatar

Chances are there’s nothing infecting your PC/Mac. Nor has Hotmail been compromised. Nor is there likely anything at all that you can do to prevent this.

The “from” field of an email is customizable. Very easily customizable. I can craft an email right now that says it’s from “” or “” or whatever I want.

The point is, it’s outside your control. The “from” address in email is not authenticated in any way whatsoever. SMTP is inherently based on truthfulness, trust, and the golden rule… which means it’s easy to subvert to nefarious ends.

And there’s not a thing you can do about it except to consider getting some sort of third-party authentication mechanism into the mix. But then, your recipients would need to do the same thing as well to see any benefit.

This is a common spam ploy. People often whitelist the contacts in their address book, and so this technique helps ensure that the spam stays in your inbox instead of auto-deleting to trash or junk folders.

How’d they get your email address in the first place? From marketers, or by trolling through online forums for comments associated with email addresses, or by simply sniffing network traffic. It’s easy.

Keep that in mind when emailing in general. Your email can be viewed by anyone at almost any time whilst in transit from A to B. Most internet traffic is unencrypted and openly viewable to those that so desire.

MrItty's avatar

@robmandu Everything you said would be perfectly valid – if @jctennis123 had just recieved this copy in her Inbox. But she didn’t. She said she found it in her Sent Mail folder. A malicious user just crafting a fake “From:” field can’t make that happen.

That’s the reason for my questions in the first response. Because if it had just been in her inbox, that’s exactly what I’d’ve answered as well.

robmandu's avatar

@MrItty, dangit… I even read that quip… but obviously too fast.

I agree with your assessment… that’s a hack job.

jctennis123's avatar

To be specific it wasn’t in the inbox it was in the sent. Thank you all for your help!

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