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Where Do Dummy Email Addresses Go?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the but-what-does-it-mean-man dept.

Privacy 926

ajain writes "Maybe a year and a half back or so, I started using someone@somewhere.com as a dummy email id in online blogs, guestboks, forums, and sundry pages. But then I started wondering what if someone actually tried to email me on that email address. I was sure that it would bounce because I assumed that there wouldn't be an actual email address like that. In any case, just for fun, I decided to google on someone@somewhere.com. And lo behold, there are some 4090 results! I have written a small article at my blog and a reader says NoOne@NoWhere.com is another contender. Do you use some common dummy email IDs too, to get around the privacy problem online? Isn't there a potential for malicious misuse of someone's email ID in this way?"

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They go to the (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666186)

G N A A, duh!

Re:They go to the (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666268)

Another comon one, asdf.com [asdf.com] (you need to use qwerty and not dvorak to see why :)

isn't it obvious? (5, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666195)

how many people fill out bill.g@microsoft.com (or something similar)
the answer is "yes", move along.

Re:isn't it obvious? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666288)

I have been using sjobs@apple.com for years.

Re:isn't it obvious? (0, Flamebait)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666309)

some of us early netscape users may well recall marca@netscape.com... as the first message in INBOX...

I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666198)


Survey (0, Redundant)

solarmist (313127) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666200)

So, what is your favorite dummy e-mail address???

I like asdf@lkj.com

Re:Survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666218)


Re:Survey (1)

hoist2k (601872) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666260)

fuck@you.com is pretty common. when i'm feeling less obnoxious, the occasional no@way.com

Re:Survey (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666265)


I like to show the folks who collect this registration "data" just how hostile it makes their users.

fake email (2, Interesting)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666202)

I usually use no@no.com. Never checked if it exists.

Re:fake email (1)

jdh28 (19903) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666243)

$ whois no.com
CentralNic Ltd (NO202-DOM)
64-66 Coleman Street
London EC2R 5BX

no@no.no would be even better though.

Re:fake email (5, Interesting)

pegr (46683) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666319)

Even better, don't use a fake email. I use me@privacy.net. If you send mail there, you get an auto-reply that says the submitter likes their privacy and you generally suck for being an email harvester. Go ahead, send me@privacy.net an email and see what I mean...

Left hand (2, Funny)

Rexz (724700) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666203)

I usually spam a few characters with my non-mouse hand:


Re:Left hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666245)

sure you didn't mean sadfd@adti.net?

jesus touched my junk liberally (1)

King of the Trolls (740328) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666206)

jesus touched my junk liberally. he strapped me to his cross and he couldnt keep his offensive hands off of me. he was performing many red flag touches. i couldnt believe what the fuck was going on. i told jesus that the church would not approve of the son of god touching an atheist for free.

it doesn't help at all that jesus has been spun out after touching everyone's junk. He can hardly see straight after touching lazarus's diseased junk. How is he possibly going to explain this to the pope when he doesnt save the next soul in distress? They'll make him drop trou in front of the Pharisees again. There it is. Judas Iscariot just called and asked why jesus hasn't been crucified. He has to go.

example.com? (1)

Steve G Swine (49788) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666207)

Please tell me email to example.com really does go nowhere where it costs people money... I can't count the number of places I've used that anymore.

Re:example.com? (5, Insightful)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666248)

If you go to example.com (or .org, .net) it'll tell you that it was set up as a dummy domain in some RFC for the express purpose of being used as an example: "so then you point your browser to example.com" that wouldn't be abusable. So go right ahead and use example.[com|org|net].

Example.com goes nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666251)

It's an example domain [example.com] , set aside to be used as an example.

me@me.com (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666209)

Poor owner of that address. These days, though, I use @example.com wherever possible because I know it won't go anywhere at all. It's not a bad idea for other people to use it when they can, either.

