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How do I prove spam complaints are fraudulent?

edited January 2013 in Questions

Generally with most email service providers like Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc., there's a "paper trail" report that shows date/time a subscriber subscribed, what their IP address is, that they went through the double opt-in process, all the campaigns they've been sent and what they clicked on. This can be very beneficial if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of fraudulent spam complaints and a blacklisted IP address.

Is there anything in Sendy that "proves" that a subscriber went through the double opt-in process?

The reason I ask is that we've been double opt-in for years with MailChimp and therefore had the documentation with IP address if someone made a spam complaint and could always "prove" our innocence, though it's never been necessary.

Over the last few days, I've gotten a number of malicious spam complaints all from the same IP address where the subscriber (who I traced back through our MailChimp account) has been on the list for 2 years and has started going through a series of email sent and marking each one of them as spam.


She marked all 3 as spam. (she's gotten several hundred emails from us over the last two years)

I'll add to the question above by also asking how Sendy is getting geographic information but isn't capturing an IP address natively?

Is there a code snippet we can add to a hidden field in subscriber forms that will capture their IP address?


  • It looks like the user really does not want to receive your emails. Just delete her email address from your list.

    Sendy does not add IP address natively at this time. What you can do is create a new custom filed called IP address. Then detect their IP from your script and pass it into the form and as a result your list.

  • @Ben, I think you may have missed the point. I'm not concerned that the user doesn't want to receive the emails. That's fine. She can unsubscribe without marking numerous emails as spam. What I am concerned about is people maliciously spamming numerous emails in sequence with no ability to prove to AWS, their ISP or blacklisters that person did, in fact, go through the double opt-in process and request the emails to begin with. If there's no tracking of double opt-in, I'm not aware of any real benefit to it beyond creating extra hassle for users. In reality, how often is someone's email added to a list they didn't subscribe to? I've never seen it happen in practice nor had any documented complaints of it happening when we were strictly single opt-in with Aweber.

  • @vincentpolisi,

    If there's no tracking of double opt-in, I'm not aware of any real benefit to it beyond creating extra hassle for users.

    There are many benefits to double opt-in.

    One of which is to filter robots (or spammers) who sign up at your subscribe form. Because the user who subscribed at your sign up form is in fact not a human being, they will not click on the confirmation link to become 'active' on your list. If they do not become 'active' and remains as 'unconfirmed', future emails will not be sent to them, hence your bounce rates will be low.

    Another reason for double opt-in is such that the user have to explicitly confirm a link to be on your list. So the likelihood of the user marking your email as spam when you send an email to them is low because they explicitly wants to be on your list. For your case, it's pretty rare. Something must have caused her to maliciously mark all your emails as spam, or it may have been out of mischief.

    One other reason is to heighten the chance of your emails reaching a user's inbox. If the confirmation link ended up in the user's spam folder, they will be wondering why they have not received the confirmation email. This prompts them to check their spam folder, 'unspam' it and click on the confirmation link to confirm. When you send an email to them in future, your email will land on their inbox.

    If you want to prove to AWS the user maliciously mark your emails as spam, do a print screen of your list settings and show them this list is a double opt-in list. And this is the list the user subscribed to.

    Over the last few days, I've gotten a number of malicious spam complaints all from the same IP address

    Also, give them the IP address.

    Post your concern at the Amazon SES forum. I know the folks at Amazon SES and I have spoken to them personally. They are nice and helpful.

    Lastly, in future if you want to capture someone's IP address, create a custom field and pass in their IP address.



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