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An old Yahoo! email account of mine is sending out viagra spam and advertisements to all the contacts in that account's address book. I'm not the one getting spammed, my friends are.

A friend forwarded me one of the emails and the only information I see is the following:

----- Weitergeleitete Mail ---- Von: Firstname Lastname <XXXXXXX@yahoo.com>

The account is 12 years old and closed. But I can't control it because it was cancelled by Yahoo! some years ago through, I guess, lack of activity. Nothing I did wrong to close the account.

It feels as though Yahoo! should take some responsibility for not allowing any means to stop spam generated from their domain.

What should I do? Can I do anything?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's nothing that you can do. If the spam is actually being sent from that Yahoo! account, you could change the password (but since you said that you "can not control", you may not have access to the account anymore)

Most likely a spammer has retrieved the address book and the From address, and they can easily send messages with a forged From address (or send them directly through the Yahoo! account if they control it). The cat's out of the bag at this point. You can't stop the messages. All you can do is warn your contacts to ignore them.

You could try to recover the password to the Yahoo! account if you know the recovery information. Use the "Forgot password" link on their site.

The spam may not even be coming from Yahoo! (if your account was disabled, it certainly couldn't be coming from there, unless someone else registered a new account using your old disabled name). It's trivial to forge the From address on an e-mail address.

If you have one of the emails you should look at the message headers (how to depends on the receiving client or service) to see if it actually originated from Yahoo!'s servers.

In future, make sure you have a strong password on your e-mail accounts to prevent them from being broken into and having the contacts list stolen (or e-mails sent in your name.)

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