Gmail spam filter is very poor

It is surprising to read some web articles about how good the Google gmail spam filter is - in my experience, it is really poor at stopping simple spam, and also has too many false positives (email that it marks as spam but it is not spam).

There are some articles, though, about how gmail does not stop much email with "VIAGRA" in it.
On a daily basis, I have 5-10 emails with Viagra in the subject line in my gmail inbox. I don't use gmail much because of this problem - it is strange that my local spamassassin setup can easily mark this as spam, but gmail does not. I did spend a few days reporting these emails as Spam in Gmail, but to no avail - gmail will not recognize these as spam - which suggests that the Report Spam feature in gmail is also pretty much useless.

Gmail even says the message is "signed" - whatever that means. here's the gmail header:

  from	Approved VIAGRA Store 
 date	Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 12:55 PM
subject	Member get 80% 0FF on ALL Pfizer.

The same message in my local spamassassin filter is in the spam folder, and has these spam tags:

X-Spam-Status: Yes, score=13.8 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_99,HTML_IMAGE_ONLY_24,
        SPF_NEUTRAL autolearn=no version=3.2.5
Delivery-date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 10:55:56 -0700
Received: from [] (

And the received line clearly shows this came from some address in - why does gmail think it came from my own email address? And would I really send the same message multiple times a day, to myself, selling a product to myself? The Google claim is that since the sending address is in the recognized sender's list, such emails will not be marked as spam. Even though there is no way to verify an sender email address for these emails, even though there are so many spambots that routinely fake the sender email address - gmail persists in marking such repeated emails as non-spam.

Hard to imagine why Google can't fix this problem - that others have reported too, as a web search will show.

Want a workaround for this? There is one - remove all addresses from your contact list, or at least the ones that are being used by spammers to fake sender addresses. Gmail will then recognize all these Viagra emails as spam. Thus, gmail is not much use as a regular email account - but is just fine for use as a secondary email system or for backup purposes.

The Report Spam button is also a joke - there is no point in reporting spam if the email claims to be from one of your contact addresses - such messages will repeatedly show up in your inbox.

All this is supposed to help Gmail reduce false positives - but there are many false positives with or without contact list - so best option is to just use an empty contacts lists in Gmail.


approved viagra store corrupts e mail address problem

i also have a problem--when i e mail my friend with a g mail address the approved viagra store becomes part of the address as seen below...i have deleted and x'd out the friends g mail address but you can see how it apprears in the e mail he sent me.

anybody know a solution?

see below, I copied the address that you sent me and forwarded it to myself. You can see the To and From title blocks say Tom Rajala when I sent it to myself and Approved Viagra when it came from you
Begin forwarded message:

From: Tom Rajala <>
Date: January 6, 2010 7:55:14 PM EST
To: Approved VIAGRA® Store <>

the approved viagra store becomes part of the address--help!!!!