1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

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S*L*J*O
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby S*L*J*O » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:10 pm UTC

My Gmail userid is my last name, which is more common in Commonwealth countries than it is here in the U.S. The message traffic can get amusing at times. Also, the security holes that show up are frightening.

I know that the RFC allows blank spaces in email addresses if properly escaped, but really, does any site need an email address entry box that even allows you to enter blank spaces? Does any email server?

MadH
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby MadH » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:11 pm UTC

I have a yahoo address as opposed to gmail, so I have never gotten any email going to the wrong recipient. And I only have firstinitial lastname, even! So my chances are higher than a full firstname lastname. Another mark against gmail I guess. I always felt iffy about putting all my internet eggs (services) in one basket and so always shied away from the ubiquitous gmail.

However, somehow my alumni association found my personal email that has nothing to do with me or my name at all, and emails me there. Welp.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Klear » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:26 pm UTC

MadH wrote:I have a yahoo address as opposed to gmail, so I have never gotten any email going to the wrong recipient. And I only have firstinitial lastname, even! So my chances are higher than a full firstname lastname. Another mark against gmail I guess. I always felt iffy about putting all my internet eggs (services) in one basket and so always shied away from the ubiquitous gmail.

However, somehow my alumni association found my personal email that has nothing to do with me or my name at all, and emails me there. Welp.


It's quite possible that emails addressed to you are often sent to somebody else @gmail ;)

compscillb
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby compscillb » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:43 pm UTC

Huh, unsubscribe, unsubscribing, unsubscription, cancel, cancelling, opt out, remove ... nothing gets filtered. What word are you thinking of?


Interesting - when I tried to preview my previous post it told me it was marked as spam and wouldn't let me post (maybe because I am a new person). When I took out the bits of the comment about "unsubscribing" (which seems to work now) it was okay.

As several above have said there's lots of companies out there with some pretty bad processes for list signups. Most at least have some kind of unsubscribe (and is it just me or are the most spamerific by volume are also the ones most likely to take an extra couple of days to process the request...) - although there's some church somewhere in the US midwest that annoyingly doesn't have an unsubscribe option which is pretty annoying at the moment.

My latest misdirect I got cc'ed on arrangements for a lunch in Pasadena tomorrow - by someone with a very searchable name and profession.

I do try to let real people know if they've sent to the wrong address.

TickleMeYoda
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby TickleMeYoda » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:50 pm UTC

I also registered because this happens to me. I just want to say "Thank you!" I had no idea it was such a common problem. It's been causing me a bit of stress, and this comic has provided a tremendous sense of relief. It's not as big a deal as I thought it was!

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to Instagram for actually having a link to remove my email address from someone else's account. I appreciated the simplicity. Hopefully, it's a sign that companies are starting to recognize this problem and it will become easier to deal with.

jallred
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby jallred » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:51 pm UTC

This has happened to me. Someone uses my email address at Redbox kiosks. It is rather amusing to get the receipts from Redbox showing what this other person is renting. Based on the typical rental I'd guess the other person is an earlier 20s single male. I emailed Redbox about the problem but they said there was nothing they could do.

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Zarathustras Id
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"+"+ is ignored

Postby Zarathustras Id » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:54 pm UTC

If you actually use a "+" in your email name, most email delivery systems (including gmail) ignore everything between that and the "@". I hand out my email address in this way to remember who I gave it to, since no one seems to know this. Also it's a good way to track who your email has been sold to, and who sold it.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:59 pm UTC

I don't have this problem with my gmail, which is firstlast<first few digits of favourite mathemagical constant>@gmail.com
However, my school e-mail, fl123@university.edu is the one where people e-mail me asking for my mother. I'm not sure about my old e-mails, last.3@osu.edu and fmlast@isp.net (haven't logged into those in years, no longer know passwords).

In a different set-up, the presidents of the Catholic society and of the GLBT Pride group at my school both have the same first and last name, but with P instead of Q as the middle initial. They look different, though.

Also, I was talking with a friend about how she plans to rename her accounts of nicknameLastInitial form when she's married (since she seems insistent on finding a husband whether she needs one or not [because cheaper to maintain than 50 cats])
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Mr. Burke
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Mr. Burke » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:02 pm UTC

Reminds me of that time when I switched ISPs and got an email account from my new one.

