How to Contact AOL If You Are Receiving Harassing Emails

By C.D. Crowder

Limit harassing emails by keeping your email as private as possible.
i Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images

AOL doesn't want its users to have to deal with harassing emails. The company encourages you to report any emails to prevent any future problems. Whether you are an AOL user or you're receiving harassing emails from an AOL email address, you can report any problems to AOL. The company provides two quick ways to handle problems with users violating AOL's terms of service, including flagging messages as spam and messaging AOL.

Report Directly to AOL

If you're using AOL Desktop or AOL 8.0 or higher, you can report harassing emails as spam as soon as you receive the offensive message. If you're using AOL Desktop, click the “Mail” icon, choose the harassing email and click “Report Spam.” If you're using AOL 8.0 or higher, click “Read” on the AOL toolbar, choose the desired email and click “Report Spam.” Reporting the message as spam will block future emails from the sender from coming to your inbox.

If you want to report the user and not just block future emails, email AOL directly at Forward the harassing email and details as to why you feel the email is offensive and how it violates AOL's terms of service. If you don't use AOL email but are receiving harassing emails from AOL users, you can also use this method to report them.

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

AOL email accounts let you set up a custom spam filter so you can take control of what messages you receive. In addition to reporting incidents, you can add individual addresses to your spam filter to block the sender in the future. You can also choose to only receive messages from specific addresses to prevent harassing emails. Click “Options” and choose “Settings.” Select “Spam Settings.” In the Sender Filter section, choose how you want to block or filter emails. Press “Save” when you're finished.

Is It Harassment or Just Annoying Spam?

Before you report an email as harassment, you should be certain the email isn't just spam. Harassment is a personal attack, threat or insult. Spam messages try to get you to click a link, buy a product or give out personal information. They're generally sent from companies or individuals that you don't know or haven't subscribed to online. Spam may be offensive, but doesn't specifically target you. Spam is usually just annoying, though it can contain viruses. Harassing emails often leave you feeling upset, frightened or angry and may come from people that you know.

Dealing With More Serious Matters

If the harassing emails threaten you or contain any type of illegal material, you should report them to AOL using the email and report the email to your local law enforcement as well. Do not take physical threats lightly. Contact the authorities for details on how to proceed. Simply blocking future emails may not be enough to make the harassment stop. AOL is not able to track down the culprit; the company can only block the user from further use of AOL email.