Server-side spam filtering isn't very effective

I recently picked up an iPhone, it handles email beautifully but has no client-side spam filtering. Because of this, I’ve been trying to tweak out my SpamAssassin settings as much as possible since it’s fairly annoying to be getting email notifications every 15 minutes when it checks only to find a Viagra spam.

Right now I’ve got my Tag level at 2, Quarantine level at 4. I’ve created a “Junk” folder that I added a server-side filter to move anything with the DHSPAM subject tag automatically. This all works pretty well, but I can’t figure out how Dreamhost comes up with the X-Spam-Score.

Given the two examples:

Hi Eli Hodapp,

You are craiglkirk’s newest contact! If you don’t know
craiglkirk, craiglkirk is probably a fan of your photos or
wants a bookmark so they can find you again. There is no
obligation for you to reciprocate, unless you want to. :slight_smile:

If not, you might like to have a look at craiglkirk’s

You can see all of craiglkirk’s contacts here:

And photos here:


If you’d like to make them a contact too, click on this

I get emails like this all the time of people adding me on Flickr. This email received a X-Spam-Score of 1.591.

At the same time, I get spam mails like this one all the time-

–lots of bad words-- edited by request.

These get an X-Spam-Score of 0! How is that possible? Do I have something set up incorrectly, or do Dreamhost’s mail servers really think that this isn’t spam? Is there some way I can tell the mail server that any email pertaining to “getting nailed by big cock” is without a doubt spam and should have an X-Spam-Score of 9999999999999?

These inconsistent spam scoring issues are starting to drive me nuts, and has me looking for a different provider to point my DNS MX record at.

Anyone have any tips?

I see your point, but do you really think posting that particular spam message completely “in the clear” is a “Good Thing” ™ on a forum of this type? :open_mouth:

I’m no prude, but that is pretty raw.

Note from the Forum Entry page:

“DreamHost is used by customers of all ages and backgrounds, so we request that you keep the language that you use family-friendly.”

I know, it was the spammer’s language, not yours, but still…


I use SpamSweep on my Mac. It logs into the server and if it thinks it’s Spam, it moves it out of the Inbox. Then your iPhone is left with picking up good mail. You can check the spam status on SpamSweep when you get home. Of course, this requires you leaving it running all the time.

Or you can set up double-pass spam filtering:

Or do your own SpamAssassin installation:

I’d vote for the double-pass filtering, but I use SpamSweep since I filter multiple accounts.


You can try adding a .procmailrc file which will do some additional filtering. I had written a wiki post months back and continue to keep the file updated. It will not catch EVERYTHING but it does pretty well.

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