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What is email spamtrap?

The world of email is vast and complex, especially when it comes to protecting users from spam. One of the most effective strategies in the fight against spam is the use of spamtrap emails. But what exactly are spamtrap emails, and how do they work? In this article, we’ll delve into the world of spamtrap emails to better understand their role and importance.

What is a Spamtrap Email?

A spamtrap, as the name suggests, is a trap designed to identify spammers.

These are email addresses that are not used by real users to send or receive emails. As a result, if they do receive emails, the sender can be considered to have collected them without the user’s opt-in (consent). They only exist to identify spam senders.

Types of Spamtrap Emails

There are several types of spamtrap emails, each with a specific function in the fight against spam:

Pristine Spamtraps

These are email addresses created from scratch, and never used for registration or any other purpose. They are hidden on web pages, so that only crawlers can find and use them. Any receipt of mail at these addresses is a clear sign of unauthorized scraping.

Recycled Spamtraps

These addresses were previously used by real users, but have been abandoned and turned into traps after a certain period of inactivity. They catch spammers who continue to send emails to obsolete lists without cleaning them up regularly.

Typo Spamtraps

These addresses exploit common typographical errors in email addresses. For example, “” instead of “”. They catch spammers who don’t check addresses properly before sending mail.

How do Spamtrap Emails work?

As mentioned above, if a spamtrap receives an email, this usually means that the sender is using dubious practices to collect email addresses. These addresses can be bought, scraped or obtained by other methods that don’t comply with good email marketing practice and the various regulations on personal data protection such as the RGPD.

When spamtraps are activated by incoming emails, MSPs inevitably take this into account to reduce the sender’s reputation, or even block future mailings as the domains and/or ips will be identified as spammers.

How to avoid spamtraps?

For emailers, avoiding spamtraps is essential to maintaining good deliverability and a positive reputation. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

  1. Use Double Opt-In: This method ensures that email addresses are valid and that owners have consented to receive communications.
  2. Clean up lists regularly: Remove inactive and obsolete addresses from your mailing lists.
  3. Monitor Bounces: Addresses that bounce frequently may indicate spamtraps.
  4. Avoid Buying Lists: Purchased lists are often filled with spamtraps and invalid addresses.

Some MSPs report the presence of a spamtrap, without of course saying which email address is involved. This is the case, for example, with Microsoft, via the SNDS.


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