I've received a message from SpamCop.net that email from 1 of my websites has been marked as spam. The report was sent to my hosting provider who then forwarded it to me. I'n now investigating what happened exactly.

I've never been in touch with SpamCop, what exactly does it do?

Did 1 user report email I sopposedly sent as spam? Or is there a minimum treshhold before SpamCop sends the report? Are there immedicate consequences when receiving such a report?


The main purpose of SpamCop.Net is to report spam sources, not web sites. If it reported your "website" and not an e-mail you sent, then that was merely as a convenience to you and your ISP to let you know that someone is "Spamvertizing" (also see this page) your web site. If the unlikely event that you have any control over whoever used your web site in their e-mail, insist that she or he stop using it. If not, there is nothing you can (or need to) do unless your ISP is threatening to punish you, in which case you can refer them to this Answer and the SpamCop Forum web site in general.

In answer to your question, "But I was wondering if this report is immediately sent after just 1 complaint to SpamCop or if there's a treshhold within SpamCop after which SpamCop sends this report to my hosting provider?" the answer is that each report from a SpamCop user is sent to the hosting provider, at the option of the SpamCop user (by default, it is sent). It is not really a "complaint" but, rather, a "heads-up" that your web site is being referenced in spam.

Note from originator, Steve T: thanks to "Su" for improving my original post.

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According to SPAMCop

Quick Tips for Mailing List Administrators

  • In order to avoid spamming, mailing lists must implement a secure opt-in procedure. Many so-called "opt-in" lists are nothing of the
    sort. Beware of anyone who wants to sell you lists. You will be

  • However the initial sign up is accomplished, whether on a web site, by email, or otherwise - the final confirmation phase should use a
    random code which is emailed to the intended recipient. If that code
    is not returned by the user, then they should not be added to the
    mailing list.

  • If you implement this type of secure opt-in, and one of your subscribers reports your mailing as spam, please gather all the data
    on the incident and report it. If you do not have a working opt-in
    process, you should clean your list by reconfirming all subscribers
    using a secure opt-in procedure as described above. The most
    important part of this confirmation is that if a subscriber takes no
    action, that subscriber should not receive any further mailings.

  • Sending bulk mail requires careful record-keeping and responsible management. If you do not have the technical ability or time to do
    this, you can outsource the process through a free service such as
    Yahoo! or ListBot. You provide the content, they provide the
    list-management and distribution.

You can find their admin FAQ here

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Your hosting provider may be filtering emails with SpamCop. Or someone forwarded an email they got from you to SpamCop who sent it to your hosting provider based on the email headers. You should ask for a copy of the email with complete headers attached so you can review it. I doubt you are sharing you email and hosting account with anyone so you'll recognize the email and you can determine if it was spammy or not. Maybe someone just didn't want to receive emails from you and sent it to spamcop.

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  • I see, thanks. I'm now looking into it. But I was wondering if this report is immediately sent after just 1 complaint to SpamCop or if there's a treshhold within SpamCop after which SpamCop sends this report to my hosting provider? – Joe May 24 '12 at 20:39

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