Why was my email blocked by (mt) spam filter?
If you receive a "550 Possible email abuse detected" bounceback from (mt) Media Temple's mail servers, this means your message has been identified as a potential spam message. Specifically, your message has received a score of 5 or higher on our spam filtering software. As per our Acceptable Usage Policy, our system could not allow your message to be sent.
Spam is a large problem on the Internet and can lead to mail servers becoming blocked for future sending. This is especially painful in a shared environment, because one spammer can affect many innocent users. It is our responsibility as a mail service provider to take measures to prevent spam from originating on our network.
While it is in everyone's best interest to stop spam, we do not want to inconvenience legitimate users who may have inadvertently triggered our scanners. To determine why your email attempt resulted in this error, and to prevent future emails from being blocked, please follow the troubleshooting steps shown below.
Your bounceback will look similar to the following, if you have been blocked by the spam filtering on the (gs) Grid-Service:
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: firstname.lastname@example.org Technical details of permanent failure: Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550-Possible email abuse detected. Please see 550 http://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/1685 for details. (state 18). ----- Original message -----
Often, eliminating spam-like characteristics from your email will stop it from getting blocked. Keep in mind that it is usually not one single element that is contributing to your high spam score - you may have to look into two or three of these factors.
Alternately, if the IP address from which you are sending has been identified as a source of spam, you may have to use an alternate outgoing server until that gets resolved.
Sending server reputation
If your sending server has recently sent out a lot of spam, all messages coming from that server may be blocked, even if they are not spam. You can use a third-party website such as MX Toolbox to check your IP address against many different block lists at once. There are several free websites available for this kind of check.
HTML content and signatures
Messages with HTML content in the body or signature are more likely to be identified as spam.
Messages with links to external web pages are more likely to be identified as spam.
ALL CAPS and Misspellings
Avoid using ALL CAPITALS in your subject line or the body of your message. Run your message through spell-checking before sending it.
If your message contains reference to "typical" spam subjects - pharmaceuticals, for example - you may be flagged for these words.
"Spoofing" occurs when a spammer sends out emails under your domain name or email address, even though they are not actually coming from your server. You can reduce this behavior by allowing other mail servers to verify the server your domain should be using for sending mail, using an SPF record in your zone file. For more information, please see: How can I create an SPF record for my domain?
Sender callback verification and HELO string resolution
If your sending mail server does not produce a valid response to the sender callback verification HELO string, you can request that your (mt) Media Temple contact add you to their list of allowed senders.
See How do I set up spam filtering for my server? for adding users to your allow list.
This will allow the (mt) Media Temple mail server to bypass the HELO string and sender callback verification.
You can run your email through a third-party spam score checking service. There are several free and paid services that perform this checking available online.
The (gs) Grid-Service uses Cloudmark spam filtering. Contact them if you have questions about specific spam-filtering methodologies. Keep in mind that filtering methods may intentionally be kept secret, however, in order to promote the effectiveness of the software.
(mt) Media Temple information
The most useful piece of information you can give to (mt) Media Temple is the complete email header and/or original message that you tried to send.
See How do I view email headers for a message? for more information.
You most likely encountered the error when trying to send an email with your (gs) Grid-Service email account.
Open a support request from within the (mt) AccountCenter with the subject Outgoing Mail Rejected and include the following details:
- Full email contents.
- Composition: HTML or plain text?
- Recipient: Who were you sending to?
- Sender: Which address were you sending from?
- Date and time of attempted sending.
- Include your email header, if you have one.
Senders to (mt) Media Temple customers
You most likely received a bounceback message for an email that was being sent to a domain hosted on the (gs) Grid-Service.
Please contact us directly by email at email@example.com or ask your (gs) Grid-Service contact to submit a support request. Please include the same details mentioned above.