Weird Emails

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kootenay joe
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Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:06 pm

In the last about month i have been receiving about 8-10 'weird' emails every day. The 'topic' line always is the name of a large established business like "Shoppers Drug Mart" or "Telus" (telecommunications company), etc. But the sender's email address is a long string of numbers and letters and #, %, *, etc.
The body of the email is either blank, nothing there, or else a current date and time, like this: "Sat, 17 Oct 2020 10:33:39 +0200 ". There is always "+200" after the time.
There is never an attachment.
Does anyone know what this is about, or what is going on ?
Can my computer get 'infected' by opening these emails ?
Is anyone else receiving similar emails ?
thank you for the help.
kj

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cody6268
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by cody6268 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:16 pm

I typically never open those. I did have one actually from Adobe that someone in marketing did mess up, and it was followed up by the actual email.

Usually, they end up in my SPAM folder, and I typically just block the senders and move on. I keep getting them sometimes from the same address, but a different name with the domain; and I will often have to set up a filter to block those.

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:30 pm

I click on "Add Sender's Domain to Blocked Sender List" but they still keep coming in.
What is "Domain" ?
kj

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cody6268
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by cody6268 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:48 pm

kootenay joe wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:30 pm
I click on "Add Sender's Domain to Blocked Sender List" but they still keep coming in.
What is "Domain" ?
kj

That is the letters after the "@" symbol. For example mine is @gmail.com.

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:53 pm

Wow, so simple. Thank you.
But they keep coming in so sender must have multiple domain addresses. I will start to check this.
kj
kj

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KLJ77
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:12 pm

Typically, when we provide our email addy to sites we have purchased something from, some of these sites lay aside their ethics and sell your email addy. It's quite a lucrative thing, if they collect hundreds / thousands of email addy's and sell them for a monetary percentage. One never knows exactly who's going to sell your addy to someone else or pass it on to other parties. I've provided my email addy to sites before...and within hours, I begin to get unsolicited emails, notifications and junk from unknown sources. Delete, delete, and delete. Don't even open them.

As to opening an email and getting infected...that's never happened to me. However...NEVER open a link or attachment in ANY email from someone you don't know. I'm sure you know this, so not trying to insult your intelligence...just validating a fact. I never reply to an unsolicited email...that only lets them know your email addy is active and live. The same with unsolicited phone calls. The best thing to do is just delete them without opening them. With technology today, I wouldn't be surprised if hackers can attach 'something' to an email and be activated by just opening it. ::shrug:: I personally don't take that chance.

I'm sure there are IT techs or people much more qualified than me to provide insight & expertise regarding this issue.
LJ

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bighomer
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by bighomer » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:42 pm

We bought a lot more stuff on line since this China virus, and I get more and more of this crap, most goes to junk but not all. My smart a$$ phone bugs me I get about 5 to 10 messages a day from from somebody wanting me know that I'm due compensation from a lawsuit involving the BSA, I was never a boy scout,, and I don't want to even go into the ones involving insurance and warranties for my ole vehicles. ::uc:: ::woot:: ::sotb::

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm

These emails i am receiving are not trying to sell anything. They are either blank or have the date & time plus "+0200".
How does this benefit the sender ?
kj

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KLJ77
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:50 pm

kootenay joe wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm
These emails i am receiving are not trying to sell anything. They are either blank or have the date & time plus "+0200".
How does this benefit the sender ?
kj
I'm not sure how to answer your question...but, I typed this; "receiving emails from unknown source with blank page" into my search engine and received a bunch of links identifying the same issue you're having. It appears to be happening with those who use MicroSoft email, gmail or hotmail. You're not the only one having to deal with these issues. Some of the links provided a 'fix', others only recommended that you just delete them.

Hope this helps and you get it figured out as to what's going on.
LJ

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those that vote for a living."