Then I got an advertisement email from Amazon. Turns out my ISP reused that address. Nothing specifically wrong with that.

So I tried out that lost password feature on Amazon.

It worked.

I called Amazon customer service to ask if they maybe want to close that account or if I should just order stuff to his last address.

That was a few years ago. The account is stll active.

markr33
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby markr33 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:19 pm UTC

Two comments:

1. I still think "older" was a typo for "other" :-)

2. The situation has gotten even worse due to some email clients having the option to automatically add anyone you've ever emailed to your contact list. You make the mistake once, and from then on in, every time you simply type a portion of the name it auto-matches the incorrect address that it added to your contacts.
Last edited by markr33 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:20 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

cape1232
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby cape1232 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:39 pm UTC

I have a very common name and get this all the time. I get email for all kinds of accounts. "I"'ve been asked to participate in drafting what sounded like a very important paper. "I"'ve missed some very important deadlines. "I" get quotes for services. "I" even got documents for the board of directors for a legitimate oil company in Canada. Once I got enough information to actually contact the other me by phone, similar to the comic. The guy was totally dubious. He was (satisfyingly) convinced this was some sort of scam.

I used to nicely try to inform the senders they have the wrong person, but now it all goes straight to spam. Sigh.

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Uzh
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Uzh » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

Oh yes. I know a guy who's nickname (due to his last name) was Pi. He got one of his first email addresses as 3.14@example.com (or was it .edu?). He used to make fun of the mail clients in the early nineties that assumed a email address formatted word1.word2@something.com as to be resolved as to be from a guy called Word1 Word2. So he was listed as 3 14 (or 14, 3 if you order by last name) in many address books. I guess, he still gets spam "Dear Mr. 14!")

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drakar2007
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby drakar2007 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:15 pm UTC

My favorite was, someone with my name in NC apparently bought a new chevy SUV sometime last year, and I started getting the "OnStar Vehicle Report" emails for it - including mileage, VIN, his mailing address, etc. Eventually I contacted onstar and, surprisingly, they actually took care of the issue quickly.

Most recently it was someone in PA who shares my name who signed up for no fewer than 2 dating websites using my address - the alarming thing is how none of these sites actually require email validation. WTF people.

voRackham
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby voRackham » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:33 pm UTC

Adonijah wrote:I had this happen recently, when someone with my name was sent information he needed to start a new job he had just received. It had come from Hiring of the compny, so I replied telling them their mistake. They thanked me and I thought that was it until I got "Employee's Handbook.pdf" about a week later.


I'd probably think twice about employing anyone who is confident he has control of what he thinks is his email account, but in fact is not.

thefifthsetpin
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby thefifthsetpin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:00 pm UTC

I have a horrible case of this. Some dude who shares my first and last name would give out my email to everyone. Most people understood right away when I sent them an "I'm not your intended recipient" email. He has (afaict) figured it out now, but his mother just can't get it through her head.

She sends an even mix of emails intended for me with angry demands that I get out of her son's email account, emails intended for her son explaining that someone has access to "his" account, and emails intended for her son with photos or family news. Sadly, her short temper and persistent inability to cotton on to the situation makes me suspect Alzheimer's or something similar. :-(

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby thefifthsetpin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

[quote="thefifthsetpin"][/quote]

The forum spam filter really didn't trust that post, incidentally. Took a few rewrites.

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da Doctah
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:31 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Also, I was talking with a friend about how she plans to rename her accounts of nicknameLastInitial form when she's married (since she seems insistent on finding a husband whether she needs one or not [because cheaper to maintain than 50 cats])


Maybe she'll marry her cousin. Problem solved.

(Cue a gag I remembered from one of the old Friar's Club roasts: "Johnny Carson's first wife was named Joan, his second was Joanne, and his third was Joanna. Talk about a guy who hates to buy new towels!")

