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iCloud: Why am I getting junk mail (spam)?

Symptoms

Unsolicited bulk email messages are commonly called junk mail or spam. Here's why you might get junk mail, and what you can do about it.

Resolution

Why you might get junk mail

  • Senders of junk mail (spammers) have applications that guess common email addresses, such as addresses that use only a first name, a first initial and last name, or a popular nickname.
  • When you sign up for a service, the service could sell your email address to other services, and those services might send you unsolicited email.
  • When you post your email address on a public webpage, your address could be copied and used for unsolicited email.
  • Spammers who have your email address may provide it to other spammers.

What to do about junk mail

You can report junk mail to reduce the amount of it that you receive, then mark and filter it to keep it out of your inbox.

Report junk mail

You can report junk mail to the mail administrators of both iCloud and the Internet domain from which the email was sent. If the administrators can verify that the message is junk mail, they can help make sure that future messages from that sender aren't delivered to your mailbox. Follow the instructions for your email client:

OS X Mail

  1. Open the message and choose “Forward as Attachment” from the Message menu.
  2. Forward the message to iCloud spam@icloud.com.
  3. Forward the message again to abuse@domain, replacing domain with the part of the sender's email address after the @ symbol. For example, if the sender's email address is spammer@spammydomain.com, forward the message to abuse@spammydomain.com.

Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013

  1. Choose File > Options.
  2. In the Options window, click Mail in the left-hand panel.
  3. In the “Replies and Forwards” section, note the current setting so that you can change it back later. Then change the “When forwarding a message” setting to “Attach original message”.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Forward the message to iCloud spam@icloud.com.
  6. Forward the message again to abuse@domain, replacing domain with the part of the sender's email address after the @ symbol. For example, if the sender's email address is spammer@spammydomain.com, forward the message to abuse@spammydomain.com.
  7. To return Outlook to your previous settings, repeat steps 1 to 4, but in step 3 change the “When forwarding a message” setting back to the way it was. If you don't remember the setting, choose “Include original message text”.

Microsoft Outlook 2007

  1. Choose Tools > Options.
  2. In the Options window, click Email Options in the Preferences tab.
  3. In the Email Options window, under “On replies and forwards,” note the current setting so that you can change it back later. Then change the “When forwarding a message” setting to “Attach original message”.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Forward the message to iCloud spam@icloud.com.
  6. Forward the message again to abuse@domain, replacing domain with the part of the sender's email address after the @ symbol. For example, if the sender's email address is spammer@spammydomain.com, forward the message to abuse@spammydomain.com.
  7. To return Outlook to your previous settings, repeat steps 1 to 4, but in step 3 change the “When forwarding a message” setting back to the way it was. If you don't remember the setting, choose “Include original message text”.

Mark and filter junk mail

You can use the Mail app to mark messages as junk so that later messages from the same sender are automatically marked as junk:

  • In iOS 7 or later, open the message, tap the flag icon at the bottom, then tap Move to Junk.
  • In OS X, select the message and click the Junk (thumbs down) icon in the Mail toolbar.
  • At iCloud.com, select the message, then click the flag icon and choose Move to Junk. Or just drag the message to the Junk folder in the sidebar. The message is then automatically reported to iCloud as junk mail.

You can also set up rules in OS X Mail and at iCloud.com to automatically filter (move or delete) junk mail when you receive it. If you're using a different email application, consult that application's documentation for information about how to set up filters and forward a message with full email headers.

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Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 14, 2014
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