Spam, Phishing, Junk, Reporting and Filters

Let me provide some tips and tricks no regaining your sanity and explain how you may be making your situation worse. Although I could be very technical, I am going to do post this so most will understand without their heads spinning.

TWC, now Spectrum, has just plain ignored your pleas and has been on a permanent holiday regarding protecting you from the flood of obvious junk being delivered to your inbox.  In many ways, they make your situation worse.

First let’s start with Spam: Spammer can send millions of emails with a single keystroke, so don’t feel like they are targeting you personally. The reason senders of Spam send you emails with pictures and attachments is to validate a live email account. Pictures are objects retrieved from another location, which has a hash-tag 9long string of numbers and letter, identifying your email address. So, if you have automatically download pictures and attachments turned on, the moment you view the email, they validated you instantly.

Now what you probably do not know is that when you report these emails to Spectrum, the script from Spectrum downloads a full copy of the email, including the pictures and forward them to their Spam control center. BAMM! You just did two things, validated your email and ensured Spectrum will do nothing to help you. Almost 100% of the originating email addresses are single use emails.

BTW, click on unsubscribe is another sure way to validate your email is valid.

Next is Phishing: These are becoming so sophisticated that even my job in IT security is getting tougher. Thankfully these bozos don’t have a copy of an English dictionary, grammar checker or the patterns of our speech mastered to be perfect yet. Never open a file attachment from an unknown source and almost 100% of known sources, excluding people in your contacts list, never include attachments, ever. These programs that open the files (Word, Adobe, Excel, etc.) run scripts and malicious code, not viruses, in those files can be executed by the opening program. Virus scanners do not catch the code which typically opens a backdoor into your computer. Key-loggers, which are programs that allow every key stroke you make, including user names and passwords visible to the jerk that sent you the file.

When you hover over a link, don’t click it, Spectrum adds a redirect info which just makes trying to decipher who the email came from that much harder. If you see any link from a http://bit/ly Which is a short code format for the true link or and link ending in anything other than .com, .gov, .edu. just stay away. Chances are the .?? is from another country and many .net and .org domains are bought up from scammers when the commerce organization (.com) didn’t want to pay the extra $0.99 to buy and manage those to keep them out of the copycat groups. As an example, your bank will own all available primary domains, but only use .com (historically that is)

Blocking and Filtering: The limit from Spectrum is appalling to say the least. You can block up to 200 emails, which is for many exhausted in one day or you can make clever rules for filtering. Block by using filter rules, again appalling since you have a limit of 20. Make them count by filtering by special characters in subject lines “[“, “*”, “!”, “~” as examples. Also, the words “money”, “last”, “debt”, “ink”, “mortgage” and others.

Finally, as many have stated, move to another free email service that has their act together like Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Stay away from Yahoo. I have had my email from TWC for 30+ years now, but have moved every real contact and company I deal with to another email account. Extremely painful process, but I now get only 75 emails a day in my RR account and everyone is Spam. I find that is I don’t report them; the count goes down to 10 a day. The day after I report them, still having hope that TWC / Spectrum will listen, it jumps the next day to 2x, 3x, 5x for a while.


Re: Spam, Phishing, Junk, Reporting and Filters

I want to make a note here that the spelling and grammar were perfect when posted.  I came back to find all sorts of grammar and typos but could not edit.  TWC out to get me? (Tin Foil Hat missing Smiley Happy )

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Julia R.
Spectrum-Social Media Customer Care
Lead Moderator-Community Forums

Re: Spam, Phishing, Junk, Reporting and Filters

Great tips Woody1.  I made a post about these email's a short time ago before seeing your post.  I agree wholeheartedly with much if not all of what you said.  I thought being with Time Warner nearly 20 years was a long time but amazingly, you have me beat!


I had wondered if reporting the emails as spam to TW simply 'helped' the spammers and you confirmed that.  I have given up on reporting them anyways after all these months but allowing us to only have 20 rules certainly adds to the frustration.  If we could create more rules it would help but TW, Spectrum, whatever they want to be called now really needs to get their act together and address this at this point.  


I commend you for moving your 'main' email elsewhere but for me personally, before I do that, I am going to drop Spectrum and just move on.  It will be a pain in the butt changing so many sites and such to a new email address after 20 years but I simply pay Spectrum too much money for the services I get, never mind their lack of caring about this issue after all the time I have waited since first contacting them about this.