Empty Email Messages

Lately I have been noticing an increase of completely blank email messages in my inbox. I get anywhere from 1-5 empty emails a day. The messages have nothing but a relatively small truncated internet header. Some of the internet headers are truncated in the middle of a header message. My guess is they are spam that gets stripped by some mail server but I really don't know. I have started keeping them in separate folder to see if I can maybe figure out a pattern.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Does anyone know why this happens?

Does anyone have any ideas to fix this problem?

Published Monday, January 17, 2005 11:00 PM by puzzlehacker

Comments

# re: Empty Email Messages

Same Problem and no Idea what it could be...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 12:12 AM by Harry

# re: Empty Email Messages

Besides development, I also run a small ISP, so I see (and hear about this) a lot. Older versions of Outlook "freeze up" when you get a faulty header in the email and prevent downloading the rest of your mail, so I believe this is an attempt to do just that.

I know there's a new tactic being used, but I haven't figured out what it is specifically, but I do have a few clients which are encountering problems with this new round of blank emails. I had put a script to weed out the bad headers on my email server (Merak), but this new round seems to be getting through my filter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 11:06 AM by Daryl

# re: Empty Email Messages

I'm running the latest version of Outlook (2003 with SP1). Thanks for the explanation that sounds reasonable and may actually still be the problem. I will see if I can figure anything out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 1:24 PM by Wes Haggard

# re: Empty Email Messages

Wes, I got them all the time with my old BSD-based provider, but haven't gotten a single blank since I dropped that account (after 10 years) and went exclusively with a Windows provider. I forgot how frustrating that was until I read your post. Let us know what happens!

Thursday, January 20, 2005 10:16 PM by Dave Burke

# re: Empty Email Messages

i gettum too they seem sinister somehow

Friday, June 30, 2006 1:32 AM by gerald carey

# re: Empty Email Messages

I have an interesting twist to this puzzle. I get empty messages, but only when they are displayed. All the blank messages that I receive are actually legitimate email and when I click REPLY, I can actually see the content of the message. Some odd quirk but I don't have a reason for it. Some messages come through fine others do not, and I have yet to determine the difference.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:15 PM by Ben Keene

# re: Empty Email Messages

Hmm... outlookand private ISPs..... that's all fine and dandy.... but i receive them in yahoo and gmail, accessed either by IE or Firefox... What do you think about that....?

Monday, July 31, 2006 3:47 AM by Kon

# re: Empty Email Messages

For Outlook 2003 one point of confusion - when inserting the vowels and maybe f (for fw:) you have to do them one at a time, ie., a then add, e then add, etc. If you do them at once it puts double quotes around the whole thing as one string.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:46 PM by Tazz

# re: Empty Email Messages

Yes the spam comes through Thunderbird too with an independent ISP. The spam is smart enough to use the name of someone you want to get email from. Then you open it thinking it is from a friend. They have blank bodies but the subject is always spam. Just a new technique, just ignore them or report them to

spam@ftc.gov

(Federal Trade Commission investigates spammers).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:33 PM by Dave

# re: Empty Email Messages

I get them too using Apple OSX. I use the Comcast mail service & over the past 6 month I have 6 of my regular corespondees messages start to arrive empty. Once it begins I no longer can receive their messages--just the header & attachment lines.

I have had them attach a copy of their message to get around the problem. It happens if I use Safari or Netscape, from my home computer or at work.

I spoke with Comcast &  they don't know why. I was looking for common threads & had considered Apple OS X as one but Apple won't talk to me unless I pay them $50--& then from the other comments, here, I sense it may not be an Apple thing. I tried calling Microsoft but when they heard I didn't own an MS product they hung up on me. I think that all of the people (sendees) who I have this problem with are using MS Outlook Express--one more to hear back from.

I hope that my experiences add a few more clues but I would be happier if the companies, especially, MS would take it more seriously. Anyone else had better experiences with MS Tech Support?

