What is "Spam"?

Roughly speaking, spam is emails that you didn't really want to receive, which make it difficult to find important messages due to their mass occurrence ("background noise"). Complaint emails and error messages from email systems are not spami, however, even if they may occur in large numbers and perhaps catch the wrong person!
The term "spam" comes from a sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which they list all the things they have to eat and in the background a group of Vikings starts singing "SPAM" (SPiced hAM by Hormel) louder and louder until you can't hear the waiter at all - the meaningful information gets lost in "SPAM".

Wondering why you're getting spam despite our spam filters?
If an email has passed our formal filters, it is only discarded or returned if the email's "spam score" is very high (i.e. the email has a very high probability of being spam), otherwise - if there is only a suspicion that the email is spam - it is only marked in the header (including in the subject with [ SPAM? ]) but delivered to the inbox.

Unfortunately it happens again and again that spammers (and viruses, trojans, worms, …) use addresses of the TU Graz as sender addresses. The reason is that properly configured email servers check whether the sender's domain exists at all before they process the email further.
Depending on whether this fake email address actually exists or is a purely random one, complaints then end up with the postmaster of one of our mailgates or even with end users.

So, if you get an email notifying you that an email of yours could not be delivered or someone complains that they received unsolicited emails from you and you are sure that you did not send any emails to this address, then there are 2 possibilities:

  1. Your system is infected with a virus/worm that sends emails without your knowledge (our virus scanners should detect this, but a regular virus check never hurts ;-)
  2. Someone uses your sender address to send emails.
    If the complaint looks like an automatically generated email, just ignore it, but if it is a personal complaint, then refer to e. g. https://email.TUGraz.at/generell/fake/.

The most popular spams are certainly the Viagra, penis-enlargement and 419 spams, but recently SPITSPIT (unsolicited calls with automated announcements) has also started to spread, as well as SMS spam.

You can do something against some unwanted emails

  • In the webmail settings you can enter domains and addresses from which you do not want to receive emails.
  • Good email programs allow you to filter emails or even to train and install a spam detection.
    Of course, these filters only work if the corresponding email program is active, so we do not recommend it!
  • Filters that you define via webmail work on the server side and are therefore independent of the email client!
  • Train the central filters!
  • If the email comes from a mailing list you have subscribed to, send an email with the body "unsubscribe" to the administration address of this mailing list (usually mentioned in the emails), but if something like this comes unsolicited, it is generally useless to react with "unsubscribe" - on the contrary: by doing so you announce that this email box is still actively read!
  • If advertising comes, then send a complaint to the postmaster of the system from which the advertising has come (attention: this is often not the domain of the supposed sender!), and register this domain with RBLis (addresses: spam.abuse.net etc.)
    If the unsolicited advertisement comes from a company located in Austria, it violates § 107 TKG 2003 and can be punished with high fines. You can report this to the responsible telecommunications office and you can also report it to Telekom Control and ARGE Daten.
  • For emails that violate US postal laws (see www.usps.gov), you can also try this form.