SpamCop is a spam reporting web service that allows users to report email addresses and domains that are sending them spam, unwanted, or unsolicited email messages. In recent years, the service has been acquired by Cisco Systems and is now marketed as a Cisco Service.SpamCop offers an email blacklisting service called the SpamCop Black List (SCBL) that contains a list of all the reported and blocklisted domains.
How does SpamCop work?
SpamCop is a list of blacklisted IP addresses that have been reported by SpamCop users. If any SpamCop user lists your IP address in SpamCop, your emails will be effectively blacklisted, even if your emails did not contain any spammy content or you did not perform any suspicious practices.
Fortunately, though, you will only have to stay on SpamCop blocking list for a short period of time. SpamCop usually removes your address from the list 24 hours after you have been listed, provided you do not get reported again by a SpamCop user.
If a SpamCop user makes another complaint against your IP address once you have been delisted, SpamCop will add you to the blacklist again and will increase the block duration before you can be delisted again.
However, for a first-time offense, SpamCop will only place you on a list for 24 hours. This means you will be removed from the blocking list automatically after this time frame if you avoid sending emails or getting complaint reports from recipients.
Once you have a complaint raised against you, SpamCop will parse the header from the reported message and will send you the details of the complaint. SpamCop achieves this by using services like DNS, whois, etc., to check the information about the header of the email.
Reasons why SpamCop might blacklist you
SpamCop might blacklist you for a number of reasons.
Your IP address might be blacklisted if your server has sent an email to the multiple spam traps that have been set up by SpamCop. These spam trap addresses are kept secret, and SpamCop provides no report or evidence about them.
You can also land on SpamCop’s blacklist if a SpamCop user reports your server as a source of spam emails. The thing about SpamCop is that it does not run its own tests to determine whether an email is deemed legitimate mail or spam. If a user reports that a mail is a spam, then SpamCop takes them at their word.
This also means that you can be added to a SpamCop blacklist through a user mistake, even though you might not have committed any suspicious activity.
In some cases, you might be a victim of a security breach, resulting in a compromised email address. These accounts can be used by hackers to send spam thousands of emails to unsuspecting victims to gain their personal information or credit card information.
To determine that no suspicious activity is being carried with your email, you can take a look at the logs of your SMTP server. If you see a large number of logins from hundreds of different IP addresses in the SMTP server log, it means a spammer has hacked your account.
Also, keep in mind that open proxies and relays are high on SpamCop’s high-alert lists since most spammers send scammy emails through them.
Therefore, if you send your emails through an open proxy or relay server, there is a high chance that you may be blacklisted.
How do I find if I am on SpamCop’s blacklist?
To find out whether your IP is blacklisted by SpamCop, visit SpamCop’s lookup page.
Once you are on the page, you can add your IP to the field given below and it will show whether you have been blacklisted by the SpamCop blacklist.
How do I remove myself from the SpamCop blocking list?
If your IP address has been listed in the SpamCop blacklist, then there is no need for you to take any action. Any blacklisting is only for the short term and SpamCop will automatically delist you if you have been on the list for 24 hours, provided your IP gets no more spam complaints.
In the IP lookup report, you can see how long you will need to wait before SpamCop delists you. If the ETA is 0, then it means the IP has already entered the delisting phase. It can take the service up to four hours to reflect the results of the delisting.
Keep in mind that although the timing is 24 hours for a single, first-time offense, SpamCop will extend it if the IP address gets multiple spam reports.
If another complaint report is made after your IP has been listed, SpamCop will increase the time period for the next delisting of your server.
If you have received a SpamCop report even though you have not performed any spamming activity, SpamCop allows you to make a dispute report to resolve an issue faster. Normally, there are two reasons why a report may be disputed:
- A technical error: A SpamCop server or program has malfunctioned, leading to it accidentally adding your IP address to the blacklist.
- A user error: A user has mistakenly added your IP address to the blacklist.
How to avoid being blacklisted by SpamCop
To avoid being blacklisted by SpamCop, you should always follow the best practices for email deliverability. Some of the ways you can reduce the risk of falling into SpamCop blacklists are given below:
- Do not buy email lists as they are filled with low-quality emails, people with high complaint reports, and spam traps.
- Do not collect random email addresses from all across the internet. Only add relevant and engaged people to your email list.
- If you are sending out newsletters, marketing, or transactional emails, your contact list should only contain people who subscribed to your list.
- Getting explicit permission from recipients before sending them emails. A double opt-in is a good practice. Also, give them a clear and easy way to opt out of your email service.
- Regularly monitor your sender reputation and deliverability to resolve email activity or performance issues quickly.
- Set up the three major email authentication protocols, namely SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, to show that you are a legitimate sender.
- Make sure you have good email security to safeguard your mail servers from cybercrimes like hacking, malware, or bots, that result in fake emails.
- Keep your email subscription list clean by getting rid of inactive, expired, or incorrect email addresses and only keeping active and engaged addresses.
- Keep monitoring your server logs and user logins to detect any spam attacks or system abuse.
- Keep your cold email volume to no more than 150 a day per email address and domain. If you see a sudden spike in your email volume, it might be someone using your address without authorization.
Important: Test your deliverability, it's free and takes 1 minute
You need to check how your deliverability is doing and take action if needed.
To get your deliverability score and find out where your emails land on the major providers, you can use MailReach’s Free Email Spam Test. Most of the other existing tools are biased and/or not reliable to properly measure your inbox placement.
Basically, you simply have to send an email (in real sending conditions) to a list of 31 inboxes given by MailReach and we’ll give you a detailed report on your deliverability including all the things you can improve to land more in inbox.
You get a score out of 10 and a list of checks (content, spam words, links, tracking, blacklists and many more)