Email Security and Known Scams
My Virgin Media IP address is blacklisted
If you are sending email and some or all of your emails are being bounced/rejected, then your IP address may be blacklisted.
To check if you are blacklisted, use the ‘Blacklist Check’ tool on www.mxtoolbox.com*
If you are a Virgin Media residential customer, it is very common for your IP address to be listed with the below blacklists because your IP address is dynamic.
This is completely normal and will not cause issues with mail delivery unless you’re running your own email server on your home connection.
- Spamhaus ZEN
- SORBS DUHL
- Protected Sky
If your IP address is blacklisted with any blacklists other than the ones above, you appear to have an underlying security issue on your home network. Spam emails are likely to have been sent from a device on your home network, such as a computer, phone or tablet infected with malware.
Once the security issue on your network has been resolved, emails will begin to pass within a couple of days as blacklists will auto-remove your IP address from their database once the spam emails stop.
* These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered while applying their advice. Unfortunately we are not able to provide any technical support for these issues.
Why do some emails return as spam?
Some organisations keep track of email spam so email providers and ISPs can use it to prevent spam from being delivered to their users. Occasionally, Virgin Media is listed by these organisations, perhaps because people are trying to use our network to send spam.
Unfortunately, this can cause delivery problems for Virgin Media Mail messages because some email providers or ISPs reject all messages sent from services on these lists.
Spam lists never intend to block all Virgin Media Mail messages, but unfortunately it still happens. As a result, some messages sent from Virgin Media Mail might be delayed, or even bounced back (in which case you would receive a failed delivery notification).
We take every measure to make sure that all valid messages are delivered, and we're working hard to keep delivery problems to a minimum.
While we continue to address this problem, we ask that if you're experiencing delivery delays with Virgin Media Mail or your messages are bouncing back to your account, please inform the recipient's mail provider about the issue.
What do I need to know about email spoofing?
Fake emails being sent from your account is known as 'email spoofing', where emails are sent using a forged ‘From’ address . To send spoof emails, access is not required to the individual’s email account.
What are the symptoms?
You may be receiving a large number of ‘Non-delivery Emails’ sporadically. These emails have been sent from another email address, but with a forged ‘From’ address to look like yours, so any emails that fail to deliver will be sent to your inbox.
This is quite common because the majority of ‘spoof’ emails are known as spam by most email platforms. This prevents them from being delivered to the intended recipient and instead generates a ‘Non-delivery report’.
What can I do?
As spoof emails can be set up without accessing a Virgin Media email account, we’re unable to stop this happening altogether. However most will be recognised by spam filters and blocked accordingly.
As a precaution, change your email account password You can also run a number of security checks which include anti-virus scans and forwarding rules you don’t recognise.
What’s the difference between being hacked and spoofed?
When your email account is hacked, an unauthorised third party has access to your email account. This indicates they’ve obtained the password, either through malware being installed on your device or when you’ve entered your details into a fraudulent phishing email.
If my account’s not been hacked, how are emails still being sent to my contacts?
It’s possible that your email account was hacked in the past, and the hackers took a list of all your contacts you’ve emailed previously. This allows them to send spoofed emails that look like they’ve come from you.
Unfortunately, once the hackers have access to your contacts, it is not possible to stop them from sending spoofed emails.
Note: There are other ways that hackers can obtain details of the people you email, such as public mailing lists or through other email address they’ve compromised.
Will deleting my email account stop Email Spoofing?
Unfortunately not. As email spoofing does not require access to your email account, the spoofed emails can continue to be sent even if your email address no longer exists.
How to send bulk emails with Virgin Media mail
The way Virgin Media mail classifies spam depends heavily on reports from our users. You can mark and unmark any message as spam, at any time. To increase the inbox delivery rate of your messages, make sure that all recipients on your distribution lists actually want to receive the mail. Below are some tips on how to do this.
Authentication & Identification
To ensure that Virgin Media Mail can identify you:
- • Use a consistent IP address to send bulk mail.
- • Keep valid reverse DNS records for the IP address(es) from which you send mail, pointing to your domain.
- • Use the same address in the 'From:' header on every bulk mail you send.
Each user on your distribution list should opt to receive messages from you in one of the following ways (opt-in):
- • Through an email asking to subscribe to your list.
