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I've been receiving email from a company, but they claim I'm not on any of their email lists and that it must be getting forwarded by one of their clients.

How can I determine whether or not the email is being sent to me directly or not?

I've submitted the headers to spamcop, and according to that it's coming directly from the sender.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Looking at the headers, you should be able to tell every mail server the message touched. For example:

Received: by with SMTP id j15cs159695hbj; Mon, 1 Feb 2010 07:57:34 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id e21mr2070265qal.227.1265039847481; Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:57:27 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( []) by with ESMTP id 7si11544910qyk.54.2010.; Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:57:27 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: neutral ( is neither permitted nor denied by domain of client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=neutral ( is neither permitted nor denied by domain of Received: from ( []) by (8.13.8/8.13.8) with ESMTP id o11FrAg1003597 for ; Mon, 1 Feb 2010 10:57:24 -0500
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 10:57:24 -0500

Follow the Received lines. We can see the message bounced around some internal google servers ( and, that google got the message from [], but that the first smtp server to send the message was []

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but if there was a server-based redirect, would it simply add another Received: line? I wouldn't think so, and the headers show the same sort of path - received from yahoo, including the sender's account and ip; then on to google, then a couple of internal google addresses. Yet the sender claims he is absolutely not sending to my email address. – chris Feb 4 '10 at 22:43
I'm pretty sure that the Received line is added by the receiver. So unless the sender has hacked google, you can be confident that the input to google (in this example is accurate. The stuff before that interaction might have been spoofed. – pcapademic Feb 5 '10 at 19:30

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