Deleting Dr. Oz

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How to rid yourself of the spam ‘Dr Oz.’ emails since Outlook can’t do it.

The latest plague on Outlook Inboxes are ‘Dr Oz News’ emails. It truly is a plague too; here’s our unfiltered Outlook Inbox showing nothing else!

Dr Oz plague image from Deleting Dr. Oz at Office-Watch.com

Maybe you’re lucky enough that an ISP or mail host spam filter is catching them but, as you can see, Outlook with latest spam filter and high settings is not.

Trying to deal with this nuisance shows up some limitations in Outlook’s current spam filter and how to work around it.

The ‘Dr Oz’ emails are getting through partly because the spammer is taking advantage of a key failure in Outlook’s Junk Email filter. The in-built filter that’s configurable by the user works by matching the apparent email address of the sender. That’s fairly useless because spammers change the ‘from’ email address very regularly. Each of the above messages has the same ‘From’ name but the address itself is different for each email – spammers do that because they know Outlook’s mail filters are based around the email address.

Microsoft knows about this failing in their Junk Email filter, in fact they’ve known it ever since the current system was put into Outlook. But there’s no sales pressure on them to fix the fault, in fact it helps them sell additional protection software for Exchange Server.


The workaround

To get rid of these emails, or similar spam nuisances you need to identify a common factor in the messages that doesn’t appear in emails you want to see.

In this case it’s easy. ‘Dr.Oz News’ is the subject line in all the spam messages we’ve seen.

With that fact, you can make an Outlook rule to trap those messages and send them to the Junk E-mail folder where they belong.

Microsoft’s quick option to make a rule doesn’t work because, despite appearances, it uses the senders address. You have to create a special rule like this:

Go to Rules | Manage Rules and Alerts (not ‘Create Rule’ which doesn’t have the options we need) then create a New Rule | Apply rule to messages I receive. That makes a new ‘blank’ rule that will be applied to incoming messages.

Under ‘Which condition(s) do you want to check?’ scroll down to ‘specific words in the message header’. Check the box then click on the ‘specific words’ link

Dr Oz email rule image from Deleting Dr. Oz at Office-Watch.com

Enter the exact phrase Dr.OZ News with no space between the fullstop/period and OZ. The spam examples we’ve seen have variations on that FROM name.  You might want to add other alternatives like Doctor OZ News, Doctor Oz News, Dr. OZ News, Dr.Oz News and Dr. Oz News to cover past and possible future changes. 

Alternatively, try just OZ News and Oz News which will pickup any variations of ‘Doctor’ at the start but perhaps has a slightly great risk of trapping a legitimate email.

The search rule is case sensitive so the variants of OZ and Oz are necessary.

Click OK then Finish to save the rule. You can choose ‘Run Rules Now from the Rules and Alerts dialog

‘Run Rules Now’ will clean up any spam still in your Inbox as well as test that the rule is working.

 

Spammers do tweak their messages over time to bypass newly created rules. If the rule stops working in the future, most likely there’s been a subtle change in the FROM line in the spam. Update the existing rule to include the changed FROM line and it’ll start working again.

Eventually, in a month or two, the Microsoft Outlook Junk Email filter will be updated to cope with these particular spam messages. When that happens the rule will be obsolete.


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