- • By manually checking a box on a web form, or within a piece of software.
- • We also recommend that you verify each email address before subscribing them to your list.
- • The following methods of address collection are not considered 'opt-in' and are not recommended:
- • Using an email address list purchased from a third-party.
- • Setting a checkbox on a web form or within a piece of software to subscribe all users by default (requiring users to explicitly opt-out of mailings).
A user must be able to unsubscribe from your mailing list through one of the following means:
- • A prominent link in the body of an email leading users to a page confirming his or her unsubscription (no input from the user, other than confirmation, should be required).
- • By replying to your email with an unsubscribe request.
To help ensure that your messages aren't flagged as spam, we also recommend that you:
- • Automatically unsubscribe users whose addresses bounce multiple pieces of mail.
- • Periodically send confirmation messages to users.
- • Include each mailing list they are signed up for, and offer the opportunity to unsubscribe from those in which they are no longer interested.
- • Provide a 'List-Unsubscribe' header which points to a web form or email address where the user can unsubscribe easily from future mailings (Note: This is not a substitute method for unsubscribing).
It's possible that your users forward mail from other accounts, so we recommend that you:
- • Explicitly indicate the email address subscribed to your list.
- • Support a URL method of unsubscribing from your mailing list (this is beneficial if your mailing list manager can't tell who is unsubscribing based on the 'Reply-to:' address).
- • All bulk messages you send must be formatted according to RFC 2822 SMTP standards and, if using HTML, w3.org standards.
- • Messages should indicate that they are bulk mail, using the 'Precedence: bulk' header field.
- • Attempts to hide the true sender of the message or the true landing page for any web links in the message may result in non-delivery.
- • The subject of each message should be relevant to the body's content and not be misleading.
While Virgin Media Mail works hard to deliver all legitimate mail to your inbox, it's possible that some legitimate messages may be marked as spam. Virgin Media Mail does not accept 'whitelisting' requests from bulk senders, and we can't guarantee that all of your messages will bypass our spam filters. To make sure our users receive all the mail they'd like to, we've provided them with a method for sending us feedback about messages flagged as spam - users have the option of clicking a 'Not spam' button for each message flagged by our spam filters. We listen to users' reports, and correct problems in order to provide them with the best user experience. As long as our users don't consider your mail as spam, you shouldn't have inbox delivery problems.
There are two important factors that, under normal circumstances, help messages arrive in Virgin Media Mail users' inboxes:
- • The 'From:' address is listed in the user's Contacts list.
- • A user clicks 'Not Spam' to alert Virgin Media Mail that messages sent from that address are solicited.
If you send both promotional mail and transactional mail relating to your organisation, we recommend separating mail by purpose as much as possible. You can do this by:
- • Using separate email addresses for each function.
- • Sending mail from different domains and/or IP addresses for each function.
By using these tips, it's more likely that the important transactional mail will be delivered to a user's inbox. Our guidelines are meant to help you build a good reputation within the Virgin Media Mail system, resulting in continual delivery to Virgin Media Mail inboxes.
If others use your service to send mail (for example: ISPs), you are responsible for monitoring your users and/or clients' behaviour.
- • You must have an email address available for users and/or clients to report abuse (email@example.com).
- • You must maintain up-to-date contact information in your WHOIS record, and on abuse.net.
- • You must terminate, in a timely fashion, all users and/or clients who use your service to send spam mail.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
Affiliate marketing programs reward third-parties for bringing visitors to your site. Unfortunately, these programs are attractive to hard-core spammers and can potentially do more harm than good. Please note the following:
- • If your brand becomes associated with affiliate marketing spam, it can affect the mail sent by you and your other affiliates.
- • It is your responsibility to monitor your affiliates and remove them if they send spam.
How to report Spam outside Ireland
If you're located outside Ireland, please use the appropriate contact information to report spam to your local authorities:
Organization: Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des libertés
Email address: N/A
Organization: Onafhankelijke Post en Telecommunicatie Autoriteit (OPTA)
Email address: N/A (You may use the form on OPTA's website to report spam)
What is Spam? Learn how to protect yourself from it.
Spam is unsolicited junk email. It is not only annoying, but can be offensive, very often carries viruses that can damage your computer, and almost always involves some kind of fraud.
