A lot of users ask how to delete email from certain recipients and send an autoreply to them, telling them the message was deleted unread. While it is possible to do this, it’s a really bad idea.
I want to block the receipt of one specific person’s email, but I want them to get a message saying that their email has been blocked, or something to that effect. Is this possible?
One word: Don't. Don't even think about doing this.
You could send an autoreply using a rule that also deletes their messages but you should never do this with obvious spam and it may not work with newsletters and advertisements from legitimate senders as the address may not be monitored.
"I need to do more than just add addresses to my spam list. Can I create a rule that if a person I'm blocking sends me email it will trigger an automated response that their email is rejected? Sort of like blocking callers. I hate going to my junk mail box to find stray messages only to find this scary person's emails there."
While there are some third party utilities that do send fake non-delivery reports to senders, it's pointless to do so. Most spammers do not process bounce messages or use valid email addresses, so you'd only be adding to the traffic your mail server needs to process.
True rejection can only be done during the SMTP transaction. Once the gateway SMTP email server (your email server) has accepted email for delivery, the message has been delivered. When you reject a message while downloading it to your email client, you're adding to the problem and a savvy sender will know a fake reject from the real thing. Just use a filters to dump it.
If the "scary person" is someone you know or a stalker, and you don't wish to receive email from them, tell them not to send you messages in the future. If your email provider supports server-based rules to reject messages, reject the message at the server, otherwise, create a rule to delete any messages they may send. Don't play games - ignore them and if they threaten you, file a police report.
While an autoreply will work with people you are acquainted with, it’s better to just tell the person to stop sending you email – simply reply to their next message and tell them you don’t wish to get email from them. Depending on the specifics of the situation, tell them that you will be configuring a rule to delete any messages they send in the future.
If you choose to send an autoreply and your email provider supports server rules, create the rule on the server. They’ll get the autoreply back immediately. If you use Outlook, the rules are applied as the message is downloaded which could be hours later.
If the address belongs to someone you don't want to be in contact with, reply to the sender and ask them to stop sending you email. Or just delete the message and forgot about it. This method works best with former coworkers, family members, etc.
When someone (usually new to email who doesn’t know netiquette rules) is forwarding junk, a nice note asking them to remove your address from the forward list usually works and they stop forwarding to everyone.
If it’s from a company and you can't get unsubscribed from their mailing list, reply and ask to be removed then set up a rule to delete the messages and forget about it.
When the sender is a spammer, just delete the message and go on. If you send an autoreply one of two things will happen: you'll get an NDR back or you'll confirm you address is valid and end up with a lot more spam. Since most spammers use fake from addresses, you don't have to worry too much about confirming your address. It is also mostly useless to add spammers to your blocked senders list as their addresses keep changing.
Bottom line: delete the messages with a rule and forget about it. If you use Outlook 2003 and up, you can add addresses to the blocked senders list and send all mail straight to the Junk email folder.
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