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I own a small business that sells window decal stickers online. I changed hosting providers of my website to a new host because the old host was having some issues.

The day I changed over, I notoiced I was not recieving order emails as in before. I checked my worpress site everything looked fine. I contacted my hosting provider for a answer and they provided me with the following response from the support tech.

"550 An address in this message (at customstickershop.us) is listed on shdbl.fwd.spamrl.com. I would like also to clarify that we have an outgoing spam filter on our server's called Spam Experts and we could not whitelist your domain name, so you should request a delist from the administrators of the blacklists where it is listed."

So i checked it with spamrl.com and out of the 30 sites 1 of them has me blacklisted for some reason.

I followed the steps at http://www.spamhaus.org/query/domain/customstickershop.us to have it removed been doing this for 5 days now and it is allways DENIED by them.

We have NEVER sent spam out. I checked with my old host and they pulled the email records and the same with my new host. They can not find ANY record of spam or even a hint of multiple emails being sent out.

There is no way to contact Spamhause to resolve the issue.

My customers are not receiving confirmation emails when they order, nor can I send them shipping emails.

Thus I have upset customers, but I can not find a way to resolve the issue.

  • did you manage to resolve this? I am having the same problem and have no idea why – DeniroSA Mar 24 '16 at 6:35
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Your domain is not necessarily being accused of e-mail spam. Here are the categories from their FAQ:

  • spam domain
  • phish domain
  • malware domain
  • botnet C&C domain
  • abused legit spam
  • abused spammed redirector domain
  • abused legit phish
  • abused legit malware
  • abused legit botnet C&C

I would suggest checking your domain name and the IP address of your domain name and MX record at http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx and making sure you are not listed in other blacklists that you are unaware of. If all is clear, then it likely has to do with the server configuration.

Keep in mind that for many blacklists, if you are on a shared server, it may be another site that you can potentially be associated with. This would mean that you are at the mercy of the other site. But that may not be the case here.

I would double check the version of WordPress is free from vulnerabilities including any plug-ins, extensions, and themes. I would also check the various versions of other software including your storefront, e-mail SMTP server, FTP, and so on. Make sure that your site has not been compromised and you are not aware of it. As well, there may be system services that are open via your hosts build procedures and operational processes that you are unaware of and would normally have no control over. Check these if they exist.

You can check out this part of the FAQ and follow some of the links to see if there are any clues: http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/Spamhaus%20DBL#421

The bottom line is this:

  • Your site has a vulnerability that is easily detected...

--or--

  • Your site is engaged in an activity that you are not aware of...

...that is either easily detected by a scan or continues to retrigger the blacklist. Keep in mind that this blacklist if fully automated and as they seem to indicate will remove any record immediately without question, however, if the problem persists, the the domain name will be relisted. This is an important point to consider. Keep working to find the problem until you are cleared and stay clear.

Since SpamHaus is not particularly helpful, I would suggest paying attention to any return code if you were to query their blacklist as that would help identify the area you need to look into. The codes are listed here along with some explanation: http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/Spamhaus%20DBL

You may find that http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx may give some clues that SpamHaus is not. You can check your domain name there as well as your specific IP address.

On a side note, some odd little webhosts use IP address lease or rotation schemes and sit behind a generic PTR record that points to a domain name like hosted.example.com. I am not saying that all sites that sit behind a reversed domain name like hosted.example.com are a problem, but that could be an indication.

Make sure you have a dedicated and clear IP address and that you are on a dedicated server if possible. Also make sure that the PTR record resolves to your domain name if that is possible. Check the basics first. It could be as simple as this.

  • I checked and out of over 100 sites, spamhaus is the only place that has me listed. I checked with my histing provider and previous provider and bothe checked into if anything could have been sent from my website and both say it is clean and can not understand why I am on this list. We check plug ins and secirity issues and found nothing – Bobbie Base May 15 '15 at 14:07
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    @BobbieBase It is not about your sending spam e-mail. You do not have to send spam e-mail to get on this list. In fact, that is not what this list is about. There is something wrong in either the SMTP set-up or a vulnerability in the system that can be easily found. I would bet on the SMTP. In particular, the anti-spam definitions checking the DBL blacklist using an IP address and not a domain name. You can remove and DBL blacklist check. But it has to do with set-up. Your host is not getting that this is a real problem with set-up somewhere. This is not an easy blacklist to get onto. – closetnoc May 15 '15 at 14:16
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mxtoolbox.com can be very helpful here. Go to it, then go to blacklists, enter your domain, and you'll see who has the domain blacklisted. Then on details page, it may ask you to register, but you can click on X on the top right-hand corner of the box to skip that.

I did that, and on the details page, it states:

Reason for listing - No IP queries, 
see http://www.spamhaus.org/faq/section/Spamhaus%2520DBL#279

Then clicking on that link directs me to a whole paragraph about the situation including this text:

You must not put 'dbl.spamhaus.org' into any email server 'DNSBL' or 'RBLs' feature, spam firewall or spam filter unless it specifically states that blocklists entered there are used for domain checking only. If you are unsure, ask your spam filter developer.

Confirm this with your server administrator to see if they checked these steps.

  • mxtoolbox.com/Problem/Blacklist/Spamhaus-DBL/… is a bit confusing but does offer some clues. Make sure that that the SMTP server is configured to send e-mail with an IP address that resolves back to the domain or sub-domain and that any anti-spam blacklist check against this particular DBL list is using a domain name and not an IP address. It is not uncommon that mistakes are made in anti-spam blacklist checks that have to manually updated or removed. – closetnoc May 14 '15 at 17:59
  • My host provider says that everyhting is set up correctly. but because they use some type of filter to prevent spam. There ysystem will not allow me to send out emails because I am blocked by spamhause and can not pass there systems filter test untill I am no longer blocked. – Bobbie Base May 15 '15 at 14:01

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