The people who generate spam (spammers) do their best to make it look like legitimate email, which makes it difficult for Virgin Media to block all spam without inadvertently blocking email legitimately addressed to you.
However, Virgin Media has installed state-of-the-art technology to protect you by filtering as much suspected spam as possible out of your email by default.
We also filter all email viruses out of your Virgin Media email. However, you can get computer viruses from other sources like websites, disks or other email services, so it is essential that you also have anti-virus software on your computer.
Sometimes you may get emails claiming to come from Virgin Media that are actually phishing attempts. For more info on this please see What is Phishing?
Where does spam come from?
Spam can come from anywhere; often from places like the US and the Far East, but also from within Ireland. The programmers who create spam make money from people who visit the websites, purchase the products advertised, or fall victim to other related scams.
Some viruses can also hijack a user's computer and use it to send spam to others whose email addresses it finds in the user's address book.
Virgin Media Mail won’t normally treat marketing emails, newsletters and circulars to mailing lists, customer information bulletins and billing emails as spam, even though they may sometimes be annoying, and most responsible senders allow you to opt out of receiving them if you wish.
How to deal with spam
Once you've identified an email as spam, it's best to just delete it, and delete it again in your "Deleted Items" folder. Never reply to it, act on it, or try to unsubscribe from it. Trying to unsubscribe will alert spammers to the fact that your email address is in use, which could make the problem worse.
How to avoid spam
It is difficult for Internet service providers to block all spam, and while we filter suspected spam out of your Virgin Media Mail by default, you may still want to use dedicated mail filtering software as a further line of defence.
Be careful where you use your email address online. Virgin Media allows you to use up to 10 email addresses, so you could use one for personal emails and a separate one for public websites, online accounts, newsletters, mailing lists, online forums, newsgroups, chat-rooms, logins, and so on. These are much more likely to receive spam as unsecured web connections or websites can be used by spammers to collect email addresses.
What if I don't use webmail? Am I still protected from spam?
Yes. Even if you just access your mail via Outlook Express or any other email program, we will still automatically delete all spam before it reaches your inbox unless you change those settings within webmail. You only need to log on to webmail if you wish to change your spam settings. To log on to webmail you just need your email address and username.
What if I have my own spam filtering software?
It will still work, but we are using state of the art technology to identify and filter out spam, so you may not need to pay for anti-spam software. Virgin Media's spam filtering should do the job for you. In the event that some spam does get through our filters, your own software will still work as normal.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a type of online fraud where malicious third parties send an email or message designed to look as if its sender is Virgin Media (or another reputable company) to trick the recipient into giving out private information i.e. their username, password or even bank details.
• Virgin Media will never ask you for private or personal details via email
• If you receive what appears to be a suspicious email from Virgin Media, forward immediately to our dedicated mailbox – AUP@virginmedia.ie
• Make sure you delete the email after you have notified us
How do I recognise phishing emails?
• You can protect yourself from becoming a victim of phishing by keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.
• Virgin Media will never send an email;
– Asking for any private or personal details
– Stating your account is set to be closed due to financial issues
– Notifying you of an account issue which needs resolving
– If there really is a problem with your Virgin Media account, we will be in touch via letter or phone. We will never take action such as closing your account after just sending an email.
What should I do if I receive a phishing email to my Virgin Media email address?
• Do not click the link, instead visit www.virginmedia.ie and sign in to check the status of your account
• Forward the suspicious email to our dedicated mailbox: AUP@virginmedia.ie
• Mark the phishing email as spam from your email account
• Finally, make sure you delete the email
• If you then receive a ‘Spam Content Found’ message from us, then we’re already aware of the email and have taken steps to ensure it is blocked on our Virgin Media Mail platform
• If you’re using a third-party email service such as Outlook.com or Gmail, you may still receive these emails. Please contact your mail provider for help in blocking these emails.
What should I do if I’ve clicked on a link in a phishing email or entered information on a phishing website?
• If you’ve clicked on a link in an email that claimed to be from Virgin Media, we recommend you run full anti-virus scans on the device you visited the website on.
• If you’ve entered your My Virgin Media username and password into a website that claims to be Virgin Media or in an email response, we recommend changing your My Virgin Media password immediately by visiting www.virginmedia.ie and following the simple steps.
• If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to An Garda Siochana on https://www.garda.ie/en/crime/fraud. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company.