Monday, September 24, 2007 2:33 PM by jim Reddin

# re: Empty Email Messages

empty e mail messages! I cant foreward any email they arrive at the new location with blank message area.This started with the new aol e mail program. any help out there.My son says the same thing is happening onreceived emails from other people.He can foreward e mails ok.just get blanks from aol .

Sunday, October 28, 2007 10:57 AM by mike

# re: Empty Email Messages

I have started receiving an unbelievable number of these messages suddenly and can't figure out why someone would send an empty message.

I am using a Win XP computer, IE and Firefox Browsers, I do not use Outlook or Outlook Express and have been receiving them on a web email address (yahoo.com).  

What purpose does it serve to send a message with nothing in it to someone you don't know?  Is it to just slow the internet down and make our inboxes even more congested with junk/spam/trash to sift through and delete?

I always see "don't open emails from people you don't know", but I can't avoid all messages or I'll miss a lot of things that could be very important.

I am extremely careful to NEVER click links in an unknown (and even most known) sender's messages, as well as never opening an attachment from an unknown sender - along with scanning everything in advance from even my most known and trusted senders.  So what could possibly happen if I only click the subject line, open the message and look inside?  Does yahoo send a "receipt" to the sender that I've opened it?  That would let them know that it's a valid address and then spamming would commence, but if not, what purpose could it serve??  Can someone explain this madness to me??

Thanks!

Saturday, March 15, 2008 10:38 PM by Kerry

# re: Empty Email Messages

My inbox is empty and yesterday I had messages.  Anyone know how to fix this???

Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:52 AM by Debbie

# re: Empty Email Messages

I only get these from aol, my gmail and yahoo accounts so far are fine.  I know the messages are legitimate.  I can go back later or sometimes not til the next day and they open with the content intact.  I wish someone could figure this out.  It is almost like the message hasn't fully arrived and then later it finishes and is there when opened.

Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:42 PM by Deb

# re: Empty Email Messages

I have a VERY similar problem, but just a little different.  The SENDER of some e-mails that go to about 30-40 people gets complaints from a few recepients that her e-mail is blank.  Very strange.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 7:56 AM by Fburrow

# re: Empty Email Messages

Such a relief to read this - I've been having a problem with bounced spam that's been sent out via a foreign IP using my email address & have had to take a sudden deep interest in my junk folder. When I noticed these "empty" emails I thought they might be some sinister virus vehicle ... they are totally blank apart from the date: 01-01-1970. Brrrrr.

But it seems they're just a glitch or an anomally and I can just keep deleting them. For what it's worth I only get them in Mozilla Thunderbird, not Gmail. I don't use Outlook.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:30 PM by Barbara

# re: Empty Email Messages

I AM GETTING ABOUT 5 BLANK EMAILS A DAY.  SOME ARE FORM LIGITIMATE USERS. I AM PERPLEXED ON WHAT MIGHT BE CAUSING THIS AS WELL.  SOMETIMES IF I HIT REPLY THIS ALLOW ME TO VIEW THE EMAIL. SOMETIMES THAT DOES NOT WORK.GO FIGURE!IF ANY ONE HAS A SOLUTION, I WOULD BE GLAD TO HEAR IT.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:58 AM by KATHRYN S

# re: Empty Email Messages

I am the one sending blank emails.  Only problem is I am not sending them it is an auto thing once I get one from someone it sends them a blank from my computer.  I have had that happen when I am not at my computer it is off and I am at someone elses computer sending something to myself.  In comes an blank email to the friend???  How to solve this is a mystery.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:34 AM by MARIE

# re: Empty Email Messages

I get these as well. If you expand the header you see they are coming from this company: ceolysis.com

Their site is just a facade. If no matter how you get to it if you hit "unsubscribe" it tells you that you've been dropped from the list. Of course nothing of the such has happened and you keep getting them.

I have sent a notice to the FBI on them, for what good it will do

Sunday, January 4, 2009 7:03 PM by Steve Pizzo

# re: Empty Email Messages

I am using Mac Leopard and Mac Mail through Comcast and I have started getting these blank emails. No matter what I do, I cannot find content.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 8:48 AM by Rob

# re: Empty Email Messages

Hi, I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:45 AM by shelpblethy