A spamtrap is an email address used by an anti-spam service to track spam-like activities. These email addresses are placed on websites, circulated on Usenet groups, discussion forums, etc, in order to have them harvested by automated email address collecting scripts.

As the email address is not owned by an individual, any email sent to it can reasonably be considered to be spam. The systems monitoring the inbox could then apply a block (based on content matching, sending address, IP address, etc) affecting general delivery to other recipients using the anti-spam service.

In most cases, spamtraps are found in lists of dubious provenance (e.g. lists that are bought, rented, or shared) or where an organisation operates lax contact data and permission procedures.

Identifying spamtraps

The owners of spamtraps do not publish their lists of email addresses, otherwise it would be very easy for spammers to identify and remove them from their lists.

If your lists contains spamtraps

If your contact list is found to have spamtraps in it, we may require some of the following steps:

  • Review of contact data sources and acquisition strategy
  • Review of permission procedure
  • Removal of non-engaged contacts (contact who haven't opened or clicked on your emails)
  • A re-confirmation campaign, with contacts not re-confirming their subscription being suppressed

In cases where we have received a high number of complaints, or if we believe your data to be beyond cleansing, your account will be cancelled.