Mail Somewhere (4, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666211)

Strangely enough, somewhere.com [somewhere.com] offers anti-spam services as well as other consulting things. Could it be that they have set up someone@somewhere.com as a black hole to track spammers? That sure would rock. There is always some misuse when you post your email address online. Don't do it. Simply code a form for contacting you via email and let PHP or whatever send it to you behind the scenes. This halts any kind of email harvesting, and results in the use of faked email addresses, or obvious ones, like admin@DOMAIN.com or whatever. If you have a catchall, you should disable it and let them all bounce. When enough email bounces, someone somewhere will figure out something to solve the problem of spam, or run of the mill spammers will just give up.

Re:Mail Somewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666267)

Form mails are useful but they force people to use your application rather than their own. I prefer obfuscating my email address so much the majority of harvesters won't catch it.

It's also in my GPG public key, but I'm not expecting everyone to have one. Bummer. If people did, there would probably be harvesters checking them, too, though.

Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666310)

If people, like the submitter, were using it for site registrations, etc, and it becomes a spamtrap, then a lot of innocent sites will get flagged as spammers.

Re:Mail Somewhere (1)

imroy (755) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666312)

Simply code a form for contacting you via email and let PHP or whatever send it to you behind the scenes

...and watch as the spammers use your form to send millions of spams to other people!

Remember people, be careful with email forms. They may reduce the spam to you, but can contribute to the global spam problem. And if you want to send legitimate email from that machine as well, good luck getting off of the RBL's.

Abuse yes (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666213)

I'm sure there is lots of abuse
I've typed mom or dad and had my client not substitute the address, so this could happen by accident quite likely.

Generally I use root@localhost, or the site (here I might use root@slashdot)

example.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666219)

I use nobody@example.com since that address will never resolve. Most application forms won't care though.

AOL (1)

FosterSJC (466265) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666220)

Way way back when, I used to mess around with pre-written VB (VB 3,4) modules already set up with API to interface with AOL. You could make a mail bomber and other malicious programs with very little actual programming experience. I remember testing my work on "Screenname@aol.com". I assumed that since AOL often used the handle to indicate where to use a screenname, it couldn't actually be someone's screenname. Wrong. He emailed me back after I sent him a few thousand emails, threatening to report me.

Re:AOL (3, Funny)

Zoko Siman (585929) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666272)

Right, posting about your mail bombing exploits to innocent AOL customers is the perfect way to get respct and karma around here. Let alone you did it in VB.

Fake. (1)

Slayk (691976) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666221)


Or if the form is particularly stupid, fake@fakemail.fake. I love that one.

Why do I do it? Well, I need a usable inbox, and a useable inbox isn't one who is getting hit with (or sorting out with filters) site's advertisements that I have no interest in.

I always used... (2, Interesting)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666223)

I always used root@localhost as the replyto when I posted to usenet, let the spambots pick that one up...

e-mail alias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666225)

I usually use xxx@yyy.com

Mailinator (4, Informative)

iCharles (242580) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666226)

I used to use the ones you describe, as well as "fatchance@nospam.com." Then, I discovered Mailinator [mailinator.com] . This is pretty handy. You make up an address @mailinator.com. Mail can go there, and the address is "created" on the fly. Later, if you are really interested (say, a registration for a newspaper site), you can pick up the mail. After a few hours, the account is deleted.

I use (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666228)

joe@shmoe.com. And no, I don't think this is a problem. Nobody actually has that e-mail address. If someone does have that e-mail address they are probably so burdened with junk and spam I hope they are smart enough to get a new one. Anyways, shmoe.com is a a cyber-squatter or some such, so screw them. Using a real address of another person as your dummy address is another story.

using real address = pure evil!!! (5, Informative)

kyknos.org (643709) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666286)

using another person as your dummy adress is pure EVIL. i was forced to abandon my main email adress because some moron used very extensivelly as a dummy address. and it was no coincidence, the address was too complex. before bayesian filtering, i had no other option than change my email and it is not an easy task if you have used for long time, you have printed ona various dead trees and so on

I use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666230)

...don.t.call.me@i.ll.call.you.com. If this is an actual destination, I apologize for the excessive solicitations for enormous ass porn.

let them die @ anti social . com (2, Funny)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666232)

Back in the day there was a web site, anti-social.com that gave out free email @anti-social.com. So I grabbed letthemdie@anti-social.com and used that whenever I had to give an address to something I didn't want to give an address to, just to be an ass.

