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You create a group in your 'address book' containing several names and the email is addressed (usually BCC) to the name of the *group*, which can be anything you like - such as an email address. The message is then sent to the members on the list but only appears to have been sent to the one recipient, the group name.
If I've assumed all this incorrectly I'd like to know, it's just my theory afetr receiving dozens of the rotten things myself every day.
This is also one of the means I use to block UBE(another acronym for spam). If the "To:" field isn't one of my email addresses, my email software throws the mail away.
You do have to watch it for some lists that are legit that don't use your address as its "To:" address, but I've only run across a few..
The address of the one person receiving the message is also in the headers so - each recipient on the BCC list knows that the message was sent to him/her and also that it was sent to the person in the 'To:' field, but he/she does *not* know that it was sent to the other BCC addresses.