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Patteroast » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:05 pm UTC

I'm another person who (as far as I know) has a unique name. I'm confident that it's at least unique in the United States, and since the first name doesn't at all go with the last name, probably worldwide. It was probably somewhat mangled when my great-grandfather immigrated, but I haven't been able to do any genealogy back past that point to be sure. If the spelling was changed, it's possible I'm one of only two people in the world with my last name. (My cousin wasn't very attached to his father's last name and when he had a child, used his mother's maiden name, which is my last name. Other family members who had the name passed away without children.)

In any case, it's not that relevant to me, because I use my screen name everywhere online... and it appears to be unique as well. This makes me very easy to Google. I do have a firstinitial.lastname@gmail.com account, as well as simply lastname@gmail.com set up to redirect to my normal account, but I've never gotten any email through it.

Even in college, when I was assigned an email that was based on the first five letters of my last name plus numbers, I ended up being assigned (name)002@university.edu. I knew a classmate whose last name was Smith and I think their email address had a five or six digit number on it.

joejustjoe
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby joejustjoe » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:14 pm UTC

This really depicts the exact same thing I encountered very recently.

My email is Joe<LastName>@gmailcom, I'm a 21 year old college student.

I often get emails intended for a Joseph<LastName>@gmailcom, who is a 50-something real estate business owner who also does peoples' taxes for them. I gave him a call one day by finding his business online.

I've been receiving his bills for all sorts of things, and having his customers send me their sensitive personal information (like when filing taxes etc).

Had a long conversation with him, and had to send quite a few people in the right direction.

I fear what another person in my situation would do with the information I get, I just delete it after setting people straight.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:23 pm UTC

So far as I can tell, "rmsgrey" is unique to me - googling it hits various of my accounts around the internet, and pages about electrical engineering. My false hits are limited to occasional texts...

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Monika » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:27 pm UTC

The last name I was born with and had until I was 5 is extremely rare: http://www.verwandt.de/karten/absolut/reddigan.html I might have gotten lastname@gmail.com and other services with it.
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barnacle
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby barnacle » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

poxic wrote:There are also the people who assume that "first+last@gmail.com" = always the person they're trying to reach.

Someone in Michigan has exactly my first+last name. (It's not a common combo in English-speaking places.) I get personal emails for her about once a month from her friends or family. I was ignoring them at first, but now I reply with "Sorry, not the right person, please update your address book."


I have a Quebecois last name, and I receive bills that belong to a guy in Onaway, Michigan with my same first+last name. Michigan must certainly be a parallel universe of Canada.

chaoservices
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby chaoservices » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:05 am UTC

For several months now I have been quietly privy to the escalating arguments regarding an English township's development project. It has been far to entertaining to correct.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby x_25 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:28 am UTC

I have [first initial]+[last-name] with gmail. My first name is common in the family, my first initial even more so. My last name is extremely common in Holland. So not only do I get tons of emails from companies around the US, I get a bunch more from Holland. The upside to all this though is that two of my coworkers are Dutch, so we come up with funny replies to send back.

My favorite so far was the time I got congratulated for giving birth! I didn't even know I was pregnant. Still not sure what happened to the kid.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:31 am UTC

aharrison wrote:And for companies sending me people's ridiculously personal and private information, I have a boilerplate nastygram that I reply with and point them to my guide "The Complete Idiots Guide to Correctly Validating Your Customer's Email Addresses". (You'll have to google for that title, I assume new accounts can't post links.)


Nice work, Andy!

You need at least 5 posts before you can post links here. But you know that now, because you've read the forum rules. :)

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby orthogon » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:44 am UTC

Monika wrote:
orthogon wrote:Also: I don't want to be accused of gerbil swallowing, but did anyone think this one was a bit ageist? I can see how it happened, but Randall wouldn't dream of making a similar generalisation about women, say; and has made wonderful comics specifically countering such generalisations. And I feel like the joke would have worked just as well without it.

Yeah, it seemed a bit ageist.
I wonder what you wrote that the forum filters turned into gerbil swallowing. It's not political_correctness, that turns into AAAHHHH THUMPY WOOBLE HARRRRRPINK!!.

