Catching ATT bogus messages


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Make Outlook trap the latest ATT bogus messages, even if you’re an ATT customer.

Every once in a while, spammers make a new email that bypasses even the High junk email setting in Outlook. When that happens you need to setup your own rule to remove them, until Microsoft’s spam filter catches up.

In this case, ATT customers need to make a filter which catches the fake messages and leaves the real ones in the Inbox.

Here’s some examples, as they sit in our heavily filtered Inbox:

ATT fake email image from Catching ATT bogus messages at Office-Watch.com

ATT Fake email image from Catching ATT bogus messages at Office-Watch.com

ATT fake email image from Catching ATT bogus messages at Office-Watch.com


What to do?

Eventually Microsoft will update their Junk E-mail Filter to deal with these messages but in the meantime you’re on your own.

For many people the best option is simply the delete key – just press that to get rid of the nuisance messages.

However the manual option might not suit you or you’re responsible for many copies of Outlook and need a way to automatically handle this nuisance.


A quick analysis

Look at the messages and look for common features that can only apply to the spam emails.

These spam emails are trickier than most. Look at the above examples and you’ll see there’s variations of the sender and subject to bypass a simple rule (eg there’s no ‘ATT’ in the third example’s subject).

The senders line is promising – each one has either ‘ATT’ or ‘AT&T’.

The senders domain is very promising – looking for ‘att-mail.com’ could be used to trap these messages IF that’s not a domain really used by the telco. A quick WhoIs check of the domain shows it’s not owned by ATT (or anyone).

So the best option is to check for incoming messages with ‘att-mail.com’ in the senders line. That domain isn’t used by the real ATT and is common to all the spam messages.

If you are NOT an ATT customer then an alternative rule would be to look for the letters ‘ATT’ or ‘AT&T’ in the sender’s line. Don’t look in the subject line because the company name could be in a message from a legitimate source (eg a tech or business newsletter).


Make a Rule

Making a rule to deal with unwanted email automatically is a good idea, if only as a temporary measure until Microsoft catches up. Some care is required to ensure that you trap only the unwanted messages and not any legitimate messages.

As always, we provide this rule not only to help with the current spam but as an example you can adapt to your own needs.

Go to Rules | Create a rule | Advanced Options then set a condition and action



  • With specific words in the senders address

    • Add the text ‘att-mail.com’

  • Action

    • move to Junk E-mail folder
    • Stop processing more rules

The rule should look like this:

Outlook rule for att-mail.com image from Catching ATT bogus messages at Office-Watch.com

 

We suggest moving the messages to the Junk E-mail folder which is where Microsoft’s filter should put them. A message in the Junk E-mail folder can be searched for and retrieved if detected in error.

‘Stop processing more rules’ isn’t strictly necessary but good practice.

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