How to Deal With People Who Send Annoying Email Forwards

There’s nothing more annoying than opening your email INBOX thinking you have a new mail, only to find out that it’s just an email Forward.  These devious little emails have many forms.  It might be a chain letter that tells you that a terrible fate will befall you if you don’t forward the letter to everyone in your INBOX.  It might be an urban legend, a list of off color jokes, funny photos, animal comedy videos, or touching stories about the life-changing joys of having small children. 


In some cases, though, email forwards can be more than a passing nuisance.  They can have malware or viruses attached to them, which can infect all your files if you open the email. 


The only thing that the email forwards have in common is that they are a pain, and you have to sift through your mail just to delete them.  You have a couple of different options when dealing with this type of problem, and the one that you choose will generally depend upon the type of email forwards you are receiving.


Here is how to deal with some of the most popular types of email forwards:


If you receive emails from “Nigerian Princes” who want your bank account number so they can selflessly give you money, or if you receive emails that say AOL or some other provider owes you money, it is best to delete them without opening them.  Remember the phrase, ‘Beware Strangers Bearing Gifts!’  Anything from a stranger offering you money in return for your home address, social security number, bank account number etc should be enough to set your alarm bells ringing. 


To deal with these, set your spam filter to a level where it can catch these so that they don’t ever get into your inbox.  You can also buy Anti-Spam software from AVG or Norton that will catch these.  You can even set your filter to detect certain words that are spam…. for instance, the word ‘Nigeria’ should be the very first one on your list, as should ‘free laptop!’ or ‘free ipod!’


Dealing with other types of email forwards can be a bit trickier because it often involves dealing with people that you know.  Family members and friends will sometimes send email blasts out to everyone in their email address book.  The messages are usually jokes or photos that they find cute or funny.  However, these are still annoying to most people, who may not share their sense of humor or appreciate their best friend’s list of their ‘Top 1000 Funny Cat Pictures!’ at 9am on a Monday morning.


Take a diplomatic approach and let the sender tactfully know that you don’t want to be on their list for those types of email forwards.  Some people might be offended, but explain that you often miss important email from them because you have to weed through all of the chain emails they send you. 


For an extreme offender, try ignoring any personal emails they send you for a week or longer, then when they complain, remark offhandedly that you get so many email Forwards from them that you’re at the point where you just delete anything with their name on it.  That should hopefully make them open their eyes to their mass-Forwarding ways!

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