Filter? No, that's what I wrote!
Spoiler:
Actually it is what I wrote, but only because the phrase you correctly guessed used to get converted to something about swallowing a gerbil.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Icalasari
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Icalasari » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:59 am UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:I have never had this happen and never thought of it happening. I mean, I can imagine a scenario where someone types the wrong email address when filling out a form. I can't (or don't want to) see how anyone could be so stupid as to think they have an email address that they don't, just because it's they're name. I get that some people aren't good at anything related to computers, but surely they'd be aware that people share names? But I guess I'm just naive. As a result, it took me a while to understand what was going on in this comic.


You'd be surprised how stupid people can get

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Kit. » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:01 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
Monika wrote:
orthogon wrote:Also: I don't want to be accused of gerbil swallowing, but did anyone think this one was a bit ageist? I can see how it happened, but Randall wouldn't dream of making a similar generalisation about women, say; and has made wonderful comics specifically countering such generalisations. And I feel like the joke would have worked just as well without it.

Yeah, it seemed a bit ageist.
I wonder what you wrote that the forum filters turned into gerbil swallowing. It's not political_correctness, that turns into AAAHHHH THUMPY WOOBLE HARRRRRPINK!!.

Filter? No, that's what I wrote!
Spoiler:
Actually it is what I wrote, but only because the phrase you correctly guessed used to get converted to something about swallowing a gerbil.

Basic Human Decency

Cool.

(The only thing I don't like about these filters is their inconsistency)

Kichigo
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Kichigo » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:02 pm UTC

I had this happen to me with firstname.lastname as my married last name is a lot more usual than my maiden name was. I thought at first it was because Google allows you to have a . in your email address then totally ignores it i.e. you can log in to the same account with or without the dot, but now I'm not so sure as I'm getting mail destined for someone in Richmond VA and someone in Ireland and I once got a bill for someone in the UK (where I am), phoned her up and totally freaked her at first!

So Google is doing something with matrices a bit like some of the old ISPs did to allow you to have 6 email addresses on one account. Only Google have somewhat messed it up. I'm reasonably ok about this as long as it's just emails about someone elses' ballet class but I'll feel a lot less ok if the police come charging in in the middle of the night looking for a far more dysfunctional person with the same name as me.

We're not going to get Google to fix this any time soon, if indeed they even perceive it as needing a fix.

BTW I'm waaay over 50. I guess I just assumed it meant people way older than me. But you're right, it's not like Randall to say something like that.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:48 pm UTC

compscillb wrote:
Huh, unsubscribe, unsubscribing, unsubscription, cancel, cancelling, opt out, remove ... nothing gets filtered. What word are you thinking of?
Interesting - when I tried to preview my previous post it told me it was marked as spam and wouldn't let me post (maybe because I am a new person). When I took out the bits of the comment about "unsubscribing" (which seems to work now) it was okay.
There is no spam filtering on accounts with more than a couple posts, which is why Monika and now you are able to talk about unsubscribing with no problems. (If that is indeed the word that was triggering it. I'm unaware of a bout of spammers trying to post messages with "unsubscribe", though, so I don't know why it was added to the offending word list.)

Zarathustras Id wrote:If you actually use a "+" in your email name, most email delivery systems (including gmail) ignore everything between that and the "@". I hand out my email address in this way to remember who I gave it to, since no one seems to know this. Also it's a good way to track who your email has been sold to, and who sold it.
This is quite useful for web forms that will dumbly record whatever I type, but I don't do it when I handwrite or otherwise give my email address directly to a real person. They might figure out what's going on and ignore the +whatever just like Google does, and also in that situation I usually want them to have accurate information that's easy to remember, and greg.malivuk is easy to remember for anyone who knows my name, while +whatever may not be. (It feels weird typing that out here while everyone else types first.last as a placeholder, but then I remind myself that "gmalivuk" is equally unique and easy to connect to my full first name, so it's not like I've just made myself any easier to Google than I already was.)

