A site visitor writes:
What does it mean when someone replies to your email with a blank message (i.e., empty message box; no message text, not even your original message)? There were no attachments from them, nor a return receipt function from me. (If I had to guess, I’m inclined to the view that it’s simply a way of acknowledging receipt of email.)
Reasons Why Email Could be Blank
There could be several reasons.
- If the email is from someone you know, they could be using formatting that you are unable to read. Check to see if you have your email program is set to read formatted or HTML email. That may resolve the issue.
- If you do not have AUTOMATICALLY DOWNLOAD HTML GRAPHICS checked you wouldn’t be able to see an all graphical email. Your contact could have just attached a graphic to an email that you cannot see. I do not have this option checked as I don’t want anything to display by virtue of code (some viruses count on this option being available) without my knowledge. I then approve graphic display on a case by case basis.
- The Sender may have a virus. We all receive these emails that are blank — with the exception of a link to some unknown website. Don’t click on that link — just hit delete. Then send a separate email to let your contact know that they may have a virus that has hijacked their address book and to run a scan immediately.
If the email is from someone you know — they probably have a virus generating and sending out these email. If the email is from someone you do not know – a spammer (or a spammer’s virus), this could be a combo of the above and a spammer trying to verify if your email address is valid.
How do they do that? Marketing emails and some spammers embed a tiny invisible graphic that when the email is opened the code reports back to their server that your address is valid/live. You are then added to the list to be spammed in the future or have your email address sold to spammers.
Receiving a blank email could be due to any of the above. If you are still unsure, I would err on the site of a virus and advise the Sender accordingly.