What Happens When You Report A SPAM Email?
We all get spam emails pretty much all the time. Most of them go right into our spam folders; however, now and then one ends up in your inbox. Once you do see a spam email, should you mark it as spam or is that a waste of time?
Why Report Spam Email
Generally speaking, you should report spam using the “spam”, “junk”, or similar folder in your email program or web interface. In most cases, marking the email as spam really does nothing to reduce the amount of spam targeting your email address, but less of it will end up in your inbox, since it will be deflected into your spam folder.
However, particularly for web-based email services, the collective user feedback is how the system learns what is and is not spam. This information is collected and used to tune what the email service looks for when deciding something is spam and whether or not to automatically place it in your spam folder for you.
In other words, the more you report spam, the better the spam filter gets.
What Else You Can Do
You could also forward unwanted or deceptive messages to:
- The Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the complete spam email.
- Your email provider. At the top of the message, state that you’re complaining about being spammed. Some email services have buttons that allow you to mark messages as junk mail or report them spam.
- The sender’s email provider, if you can tell who it is. Most web mail providers and ISPs want to cut off spammers who abuse their system. Again, make sure to include the entire spam email and say that you’re complaining about spam.
The FTC says its spam database has served as the basis for FTC cases involving pyramid schemes, money-making chain letters, credit card scams, credit repair scams, bogus weight-loss plans, fraudulent business opportunities, and other scams that were promoted via email.
If you try to unsubscribe from an email list and your request is not honored, file a complaint with the FTC.