The original Anti-social.com faded away in the mid-90's. It's rather interesting to note that now, when I point my browser to anti-social.com [anti-social.com] it redirects me to the offical Bush-Cheney '04 blog. How bizzare. What's up with that?

Webmaster (2, Funny)

mokomull (630232) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666234)

I usually use webmaster@<site>, and I check all of the "Email me adverts for all this shit!" boxes, too. Let that teach 'em to harvest emails for spam!

Confession (1)

pklinken (773410) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666236)

I always use aap@hotmail.com (aap is monkey in dutch) as a bogus address, but it's pretty probable this addy is in use and that i will be haunted from now on by it's owner..

Adress of the enemy (2, Funny)

obli (650741) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666237)

I usually sign up with the adress of people I hate. Right now it's that smelly boy in 5th grade who never would shut up about his baseball card collection.

1@2.net (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666238)

and sometimes when i sign up using that email address its already taken, heh

This is what example.com is for (5, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666241)

The domain "example.com" is reserved for exactly this purpose.

However, I find that for cases where you can be reasonably certain your address is NEVER going to be used for legitimate purposes (such as cases like this where the context implies the address is useless and it will only be treated as real by harvesters), you can skip the middle man by using uce@ftc.gov

You mean (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666242)

You never signed up your friend for a porn service as a joke? I thought that was standard adolescent fare. The more random the porn, with limits obviously, the better.

Re:You mean (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666255)

in our town we usually set him/her up an account in either mozilla or outlook express with all pr0n newsgroup...

but then we all use support@microsoft.com...

my favorites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666246)

someone@somewhere.com, fist@fuck.com, root@redhat.com, eat@me.com, etc.

The winner is foo@bar.com (4, Interesting)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666252)

  1. foo@bar.com [google.com] - 15,800
  2. someone@somewhere.com [google.com] - 4,170
  3. nobody@nowhere.com [google.com] - 2,900
  4. root@localhost.localdomainm [google.com] - 2,860
  5. mickey@mouse.com [google.com] - 2,470
  6. somebody@somewhere.com [google.com] - 2,240
  7. john@doe.com [google.com] - 2,120
  8. billgates@microsoft.com [google.com] - 1,790
  9. me@mine.com [google.com] - 1,400
  10. noone@nowhere.com [google.com] - 975
  11. fake@fake.com [google.com] - 710
  12. jane@doe.com [google.com] - 423

Re:The winner is foo@bar.com (2, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666318)

asdf@asdf.com - 1,640.

And my personal favorite:

aoeu@aoeu.com - 1. I guess the illiterate spammers living in trailer parks can't understand dvorak, making it more elitist and thus better :)

Plenty of open alternatives (5, Informative)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666253)

There are plenty of places you can safely point to. It's fair to assume that mailboxes at example.{com [example.com] |net [example.net] |org [example.net] } are unmonitored. There's also me@privacy.net which bounces email with a polite notice [privacy.net] that you don't want email from the sender. Spamcop provides the conspicuous nobody@devnull.spamcop.net, originally provided for users of their newsgroups but open to all and of course you can just use fake tlds like nobody@fake.invalid which will always be rejected before the email even leaves the spammer's servers.

If you do want to recieve email but only, say, once from a company then you'll be looking at SpamGourmet [spamgourmet.com] which provides simple, free, fowarding addresses that expire after X hits.

In a similar vein (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666254)

A couple of years ago, I gave someone my e-mail address over the phone as 'first-name dot last-name at provider dot net'. Luckily they read it back to me.


