Email

Need Help With Email? Ask Your Email Questions Online

Ask a Computer Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Email

Over the past few months my e-mail address has appeared in

Customer Question
two other peoples' profiles....
Over the past few months my e-mail address has appeared in two other peoples' profiles. I discovered this when I started getting their e-mail notifications. One of these people is a customer at BMO Harris, a bank in the Midwestern USA and the other is a customer at TalkTalk Broadband, a telecommunications provider in London, England. Both of these strangers have the same first name as I do. Other than that, there is no other connection. I have had my e-mail address since Google began offering Gmail. Other than deleting my e-mail address which would cause obvious problems, any ideas? Google is not answering me so they are useless. My only hope is that the financial institution will get some answers if they are smart enough to see their potential exposure to fraud.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Email
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Email Question
Answered in 11 minutes by:
8/6/2015
Email technician: John T. F., Mac Druid replied 2 years ago
John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Email
Satisfied Customers: 3,193
Experience: Setting up and servicing Email accounts since 1994!
Verified

Hi,

unless you've actually confirmed the account exists with the institutions mentioned then these emails are probably phishing schemes. Since it doesn't sound like your email address has been compromised then the other party can not actually use it to create and verify accounts on third party sites as all email would go to you when they attempt to sign up.

More likely, a spammer (or, even, a virus on one of your friend's Windows computers) is merely using your email address in an act of obfuscation. They "inject" your email address into the headers of the spam they are sending in order to hide the true sender of the email in order to trick other users into providing info about themselves. In this case you should not click on any links contained within the emails or respond to them in any way.

Eventually, the emails should cease (if they haven't already) as they move on to using another email address or the virus is cleared.

Also, it's important to note that you should not give up your email address. This happens on a regular basis and the annoyance is, sadly, part and parcel with having an email address.

John

Ask Your Own Email Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I too thought it might be some phishing scam so the first thing I did was research the companies in question. They are both legit. I do have a virus on my work computer and I do open my email at work. That may or may not be related but I thought I should at least mention this. Since no one has asked me for any personal information as a result of this situation and this doesn't seem to be directed toward me I am at a loss to see the objective behind this violation. Perhaps this is directed at the "senders" of the e-mail like BMO Harris, the bank. I don't know, maybe it's just a hacker joke that is harmless. I guess I should start migrating everyone over to a new e-mail address so I don't have to do it if it all comes crashing down. Would you say gmail is safe or is apple cloud email safer because I have an apple email I can use? By the way, what does "obfuscation" mean?
Email technician: John T. F., Mac Druid replied 2 years ago

Hi again,

yes in most cases the businesses themselves are legit but not the actual, true senders of the emails in question. This is how people are fooled; they seem to originate from normal companies and may be directly addressed to your email address or name. Often, however, one or more links within the email itself don't direct to the actual company website but to another fake website or email address that exists purely to gather info about you when you visit the site or attempt to contact them, fill in any forms, etc... Even an image, when loaded in an email, may tell the sending server information such as your IP address when it's requested.

My preference is for iCloud email over gmail, just for the ease of use as I have multiple Apple devices. However, again unless you think someone has directly hacked into your account, your email has not actually been effected. you could move to a new address but may end up getting similar messages in the future.

If you haven't changed your email password ***** a while, you may wish to consider it.

You can check how "strong" a password ***** ***** using the following site:

https://howsecureismypassword.net

Note: it's okay to enter the password ***** the above site as it is not asking for details of any account. It merely looks at the string you enter as a password. You can use it to test certain potential passwords and then modify it for use in the actual account by just changing a letter or two.

John

Ask Your Own Email Question
Email technician: John T. F., Mac Druid replied 2 years ago

Oh and "obfuscation" essentially means to make something intentionally ambiguous or misleading...

John

Ask Your Own Email Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I need to apologize. I called "Just Answer" because I thought you hadn't understood my original question but it looks like you did. So I hope there aren't any ramifications for you over my frustration with this issue. To be honest it's making me a little crazy. Please forgive me. Anyway.....so what you're saying is that even though both the legit companies as well as myself are all uninvolved in this process, someone is using my email to get information. But the part I don't understand is how. Did they insert a Trojan horse into my computer to mine for data? That's where I'm losing you. And are you absolutely certain that phishing is all that's going on here? Both email addresses that were replaced by my email address at both of these companies are owned by people with the same first name as mine. Isn't that odd?
Email technician: John T. F., Mac Druid replied 2 years ago

Ok, there shouldn't be any ramifications but when we are finished, perhaps you might call and update them on your standing with our conversation. I am not an employee of JustAnswer and so am only credited (and judged) based on positive ratings here and feedback elsewhere.

Yes, what I am saying exactly is that you and the mentioned companies are not directly involved. The phishing party/scammer just uses them to their advantage, as a means to an end.

They do not have to insert any software on your own computer for this. If a friend of yours had their computer infected by a virus or other piece of malware, it may have harvested your email address and name from their address book. If you've ever entered your name and email address on a less than ethical website that later sold your email address to "Advertisers" they may have gotten it that way.

Think of it as a real letter and envelope sent through the post office. It may contain the business name on the return address and can certainly include your street address even though the unknown sender has never been in your house or had anything to do with the business it pretends to originate from...

As far as the other "people" having the same first name, this is likely not an accident and it's also just as likely that they are as "fake" as everything else.

I've received similar email myself, both from sites that I do NOT have an account with and those that I do, that were also phishing expeditions. The data mining happens when you start clicking on links and/or images within the emails as all or some may not lead to where they appear to go, or may send you through an intermediate site to capture browser data before you get there, etc...

