Oklahoma Attorney General - www.oag.ok.gov
Oklahoma Attorney General - www.oag.ok.gov

UCE Info

Misleading Subject Lines
Full Headers
Retrieving full headers
UCE Complaint Page

- What is a false or misleading in a subject line? -

Carefully examine the body of the email message as it relates to the email's subject line and ask yourself these questions:

- Does it accurately describe what is contained in the email? For example, does a subject line describing "important news about your taxes" contain a message with information about a get-rich-quick scheme?

- Is it a "come-on," attempting to entice you to read the message?

- Does it create a false sense of urgency?

- Does it misrepresent the identity of the sender of the message?

Here are a few examples of deceptive subject lines our office has received over the years:

Subject Line

Body of Spam

"board meeting 2-ish"

Online pharmacy solicitation

"URGENT - Account Update"

Debt consolidation service


Pornography solicitation

"Check Unclaimed"

Debt consolidation service

"This works have a look"

Online casino solicitation

"About your sister"

Online pharmacy solicitation

"Payment Past Due"

Debt consolidation service

- What is a Full Header and How do I Find It? -

     An email message is divided into two parts, the "header" and the "body." Headers contain all the technical information, such as who the sender and recipient are, and what intermediate computer systems the message passed through on its way to the recipient’s mailbox. The body contains the actual message. A blank line typically separates the header and body. In some mail programs, the headers are shown separately. Most people are only familiar with "friendly" email headers – these are what you see in your mail program – typically the "To:" and "From:" lines. However, there is a lot of useful information beyond the "friendly header" contained in the "full header."

     Most email programs provide a way to reveal the full header, which contains all the information needed to track a junk email. If you are filling out our junk email complaint form, you’ll need to cut and paste this information into the form.

Here’s an example of what a "full header" looks like:

Received: from slave1 for slappy
with Cubic Zirconium's Puppipop (v1.18a 1996/12/26 VIRTUAL) Tue Feb 1 06:58:50 2000
X-From_: owner-nolist-bounces*SLIPRY**AJ*-NET@HEROES.GRCC.COM Mon Jan 31 05:50:14 2000
Received: from saturn.grcc.com ([])
by slaveZ.AJ.net (8.9#.8/8.9#.5) with ESMTPJ id FAC18108
for ; Mon, 31 Jan 2000 05:50:14 -0800
Message-Id: <200001311350.FAA18108@slave1.aa.net>
Received: from heroes (heroes.grcc.com) by saturn.grcc.com (LSMTP for Windows NT v1.1b) with SMTP id <1.00134977@saturn.grcc.com>; Mon, 31 Jan 2000 8:41:30 -0500
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 08:28:43 -0500
From: Smith_Poll@smbol.grcc.com
Reply: Smith_Poll@smbol.grcc.com
Subject: Smith Online Poll Activity Survey

Here’s what this same message’s "friendly header” looks like:

From: Smith_Poll@smbpol.grcc.com
Reply: Smith_Poll@smbol.grcc.com
Subject: Smith Online Poll Activity Survey

- Retrieving the full or extended header -

In order to retrieve the full header you need to determine what email program you use and how to extract a message’s full header. Below is a list of commonly used email programs and the methods built into each one to obtain full header information from email messages. If your email program is not listed, you may need to contact your email program’s technical support for help.

Elm, Pine, and Mutt - Press "h" from the message selection menu to view the full headers of the currently selected message.

Eudora - Open the message. Under the title bar are four options. The second from the left is a dialog box - click on that to display the full headers.

Hotmail - Go into "Options," "Preferences," and choose "Message headers." You'll want to choose the "Full" option to display Received: headers. "Advanced" will display that as well as MIME headers. Note: sometimes Hotmail uses older mail servers Messages sent through those mail servers won't show any headers.

Netscape Mail - Choose "OPTIONS" from the options menu bar. Listed as an option is "Show Headers." Choose full headers.

Outlook Express - While viewing the email message, select the menu item "File" then "Properties." When the dialog box pops up, select the "Details" tab, which will show header information only. Select the "Message Source" button, which will display the entire email message, including headers and body.

Microsoft Outlook 97 - While viewing the email message, select the "Options" folder tab at the top of the message frame. This will show you the routing information of the message. For email complaint purposes, first begin composing your message, then copy and paste this routing information, then switch back to the message window and copy the message and paste it in below the routing information

Outlook 2000 - Double click on the message to open it up, click on "View", then "Options", and you will see the message headers in a box at the bottom of the window. You can copy/paste them from that window.

Forte' Agent - While in Agent, Click the "select Message option, "header, and "all." This displays all header information within the email itself. You can then cut and paste as necessary.

Forte'Free Agent - While in Agent, Click the "select Message option, "header," and "all." This displays all header information within the email itself. You can then cut and paste as necessary.

Pegasus - Choose "Reader" from the options menu bar. Listed as an option is "Show all Headers." This does not work for HTML messages, however. To view header information in HTML messages, select the message properties, and uncheck "Contains HTML data."

Oklahoma Attorney General - www.oag.ok.gov

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