I had to point out that my first name was Vlad and last name Inhaler (ok, I'm lying but you get the point). That is probably another address each provider has which gets a lot of spam :-)

That reminds me... (4, Funny)

photonic (584757) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666256)

... i still have to ask a guy named Donald working for Disney and a guy named Dubya working at the whitehouse, if they ever received any mail for me.

bada bada bing bing (1)

unformed (225214) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666257)

support@verizon.com is what I use. I started doing this after they screwed over 2600 a little while back.

Slow news day? (1)

bokmann (323771) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666258)

Must be slow news day... but then again, I'm taking the time to reply to this...

1) When someone tries to send an email to a non-existent address, either the mail server at that domain will rejct (or swallow) the email. If the domain doesn't exist, your mailer will bounce it back to you. There is no internet equivalent of the 'dead letter office' where all the mail sent to Santa goes.

2) Potenial for abuse? Well, that is why so many listservs actually send a confirmation email that you have to reply to. Email is inherintly insecure, but this is at least something. This is just the internet's equivalent to signing someone up to receive magazine subscriptions they didn't ask for. Nothing new here... move along.

ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666261)


o/~ Don't dump your muck in my dustbin... (5, Interesting)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666262)

Once Upon A Time, a friend of mine had a domain that spelled a major ISPs name backwards (he registered it on purpose, and joked that he was the "anti-big vendor" and gave shell accounts to friends, friends of friends, etc.

Then, someone started posting to usenet a lot, who was a customer of Big Vendor , and he 'spam-proofed' his address by ever so cleverly spelling it backwards.

Suddenly dozens if not hundreds of undeliverable messages started landing on Mike's server for some clown over at ReallyBigISP.

So, like any good sysadmin, he corrected this oversight, adding a sendmail rule to deliver mail for jrluser@psigib.com to jrluser@bigisp.com.

The moral of the story: Do not create harm for some innocent third party with your spam evasion techniques. It may come back to haunt you.

I get a lot of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666264)

as the owner of a fairly popular domain name (and the sole user of the name, and no, I'm not naming it), I get a lot -- A LOT -- of email that is obviously the result of people using my domain name for "fake" addresses. It's annoying. 99.999% of the mail is spam. Thousands of pieces of mail per week. When Trustic was in beta, I made very good use of the spam. Oh yes. It all went into Trustic. It was very satisfying.

guest@life.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666269)

I had been using this email for 3 or more years until I found that life.org really exists...

It was you!!! (4, Funny)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666273)

Untitled Document

Maybe a year and a half back or so, I started using someone@somewhere.com as a dummy email id in online blogs, guestboks, forums, and sundry pages. But then I started wondering what if someone actually tried to email me on that email address.

So.... you're the jackass who clogged up my mailbox with all this crap. Thanks alot, pal!

Mailinator (2, Informative)

igrp (732252) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666275)

I used to use nobody@localhost but that hardly ever works any more. Then I used nobody@replay.com (back in the days, replay used to run a remailer and they didn't mind anyone using their 'blackhole' address).

These days, I just use Mailinator [mailinator.com] . They offer throw-away email addresses for free and automatically delete any mail the account receives after a few hours. That way, I can actually confirm registrations and the like but don't have to worry about spam. And I do not bother innocent third parties, such as the nowhere.com domain owners.

Here's mine (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666277)

fuckyou@youfuckingfuck.com. That's me.

If you ever asked for my email with less than honorable intentions and/or didn't actually need to know it, this is what you got.

Use a reserved domain name (4, Informative)

LiamQ (110676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666281)

RFC 2606 [rfc-editor.org] reserves domain names like example.com, so you can safely use those without hitting existing email addresses.

CowboyNeal option? (1)

hussar (87373) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666284)

I usually use "cowboyneal@slashdot.org". I mean, every question has to have a cowboyneal option, right?

not@today.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666285)

...Is the one...

hahaha (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666291)

Yes I use both of those someone@somewhere.com and noone@nowhere.com.