Kichigo wrote:We're not going to get Google to fix this any time soon, if indeed they even perceive it as needing a fix.
I doubt they think it needs fixing, since presumably it was intentionally added as a feature in the first place. Assuming gmail correctly rejects new attempts to create first.last@gmail.com when there's already a firstlast@gmail.com, they probably see it as a way to cut down on mistakes like this. After all, if you can't register first.last, then there's no chance of someone forgetting the dot and sending sensitive information to firstlast. What they perhaps failed to anticipate was that additional alphanumeric characters can be as easy to forget as the position of a dot, so the mistake still happens. (It is however possible that it happens less than it would if firstlast and first.last were attached to separate valid accounts, though.)
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My first and last names are, to my knowledge, completely unique in the history of the world. My last name is from a country where people don't get my first name, and we haven't been in the US melting pot long enough for anyone else here to have it yet, either. However, I do have other addresses I use for things I don't wish to have connected with my real name, and those are intentionally common, easily googleable things. (As in, if you google the username you'll get lots of results about the noun it refers to, and almost nothing that treats it as anyone's username.) There was some guy who registered a Facebook account with one of those addresses, but I just ignore messages about it since they mostly seem to be "we haven't seen you in awhile" type notifications that suggest he realized his mistake and made another account with the correct address.
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby ManaUser » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

Kichigo wrote:I thought at first it was because Google allows you to have a . in your email address then totally ignores it i.e. you can log in to the same account with or without the dot, but now I'm not so sure as I'm getting mail destined for someone in Richmond VA and someone in Ireland and I once got a bill for someone in the UK (where I am), phoned her up and totally freaked her at first!

So Google is doing something with matrices a bit like some of the old ISPs did to allow you to have 6 email addresses on one account. Only Google have somewhat messed it up. I'm reasonably ok about this as long as it's just emails about someone elses' ballet class but I'll feel a lot less ok if the police come charging in in the middle of the night looking for a far more dysfunctional person with the same name as me.

We're not going to get Google to fix this any time soon, if indeed they even perceive it as needing a fix.

I'm not sure I understand what you're implying. Are you saying Google is actually mixing up people's mail? That seems unlikely. I admit Google is not afraid of going against internet standards. Some of the things they did to Usenet were really inexcusable. But this seems like a bit much, even for Google.

Just noticed this:
LordHorst wrote:Also, once I recieved parts of a conversation between a mom and her daughter. Looks like the mom send eMails to her daughter using MY eMail adress as the sender. How is that even possible??

It's actually quite easy, as long as you're using a standalone email client (not webmail). It will use whatever "from" or "reply-to" address you give it. There are legitimate reasons to do this, for instance if you have a forwarding address, you may want people to reply through that instead of directly.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Grop » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:50 pm UTC

My email address is first.last@gmail.com

Now, there is something like 70 people in the world with my last name, and I think I would know if one of them had the same first name as I do.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Kichigo » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:55 pm UTC

gmalivuk, that's exactly what I am saying. Google has allowed several people to have the same firstnamelastname and firstname.lastname combination. I have no idea who the first person to claim it was, it might have been me, but there are now several of us and we get each other's email occasionally.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Kichigo » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

Manauser, yes I think they have an intermittent fault. I can't imagine the parent that signed up for updates from their child's ballet class doesn't know their own email address. I test software and it feels like a defect to me.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

Kichigo wrote:gmalivuk, that's exactly what I am saying. Google has allowed several people to have the same firstnamelastname and firstname.lastname combination. I have no idea who the first person to claim it was, it might have been me, but there are now several of us and we get each other's email occasionally.
If that's the case, then it must also be an intermittent fault, because when I try it says, "Someone already has that username. Note that we ignore periods and capitalization in usernames. Try another?"
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby nemui10pm » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:27 pm UTC

I have [first name].[last name]@gmail.com as my main email address, but I've never received email for people with the same name as me. I feel like I'm missing out. My name isn't exactly uncommon, but I guess it's because it's not an English (as in the language, not "relating to England") name.
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astrus
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby astrus » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:34 pm UTC

Offtopic: After lurking for what seems to be an eternity you finally got me to sign up for an account, congratulations. So, hi I'm the new guy. I hope most of you don't bite.

On topic:
I had this happen twice, once on each of my gmail accounts, so I guess I'm on the low end of the spectrum besides using a fairly common [first initial].[middle initial].[lastname] combination for the one account and a (in retrospect rather bland - but hey, I was 15 when I came up with it) made up account name for the other.
One mixup was, ironically, someone trying to setup my madeupname@gmail as his gmail recovery address. I just deleted the mail without validating the address and haven't heard anything since so I guess it was a typo and they got the address right the second time.

