A risk of spam filters - you might miss a real prize!


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Aggressive spam filters can stop you getting messages you really want to get.

One Australian author found that out the hard way when she almost missed out on a genuine $150,000 prize.

The email notifying her of the valuable and prestigious prize ended up in her Junk Email folder.

The problem of spam filters ‘false positives’ isn’t well appreciated.  Junk email systems are automated ‘educated guesses’ about whether a message is spam or not.  Sometimes the guess is wrong and a message you want is deleted or sent to the Junk Email folder.  A stricter or aggressive spam filter is more likely to mistake a real message for spam.

We see this a lot at Office Watch.  People complain that legitimate emails never arrive for online orders etc. from various companies.  A detailed analysis invariably shows the message was accepted by the mail host for delivery but is then lost in an over-zealous anti-spam filter.

Ideally any alleged ‘spam email’ is sent to your Junk Email folder but many companies don’t bother with that precaution.  Instead they just delete the assumed spam email with no chance for the customer to recover it.  It’s easier for the mail host to assume their spam filter is perfect and delete messages.

You can try complaining to your mail host company, good luck with that.

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