Along with youdont@needto.no

I apologize to the ammount of spam I've caused those mailbxes.

Come on people!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666294)

How many use anonymous@anonymous.com ? I've been using that since forever...I wonder if it actually exists...

No-risk, non-abusable (5, Informative)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666295)

Use a domain less than 3 chars - can't exist, according to standards, so you won't be abusing anyone. If that's not allowed, use example.com (or .org, or .net), which was set up as a dummy domain to be used in examples.

The best way I've found, though, is mailinator.com. Every @mailinator.com account "exists" (is created as needed), and other than (perhaps) root, abuse, etc., they aren't passworded. So you don't even have to set up a junk account, just make up the address on the fly. Be sure to delete any emails with passwords in 'em ASAP, of course.

Common Names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666298)

I've always pitied the poor bugger who has bob@hotmail.com.
Several of my friends and I use that as our dummy ...

I get a lot of it! (2, Interesting)

Crash Gordon (233006) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666300)

I own a domain that relates to a popular TV show -- many people use characters' email addresses when polluting registration databases (instead of using BugMeNot [bugmenot.com] ) and I get that email.

I also set up an AOL screenname "ignoreallemail@aol.com" and I use it when I'm polluting a database myself. I don't think that one can be killed. AOL dumps the inbox for me as it fills, but since I don't read any email there, I don't care.

Taken from RealPlayer (1)

orange_6 (320700) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666302)


It used to be the sample email addy on RealPlayer's activation form thing (circa 1999). After hand installing it on 200+ machines, it just stuck with me (stupid university didn't multicast-image their machines back then...we had to install everything manually..ugh)


Mochatsubo (201289) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666303)

How about bogus login passwords for one off registrations?

My favorite is

Login: asdf
Password: asdf

Let's you keep the right hand on the mouse!

Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666304)

I've always been user@domain.com.

invalid.com (1)

gorfie (700458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666305)

It's probably been said, but the correct dummy address ends with invalid.com (variations like a.invalid.com or invalid.net supposedly work too). Domains ending with invalid.* don't exist.

Re:invalid.com (1)

gorfie (700458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666328)

Well hit me with a silly stick, just found out it's not invalid.com but as the poster below said, example.com. My bad.

The Quickest to Type (2, Interesting)

vigilology (664683) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666306)

Why spend time typing nonsense emails like someone@somewhere.com and noone@nowhere.com when you can just type 1@2.com?

these work for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666308)

jsmith@hotmail.com or sometimes jsmith123@hotmail.com

poop@poop.com (2, Interesting)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666313)

is a pretty common one here in england....

by and large (eg with the proviso that only non existent domains are used for this) I applaud such things as the best way to fight all these loons building ever larger and ever more interconnected databases of internet users and profiling and tracking and analysing them is by filling those databases with as much junk as possible...

I will commonly complete you-must-register-to-get-access forms with;

a nonsensical name, eg mickey_moose_99
a DOB circa 1900
the wrong sex
an unlikely city and country, such as Krasnyy, Iran
a 90210 area code
an 0898 696969 telephone number

It would be nice to hear from someone with access to a large database, eg online newspaper, what proportion of registration data is bogus.

foo@bar.com (1)

coolfrood (459411) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666314)

I use foo@bar.com very often. I didn't realize it until today that it could be a valid email address because bar.com seems like a reasonable e-store. Even if they don't have the email address, it would still have to be dealt by their mail server before it's discarded. Probably costs them bandwidth too.

Combining anti-spam measures with political activi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666316)

That's "activism", the subject field's too short.

I use president@whitehouse.gov for everything.

try god@msn.com (1)

Goeland86 (741690) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666317)

I often use god@hotmail.com or god@msn.com for "registration" before downloads... (Realplayer for instance). Give that one a google search and have fun!

root@localhost (1)

pdp1144 (599396) | more than 9 years ago | (#9666322)

For web sites that require me to enter a email address I have found that all of them will allow root@localhost as an email address .

My favorite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9666334)

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