The other mixup was from a nice pastor at the other end of the country sending drafts for sermons to a number of recipients including [first initial][middle initial][first letter of lastname].[rest of lastname]@gmail [gods, that one does look confusing when I write it like that]. I emailed him back, pointed out I'm not who he tried to reach and he replied thanking me. The next day another draft shows up in my inbox so I write him again, he thanks me and says he'll fix his addressbook. I got more drafts for a week, everytime writing the guy back telling him he's still sending them my way. While he was nice he just didn't seem to know where the problem was or how to fix it. At the end of the week I went with a reply all explaining once again how gmail ignores dots in its mail addresses and that he has to have a typo in the address somewhere, that put an end to it.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby addams » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:15 am UTC

astrus wrote:Offtopic: After lurking for what seems to be an eternity you finally got me to sign up for an account, congratulations. So, hi I'm the new guy. I hope most of you don't bite.

On topic:
I had this happen twice, once on each of my gmail accounts, so I guess I'm on the low end of the spectrum besides using a fairly common [first initial].[middle initial].[lastname] combination for the one account and a (in retrospect rather bland - but hey, I was 15 when I came up with it) made up account name for the other.
One mixup was, ironically, someone trying to setup my madeupname@gmail as his gmail recovery address. I just deleted the mail without validating the address and haven't heard anything since so I guess it was a typo and they got the address right the second time.

The other mixup was from a nice pastor at the other end of the country sending drafts for sermons to a number of recipients including [first initial][middle initial][first letter of lastname].[rest of lastname]@gmail [gods, that one does look confusing when I write it like that]. I emailed him back, pointed out I'm not who he tried to reach and he replied thanking me. The next day another draft shows up in my inbox so I write him again, he thanks me and says he'll fix his addressbook. I got more drafts for a week, everytime writing the guy back telling him he's still sending them my way. While he was nice he just didn't seem to know where the problem was or how to fix it. At the end of the week I went with a reply all explaining once again how gmail ignores dots in its mail addresses and that he has to have a typo in the address somewhere, that put an end to it.

Nice story.
Reasonable people behaving reasonably.

That will never make drive time Radio.
Where is the tragedy? Where is the indignation?

For that matter; Where is the romance?
Did you read the sermons and become enlightened?

Did you fall in love with the subject matter?
Did you meet the author? Did you find yourself seeking more?

No? Just reasonable people being reasonable? (shrug)
That's ok. That is news worthy. Maybe you can give lessons.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:54 am UTC

My name is, as far as I can tell, entirely unique in the whole world (rare archaic English first name and demonym of a very small Italian town for my last name), so though I don't have a gmail account I would be surprised if my firstname.lastname@gmail.com was ever taken before I got around to getting one, if I should ever find the need.

I wouldn't really care if it was, however, as I've already got one better: firstname@lastname.com. Since I own the .com domain for my last name.
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"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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astrus
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Re: 1279: "Reverse Identity Theft"

Postby astrus » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:00 am UTC

addams wrote:Nice story.
Reasonable people behaving reasonably.

That will never make drive time Radio.
Where is the tragedy? Where is the indignation?

For that matter; Where is the romance?
Did you read the sermons and become enlightened?

Did you fall in love with the subject matter?
Did you meet the author? Did you find yourself seeking more?

No? Just reasonable people being reasonable? (shrug)
That's ok. That is news worthy. Maybe you can give lessons.

I'm sorry but at the time I wasn't aware I'd need to make the story news worthy, maybe set fire to something or throw a tantrum on youtube about it but if it makes you happy I'll keep it in mind for next time.

I did read some of them, yes, but alas all I took from them was reinforcing my opinion that religion just doesn't work for me. I didn't suddenly have the answers to everything but maybe I did somethinng wrong.
I'm just a boring person trying to be reasonable, couldn't teach you anything that life couldn't teach you better. Maybe I should put a disclaimer somewhere to save you further disappointment, what do you think?


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