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:53 pm

Thank you LJ. Good to know that this is more widespread than just me.
My email is "telus.net" but my software is microsoft so does this make it "microsoft email" ? Telus is the main telephone & internet provider in B.C. & Alberta. Not a small company.
I am leery of attempting any 'fix' as i know so little about computers and the 'fix' might cause a problem elsewhere.
kj

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KLJ77
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:17 pm

KJ...I can only assume that; if you are using Microsoft hardware or operating system, then your email software would be "outlook" or "outlook express" for your email. ::shrug:: That's what I'm used to, based on me being a MS user for many years prior to changing over to a MAC.

The only other thing I can think of is; your internet provider, Telus, provided you with their own type of email program. I had the option of doing that with Verizon, but opted to keep my original MAC email, although it's Verizon who sends/receives my email. I hope that's not confusing.

You may try to call your internet provider, Telus, and ask them about what you're contending with and see if they can offer any assistance in dealing w/this issue. Just a thought.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by zzyzzogeton » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:37 pm

The +2:00 after the time is indicated the time zone of origination.

Time zones are lables "A" through "Z" with "J" or "JULIET" used to indicate "local time". "Z" or ZULU time zone is centered on Greenwich England.

"A" or "ALPHA" time zone is 1 time zone east or +time to Greenwich, while "NOVEMBER" is 1 time zone west or - time. "ALPHA" to "MIKE" go east, "NOVEMBER" to "YANKEE" go west.


"M" or "MIKE"and "Y" or "YANKEE" both represnt 12 hours from ZULU time, but "MIKE" is +12 hours and "YANKEE" is minus 12 hours. Mike and Yankee are separated by the International Date Line out in the Pacific Ocean.

+2:00 hours would represent "BRAVO" or "B" time zone. The countries observing "BRAVO" time are Finland, Lithiuania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Libya, Uganda, and the countries of the south tip of Africa.

Example - Roland is in British Columbia, which falls into "U" or "UNIFORM" time zone, which is -8 hours behind Greenwich - When it is midnight in Greewich, it is 1600 (4:00 PM) in Vancouver.

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:04 pm

Zzy, thank you for the clear description of how time zones are named and the significance of "+0200".
Yes i do use Outlook Express for email.
I will call the technical support at Telus tomorrow. If i learn anything important i will post it here.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:14 pm

So - lots of possible issues going on here, and not all the emails may have the same cause.

First: It is very easy to "spoof" the "From" address field in an email. The text name and address in the "From" field can be anything they want it to be. So, they can randomize the address and avoid your attempts to block by address or domain. So, sure, go ahead and set-up the blocks, but it might not actually do any good.

Next: A lot of the spam is sent by "botnets". A botnet is a large group of individual computers that have been compromised with malware. Once compromised, these computers are able to be controlled by a central controller computer (that is also probably a compromised computer). The spammers issue commands to the controller, and the controller relays those commands and a list of target addresses to the rest of the botnet. The botnet computers then execute hidden programs that communicate with compromised or rogue email servers to send out the spam. The compromised/rogue email servers and the botnet computers are constantly changing, so they can avoid the "blacklists" of known spam sending computers.

Next: The economics of spam does not always make sense unless you look at it from a higher level. There are literally millions of compromised computers in the world. Many of those are not operating correctly, and are no longer being actively controlled, or they might being partially operating and doing unexpected things. Those misbehaving computers cost the spammers nothing. They get paid for clicks and confirmed deliveries. If a percentage of the computers are not operating, so what? They don't care - there are always more computers to find and compromise.

Our entire email infrastructure is based on ancient technology that is easily compromised. There are many things we could do to make it much, much better - but we can't because it would break the existing systems. Any new systems that are produced never get off the ground because of the size of the existing systems. We're stuck.
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

kootenay joe
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:33 pm

Thanks TFL. I really enjoy & benefit from reading your post. Basically i thought it was likely along the lines you explain. 'Bots' sending out messages that's a 'numbers game' for their pay-off. Sometimes i get the exact same email 2 or 3 times in quick succession.
These bots & scammers could totally dominate the entire email system so some entity will have to figure out how to prevent these 'bad' emails.
In Outlook Express i have to high-light an email before i hit 'Delete'. But, high lighting the email opens it.
How can i delete without opening the email ?
kj

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