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Why are Benchmark Emails always labeled as potential spam or scam?

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I use Benchmark Emails as a service that helps me to send out emails to about 300 of my ski club members. Most ISPs don't allow that many email recipients in a single email, so I am forced to use a service such as Benchmark Emails. But Thunderbird automatically labels all my emails as potentially dangerous spam. Whenever I click on a link included in emails created by me within a Benchmark Email, I always get an ominous warning that this could be dangerous. Thunderbird is really being annoying in this way and unnecessarily alarming our ski club members. The additional problem is: 1. I have to click on "Ignore this for this email" every time, and this has absolutely no effect on future such emails. Why don't you give us an option to make this a permanent ignore? 2. Thundrerbird also suggests that I modify my Security and Privacy settings, but there is nothing in those settings that I can do to prevent Thunderbird from labeling all Benchmark Emails as dangerous. This is a real shame and a black mark for Thunderbird. It's acting as a fear-monger and there is nothing we can do to prevent such scare tactics. Or is there? I don't see any solution to this except to complain tio the company. But the company doesn't want any emails from anybody. Thunderbird has isolated itself and won't provide us with an email address where we can contact them with complaints. Instead, it relies only on volunteers to try to appease us. Is there any way to contact anyone at Thunderbird? And why do you allow only images to be attached here? It seems more appropriate to attach the actual Benchmark Email here and ask you why you label it as dangerous?

I use Benchmark Emails as a service that helps me to send out emails to about 300 of my ski club members. Most ISPs don't allow that many email recipients in a single email, so I am forced to use a service such as Benchmark Emails. But Thunderbird automatically labels all my emails as potentially dangerous spam. Whenever I click on a link included in emails created by me within a Benchmark Email, I always get an ominous warning that this could be dangerous. Thunderbird is really being annoying in this way and unnecessarily alarming our ski club members. The additional problem is: 1. I have to click on "Ignore this for this email" every time, and this has absolutely no effect on future such emails. Why don't you give us an option to make this a permanent ignore? 2. Thundrerbird also suggests that I modify my Security and Privacy settings, but there is nothing in those settings that I can do to prevent Thunderbird from labeling all Benchmark Emails as dangerous. This is a real shame and a black mark for Thunderbird. It's acting as a fear-monger and there is nothing we can do to prevent such scare tactics. Or is there? I don't see any solution to this except to complain tio the company. But the company doesn't want any emails from anybody. Thunderbird has isolated itself and won't provide us with an email address where we can contact them with complaints. Instead, it relies only on volunteers to try to appease us. Is there any way to contact anyone at Thunderbird? And why do you allow only images to be attached here? It seems more appropriate to attach the actual Benchmark Email here and ask you why you label it as dangerous?
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Matt
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
3214 solutions 21996 answers

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I will assume the message is about scams not spam. They are two different functions to Thunderbird as one is little more than an annoyance, scams however can have significant financial consequences. Hence there is significant resistance to suggestions that the scam detection be turned off by default.

Thunderbird scam detection process is very simplistic and is described here https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbirds-scam-detection#w_thunderbirds-automatic-scam-filtering

Thunderbird will be probably be responding to the tracking information that is included in the links in your mail. While you might think tracking who clicks and who reads your email, it is really an invasion of the recipients privacy and the thin edge of the whole internet meta tracking thing. It is not Ok with me. One of the reasons Thunderbird blocks remote images is to also protect the users privacy as the accessing of the remote images offer the sender tracking information they really have no right to. User privacy is very important to the folk driving Thunderbird forward.

The article I linked to provides details of how to turn the scan detection off. It has no setting other than on or off.

It is an area of Thunderbird that requires some TLC, but there is a lot of technical debt that accrued in the years before and immediately after Mozilla ceased development. The community is getting to these things.

The following links are to bug reports on the topic of scam detection enhancements. That is the accepted way of asking for change to open source products like Thunderbird.

Your exact complaint appears to have be modifieded in bug 1476428 https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1476428 which will make it's public appearance in Thunderbird 68. so the warning appears after the link is clicked, not before.

