Spam traps

What are spam traps and how to avoid them?

Jelena avatar
Written by Jelena
Updated over a week ago

What is a spam trap?

A spam trap is an email address that looks legit but isn't in use by a real person, instead, it’s being used by mailbox providers, spam filters, and blacklists to catch senders with bad sending practices. The only purpose of spam traps is to lure and capture spammers.

If you think this doesn’t concern you, you are mistaken. Even if you are not a spammer (or at least don’t consider yourself as one :) ), there’s still a chance that you will end up being caught by spam trap unintentionally.

There isn't a way to find spam traps on your list and remove them, because those are always kept secret and often look like normal email addresses.

Sending emails to spam traps is an indicator of bad practice when it comes to collecting emails and cleaning your list.

Even if you caught by a spam trap once, that will impact your sending reputation and affect your deliverability rate.

How did the spam trap end in your mailing list?

If you are wondering how those spam traps ended up in your mailing list in a first-place, it’s important to understand the difference between types of spam traps.

The 3 main types of spam traps are Pristine, Recycled, and Typo.

Pristine spam traps are email addresses that were never used by a real person but instead are embedded in a website, purchased list, or another form of an unsolicited list. If you have some bad email collecting habits, there’s a chance that you already have some pristine traps amongst your recipients. This indicates that the sender who emails the pristine trap(s) is collecting email addresses in an unsolicited way. This is the most severe spam trap, even though all spam traps are going to harm your sending reputation, sending a message to a pristine spam trap is very likely to blacklist your domain.

Recycled spam traps are email addresses that were previously in use by a real person, but have been inactive for a while and converted to a spam trap by email providers. When you send an email to a recycled spam trap, you will receive a hard bounce report.

Typo spam traps are email addresses that are close to real domains but contain obvious typos, such as or Sometimes people will complete the entry form on your website, or register to the webinar that you are holding but they don’t want to be emailed so they will leave the incorrect email address, or maybe misspell the email address by mistake and it will lead to being captured by a spam trap.

How to avoid spam traps:

Spam traps don't typically cause deliverability issues on their own. If you have spam traps on your list, the traps themselves are not the issue. You should take a closer look at your mailing list and make sure to keep it healthy.

1. Only send emails to subscribers who have willingly opted-in to receive your emails

2. Ensure you're using confirmed opt-in on all signup forms

3. Be sure you're managing bounces properly- Autoklose has automatic bounce detection and will prevent you from sending messages repeatedly to bad email addresses.

4. Don't email a list that you haven't contacted in months. If you are not sure how good your mailing list is, Autoklose offers you an option to validate it and get rid of the bad email addresses. We highly encourage you to take advantage of the AutoVerify feature and avoid being caught in a spam trap.

5. If you are purchasing a mailing list, make sure to find a trusted vendor. Autoklose has a DataUnlimited add-on packed with over 30 million verified B2B contacts from different industries. Interested? Go ahead and get a demo to see our database in action.

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