Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mailbox Not Found

I recently got an email from a listserv that I am signed on with which read:

"You have been automatically removed from the PTFAVE list (PHYSICS TODAY FAVORITES) as a result of repeated delivery error reports from your mail system.

While you are obviously able to receive mail, your mail system has been regularly reporting to the PTFAVE list that your account did not exist"

and finally:

"- The last reported error was: 5.1.1 550 Mailbox not found"

Now what is odd about this is that I know that this account is disabled (hence the error message) but somehow I got the message. I had originally set up the now disabled account to forward to another account and it has been doing that, until the account was disabled several months ago. But apparently I can still get mail from it.

But wait there's more! I wanted to see if the account was still working so I sent an email to myself thinking that if it got forwarded then the account was still active and if it did not then it wasn't. So I tried and this is what I got:

" ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
(reason: 550 Mailbox not found)
(expanded from:

----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to
>>> DATA
<<< 550 Mailbox not found User unknown
X-Actual-Recipient: RFC822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Remote-MTA: DNS;
Diagnostic-Code: SMTP; 550 Mailbox not found
Last-Attempt-Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 09:17:59 -0600"

So my mailbox doesn't exist and it won't forward an email I send to it but gives me an error message instead, BUT I'M STILL GETTING MAIL FROM IT! Try and figure that one out.


  1. We have been getting those kinds of messages for some time with variations. In some instances they are spam and are attempting to get a response so that the spammer can verify an active E-mail address.

  2. I one time tried setting up a mail server just for fun. I did something wrong because the next thing I knew it was forwarding all my emails to everyone in my addressbook. Luckily it was an email account with few emails and few people in my addressbook so it didn't turn out that bad. But still, it gave me a good laugh.

    Also, on reason I switched to Gmail was the BYU servers had such a small amount of inbox space that I would get one email with a big attachment, and next thing I knew all my new mail was being rejected. Those days are officially over.


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