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Harassing email

The term 'harassing email' is used here to describe email which

  • is intended to cause offence to the recipient
  • is usually addressed to an individual
  • will normally have been sent by someone known to the recipient, although this may not be obvious from the sender address
  • may be one of a series of messages
  • may be sent from a forged address or anonymous email address

If you are a member of staff or a student of the University of Cambridge and you receive harassing or offensive mail which has been sent to your University address, send a copy of the mail, with full headers, to

Whatever you do, do not reply to the mail and do not delete it. It may be needed as evidence later.

Your complaint will be dealt with by a member of UIS staff who is experienced in dealing with harassing and offensive mail and will treat your case sympathetically.

It is important to contact us as soon as possible, so that we can preserve any relevant logs or other evidence.

By looking at the headers of the message, we may be able to

  • confirm that this is harassment and not junk mail
  • identify the real sender
  • identify the site that the message was sent from and liaise with that site
  • persuade the sender's site to deal with the sender if appropriate
  • help the recipient to block any further mail from the sender
  • stop the sender from harassing other users at other sites
  • advise on what action should be taken and liaise as appropriate