I have an email address that I use on websites I really don't trust, especially the kind where they are prone to displaying your email address in the clear. And it turns out I was right not to trust them, because some time yesterday evening I started getting absolutely floods (more than a hundred mails per hour) of bounce messages suggesting that this honeytrap email address had been sending out Viagra spam.
I have ended up turning off that email address altogether, because I couldn't cope with that many bounce messages. I only use it for authentication with dodgy websites, and for Facebook notifications. I would prefer FB didn't know my email address at all, and since they must have one, I don't really care whether I receive email notifications when someone tags me or they just randomly decide I haven't interacted with their site in revenue-generating ways recently.
But is there anything else I can do? Firstly to protect myself, and secondly to be socially responsible and prevent people from getting spammed in my name?
I think, but I don't know, that the spam machine is just inserting my email address into the "from" field, it doesn't actually have access to any accounts I own. Is there any way I can verify that this hunch is correct?
Is there any way I can reactivate the email address but not get thousands of bounce messages due to the spam apparently originating from it? Maybe just waiting a while, or is the the address hopelessly contaminated forever? This isn't a high priority, but it would be somewhat convenient to have access to that email address.
If I create a new honeytrap email address, is there any way I can prevent this from happening again? Probably not, but perhaps plus addressing or something similar would work?
Can I do anything at all to stop the spammers? I assume not, because they're not actually sending email from anything I control, just pretending that they're doing so. I'm also a bit scared that this problem may lead to my whole domain getting blacklisted, but again, I may just have to accept that this could happen and probably there isn't anything I can do.
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