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What is spoofing?

Email spoofing is the practice of forging an email so that it looks like it came from someone else. This is a common tactic used by spammers, who put legitimate email addresses in the From field to make their messages look genuine. It is a way of getting around anti-spam controls which refer to a "blacklist" of known originators of spam email.

An unsuspecting victim whose address has been spoofed will look as though SPAM (unsolicited email) or possibly a virus has originated from them. Any messages replied to, whether automatically from a mail system or complaints from recipients are returned to the victim and not the original sender.

Unfortunately there is nothing that individuals can do to prevent this from happening, and it is a problem that many web users are likely to experience from time to time.

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This is question number 1081, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Neale Type on 16 March 2004 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 31 October 2016