Again, I would recommend not interacting with the emails in any way and disposing of them completely. These are not emails of note or unusual UNLESS you see other signs that you are being intruded upon in some way.

John

Ask Your Own Email Question
Ask John T. F. Your Own Question
John T. F.
John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Email
Satisfied Customers: 3,193
3,193 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Setting up and servicing Email accounts since 1994!

John T. F. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

My Expert answered my question promptly and he resolved the issue totally. This is a great service. I am so glad I found it I will definitely use the service again if needed.

One Happy CustomerNew York

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Jess M.

Jess M.

Computer Support Specialist

2,097 satisfied customers

Computer Software Support Specialist for more than 10 years

James K.

James K.

Consultant

1,585 satisfied customers

Technical Director of IT Company

Chris L.

Chris L.

Support Specialist

1,518 satisfied customers

Certified Email Expert with over 10 years experience.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil Anwar

Exchange & Email Consultant

1,421 satisfied customers

8+ Years of Experience. / CCNA (S), CCNA (W), CCNA (RS), MCTS, MBCs.

Frederick S

Frederick S

Computer Specialist

701 satisfied customers

Computer technician; founder of a home PC repair company.

IT Miro

IT Miro

Computer Scientist

644 satisfied customers

Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology, Microsoft Certified Professional

A. Stevens

A. Stevens

Computer Engineer

530 satisfied customers

10+ years of Desktop, Laptop, and Server troubleshooting and support.

< Previous | Next >

Related Email Questions
Error message 0x800ccc0e can not deliver my email. Aol
error just appeared on my computer. Have not tried anything. Do not know where to start … read more
Cody
Cody
Computer Science
1,723 satisfied customers
For several days my e-mail account was changed, NOT BY ME.
For several days my e-mail account was changed, NOT BY ME … read more
Kamil Anwar
Kamil Anwar
Exchange & Email Consultant
Bachelor's Degree
1,421 satisfied customers
I changed my email address from to. It still only recognizes
I changed my email address from***@******.*** to***@******.***. It still only recognizes my previous email address. … read more
Martin
Martin
Network Engineering Diploma
141 satisfied customers
I cannot retrieve my email unless I go to hmtl the blue line
I cannot retrieve my email unless I go to hmtl the blue line never finishes so I can go on. … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
I have a live cor kardia heart monitor. to use it im told I
I have a live cor kardia heart monitor. to use it im told I need to update my google services. Ive tried to activate but can't … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
When I see my e-mail SENT it indicates my e-mail address is
When I see my e-mail SENT it indicates my e-mail address is not correct....it is shown as "with light nas"(*****@******.***).....WHERE DID THE "with light nas" come from????????Please remove … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
My name isBarbara and I am having such a hard time trying to
Hi my name isBarbara and I am having such a hard time trying to get into my new IPad which is apple for my Facebook account and my yahoo account. I would like to shut it down and like to change Apple … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
My deleted items are being saved for only seven days. I
My deleted items are being saved for only seven days. I would like them saved for a year. … read more
Sheri
Sheri
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
113 satisfied customers
I cannot send gmail on my iPhone or iPad. Message is SMTP
I cannot send gmail on my iPhone or iPad. Message is SMTP problem.When I go to "general -accounts and passwords-account-outgoing server-my outgoing server data is greyed out and does not allow adding … read more
sandy
sandy
Technical Specialist
B.Tech
2,670 satisfied customers
I cannot recover my google account, someone has changed my
i cannot recover my google account, someone has changed my password ***** an unknown device … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
Just used my Thunderbird 20 minutes ago to receive a email
Just used my Thunderbird 20 minutes ago to receive a email from my son in Chicago. When I logged back in to Thunderbird I received the following error: Error with acct***@******.***. Login Failed. Whe… read more
sandy
sandy
Technical Specialist
B.Tech
2,670 satisfied customers
It is blocked via your program to make it secure, Gmail. On
All your prompts. Can you just delete your Google program. I really don't … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,165 satisfied customers
I can NOT access my e mail ... [email protected] Phone
I can NOT access my e mail ...***@******.*** JA: Are you logged into your email account on any other devices? Customer: No JA: Do you have security questions or a phone number on file to help reset yo… read more
UranIT
UranIT
IT Consultant, Network and System Admin
Associate Degree
581 satisfied customers
I cant sign into my account. Says there abnormal activity
says there abnormal activity signing in. Doesn't give me a locked out or nothing. and the recovery account was entered wrong when we set it up, instead of net it put ent … read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
Unable to use microsoft outlook. Just now. Tried signing in
tried signing in using my account and old password … read more
UranIT
UranIT
IT Consultant, Network and System Admin
Associate Degree
581 satisfied customers
Having trouble adding and *****@gmail.com to my new
Having trouble adding***@******.*** and *****@gmail.com to my new computer. Will not accept them nor following instructions will they open. 00351289501588 … read more
Jess M.
Jess M.
Computer Support Specialist
Bachelor's Degree
2,097 satisfied customers
I've had tech-highest level help-but I still can't send or
I've had Cox tech-highest level help-but I still can't send or receive email. I have a lap book pro, have gone through all the settings, but continue to get error message-won't send or receive message… read more
sandy
sandy
Technical Specialist
B.Tech
2,670 satisfied customers
I removed my passwords from Mozilla Thunderbird after having
I removed my passwords from Mozilla Thunderbird after having been hacked. Instructions indicated that next time I logged on I would be prompted for a new password. Instead when I tried to log on I got… read more
bbao
bbao
Freelance IT Consultant
74 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x