However the following links are germane to the discussion. Scam detector should allow a user to train it so duplicate/similar emails are not marked as a scam. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=320351

Tracking bug for improvements of Thunderbird's scam / phishing detection and user interaction https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=654502 Use the depends on list to see the associated tasks/ requests

I will assume the message is about scams not spam. They are two different functions to Thunderbird as one is little more than an annoyance, scams however can have significant financial consequences. Hence there is significant resistance to suggestions that the scam detection be turned off by default. Thunderbird scam detection process is very simplistic and is described here https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbirds-scam-detection#w_thunderbirds-automatic-scam-filtering Thunderbird will be probably be responding to the tracking information that is included in the links in your mail. While you might think tracking who clicks and who reads your email, it is really an invasion of the recipients privacy and the thin edge of the whole internet meta tracking thing. It is not Ok with me. One of the reasons Thunderbird blocks remote images is to also protect the users privacy as the accessing of the remote images offer the sender tracking information they really have no right to. User privacy is very important to the folk driving Thunderbird forward. The article I linked to provides details of how to turn the scan detection off. It has no setting other than on or off. It is an area of Thunderbird that requires some TLC, but there is a lot of technical debt that accrued in the years before and immediately after Mozilla ceased development. The community is getting to these things. The following links are to bug reports on the topic of scam detection enhancements. That is the accepted way of asking for change to open source products like Thunderbird. Your exact complaint appears to have be modifieded in bug 1476428 https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1476428 which will make it's public appearance in Thunderbird 68. so the warning appears after the link is clicked, not before. However the following links are germane to the discussion. Scam detector should allow a user to train it so duplicate/similar emails are not marked as a scam. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=320351 Tracking bug for improvements of Thunderbird's scam / phishing detection and user interaction https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=654502 Use the depends on list to see the associated tasks/ requests
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Question owner

Hi Matt,

Thanks for a very thorough response. I am impressed. I am also glad to hear that many other people have an issue with how the scam detection works and have already brought it up as a bug.

But I also noticed that some of these bug reports are 14 years old and still unresolved. The particular bug report that I most agree with is: Scam detector should allow a user to train it so duplicate/similar emails are not marked as a scam. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=320351

That bug was first reported 14 years ago. I would really like to be able to train the system to quit giving a scam alert once I have clicked on "This is not a scam". There should be a white list for "not scams" just like there is for individual email senders that I can permanently label as either spam or not spam.

Well, I am just glad that the community is aware of the issue, and hopefully it will some day be resolved.

You said there should be some resolution to this in version 68. Really? I am currently running Thunderbird version 60.8. Does that mean we'll have to wait for 8 more versions, from 60 to 68?

Hi Matt, Thanks for a very thorough response. I am impressed. I am also glad to hear that many other people have an issue with how the scam detection works and have already brought it up as a bug. But I also noticed that some of these bug reports are 14 years old and still unresolved. The particular bug report that I most agree with is: Scam detector should allow a user to train it so duplicate/similar emails are not marked as a scam. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=320351 That bug was first reported 14 years ago. I would really like to be able to train the system to quit giving a scam alert once I have clicked on "This is not a scam". There should be a white list for "not scams" just like there is for individual email senders that I can permanently label as either spam or not spam. Well, I am just glad that the community is aware of the issue, and hopefully it will some day be resolved. You said there should be some resolution to this in version 68. Really? I am currently running Thunderbird version 60.8. Does that mean we'll have to wait for 8 more versions, from 60 to 68?
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AgnesRM
  • Top 25 Contributor
12 solutions 85 answers

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Hi I think version 68 is in Beta testing now. Perhaps you could help the community test and report on whether this feature is improved? https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/channel/ Agnes

Hi I think version 68 is in Beta testing now. Perhaps you could help the community test and report on whether this feature is improved? https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/channel/ Agnes
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Question owner

Agnes,

Thanks a bunch! I just downloaded the Beta version of Thunderbird 68, and my first impression is that my issue with false scam alerts has been solved. Wonderful!

I checked and verified that my Scam filter is still on. But I am now not getting any false alerts to my own emails created using Benchmark Emails.

1) I am not getting the false alert when I first open the email; and 2) I am not being scared by a false alert that the links I click on in the email might be dangerous. Instead, I am taken directly to the deisred web page.

I am not sure how exactly this was accomplished. It might not be a white list, because I got this result right away, before I was able to "train" my email system to recognize which sources I trust.

But, whatever it does, it works wonderfully now!

This is just my first impression. I will be testing it some more over the next days and weeks. I will provide some feedback if I come across anything where I might give a constructive comment.

Thanks a bunch for suggesting that I try the Beta version!

Agnes, Thanks a bunch! I just downloaded the Beta version of Thunderbird 68, and my first impression is that my issue with false scam alerts has been solved. Wonderful! I checked and verified that my Scam filter is still on. But I am now not getting any false alerts to my own emails created using Benchmark Emails. 1) I am not getting the false alert when I first open the email; and 2) I am not being scared by a false alert that the links I click on in the email might be dangerous. Instead, I am taken directly to the deisred web page. I am not sure how exactly this was accomplished. It might not be a white list, because I got this result right away, before I was able to "train" my email system to recognize which sources I trust. But, whatever it does, it works wonderfully now! This is just my first impression. I will be testing it some more over the next days and weeks. I will provide some feedback if I come across anything where I might give a constructive comment. Thanks a bunch for suggesting that I try the Beta version!
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