AOL has a system where users can tag email they receive at AOL as Spam. Their system has a serious flaw in the way that it blocks. Please see below.
In the graphic above at #1 a spammer sends some email to you at firstname.lastname@example.org. The mail arrives at #2 your server account. Because you have set this up as a forward the server only acts as a slave and sends the mail on to your AOL account which is #3 above.
There are two cases that happen. AOL may see the email as spam or you flag the email as spam when it get to your AOL mailbox. AOL does not block the real sender which is the spammer at #1 they block the server that sent the mail into AOL which is #2 the server hosting your account. This not only blocks email you might want but it effects every account on the server that may want to send mail to an AOL user.
We also have an anti-spam system built into SmarterMail, but it blocks the source of the email #1 which is exactly the way it should work. We can only describe their system as defective. We have been in contact since last week with AOL about this issue but their support is next to non-existent.
Please take one of the following actions.
- Take AOL out of the picture by setting up a real mail account instead of forwarding it on. The more mail is handled the chances increase that there are going to be problems. Each time mail is forwarded it looks more and more like spam to receiving servers. This is because spammers use this trick of relaying mail from one server to another before it is finally sent the end recipient.
- Choose to use an Internet Service Provider other than AOL that only blacklists the originator of spam and not the forwarding mail-server.