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)?”
Hmmm… could be several reasons. If the e-mail is from someone you know, they could be using formatting that you are unable to read. Having your e-mail program set to read formatted or HTML e-mail will ensure you can read these email.
Or if you do not have AUTOMATICALLY DOWNLOAD HTML GRAPHICS checked you wouldn’t be able to see an all graphical e-mail. I don’t 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.
Now, if the code is not properly structured – it is broken – and that has nothing to do with anything on your side. What you can try to do is right click on the blank message and choose VIEW SOURCE. There you will see any underlying code and possibly even the message that the non-standard code is preventing you from viewing. I’d bet it is spam.
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.
If the e-mail is from someone you know — they probably have a virus generating and sending out these e-mail. If the e-mail 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 e-mail address is valid.
What they do is embed a tiny invisible graphic that when the e-mail is opened the code reports back to their server that your address is valid/live and you are then added to the list to be spammed in the future or have your email address sold to spammers. Nice huh?
Bottom line? These are either spammy e-mails or a friend who isn’t infected. You may want to e-mail them and ask when was the last time they updated the virus program and did an entire system scan just to be safe.