How Are Spam Emails Filtered—Magic That Happens Behind The Curtain

Have you ever missed an important conversation because your inbox is cluttered with junk? Have you ever lost an important account due to phishing emails? Are your emails often lost in the recipient’s spam folder? If yes, you are in the right place. Let’s learn how email filtering works and what to be aware of to improve your online safety and punish the malicious scammers. 

The Goal and Method of Scam

We can split scam messages into a few groups:

  • False marketing offers
  • Malicious attachments
  • Phishing emails

Scammers will use automated bots to send spam to a huge number of users in short periods of time. Emailing domains—MX DNS records—are freshly registered. Server IPs that they use usually belong to the same range as earlier mass-mailing attempts from the same scammer. 


Still, as email filtering services evolve, scammers will fine-tune their approach or discover ways to surpass new algorithms and filtering AIs.

Email Spam Filtering Methods and Algorithms

Some of the most used filtering algorithms are:

  • Domain and sender reputation
  • Content-based filters
  • List-based filters
  • Collaborative filters
  • Server and Email Protocol Evaluation

Domain and Sender Reputation 

The success rate on email scams is low. Hence the scammers rely on sending spam offers or scam emails to a massive number of users.

A DNS warmup relies on setting up thresholds in the number of sent emails for newly registered email senders—MX DNS records. AI will limit the number of outgoing messages an email server can send and observe how many users opened or responded to the email. Algorithms will then increase the threshold of emails that they can send. As the sender proves “good behavior,” they will be allowed to send more emails.

Content-Based Filters

Scammers will often lean towards creating generic messages. They mass-mail their users so the tone and messaging of scam emails are almost never personal. Some types of spam filters will search for keywords like Incredible deal, Free gift, Double your income, #1, 100% free, and so on. Usually, they will discriminate emails that contain more than a few of the blacklisted keywords. 

List-Based Filters

Lists resemble Santa’s good and bad lists, only for sender domains. Whitelisted and blacklisted senders are built based on bounce rates and the number of spam reports from the receiving audience. For each new email, sender details are cross-checked so that blacklisted IPs or sender domains are filtered out. 

Collaborative Filters

Collaborative filtering rules are concluded based on user reports, bounce rates, or reply rates. These filters are usually used in combination with other methods. Additionally, large organizations are also exchanging information about potential scams in real-time. In this fashion, the worldwide reputation of the email sender is taken into account when filtering emails. 

Server and Email Protocol Filters

Attempts to resolve the scam filtering on the technical level were made. Additional checks within email protocols or human verification requests like the famous Confirm you are not a robot checkbox or Google’s image picker are just some of them. 

Usually, these filtering algorithms are used in combination. Each layer identifies potential scammers and together they provide conclusions on how their emails should be processed. 

Scam Regulation Acts 

The CAN-SPAM Act by the Federal Trade Commission of the US or the even stricter GDPR in the EU are the best-known acts, providing the legal grounds for protection against spammers. 

Some of the others are:

Country

Legal Act

Canada

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
UK

Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations

Australia

Spam Act of 2003
EU

Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications

Easiest Way of Fighting Unsolicited Senders—DoNotPay

With DoNotPay, you can fight spammers with ease. Just follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your DoNotPay account via a web browser
  2. Select the Spam Collector option
  3. Enter your email address to connect it with DoNotPay
  4. Forward the scam email to spam@donotpay.com as soon as you receive it

As soon as you’re done, two things will happen:

  1. You will be unsubscribed automatically
  2. We will notify you if there’s a class action against the sender for you to join. This way, you can get compensation. If you’re added to a class action settlement, a flag will appear in the Spam Collector tab of your DoNotPay dashboard.

Got Any Other Email-Related Issues? Use DoNotPay

Safety comes from knowing your enemy. Hit the links below if you want to learn more about how to:

How To Filter Spam Emails On Your Own

There are other methods for filtering spam, although they’re not as straightforward as doing so with the help of DoNotPay. 

Filter Spam in Webmail

If you’re a Webmail user, here is how to mark emails as spam from within your inbox:

  1. Open your email
  2. Navigate to your inbox
  3. Locate the spam email 
  4. Open it
  5. Click the Spam or Junk button 

Filter Spam on Apple

If you are an Apple user, to report spam or other shady emails, you should:

  • Forward them to abuse@icloud.com 
  • Hit Report Junk beneath the message for the ones you are viewing through iMessage

DoNotPay Can Help You Get Rid of Physical Junk Mail Too

Are you sick of the physical mailbox clutter? With our revolutionary feature DoNotMail, you do not have to worry about being a scam victim or having your inbox piled up with offers, flyers, and nonsense messages. To have us get rid of junk mail for good, you need to: 

  1. Open your DoNotPay account via a web browser
  2. Choose the Spam Collector option
  3. Insert your email to connect it with DoNotPay
  4. Forward  the spam message to spam@donotpay.com as soon as you receive it

From there, DoNotPay will handle the rest. You will be automatically unsubscribed. If there is a class action against that sender, you will be notified and you can join it to earn in the process of the settlement.

If You Feel Overwhelmed With Tedious Chores, DoNotPay Is There!

Along with opportunities and easier ways of completing tedious tasks, we are also encumbered with a number of features. From helping you pay your medical bills to handling your Chicago parking tickets, DoNotPay does it all! Does your list of things to do in a day often seem overwhelming? Don’t stress—DoNotPay can help you with:

You can access DoNotPay via a web browser to get access to all of these features.