I’ve been having this issue for years where I’ve been getting somebody else’s email. I know why it’s happening; I’ve just been at a loss to solve it.
One of my email addys is “email@example.com”. I’ve had this since the day Gmail launched back in 2004.
Somebody keeps shopping and using “firstname.lastname@example.org” as THEIR addy. This is a feature Gmail allows that lets you track which shithead corporation sold out your email to spammers. You sign up for their shit using your email address, but you insert a period somewhere in the first part of the address so that, when you start getting spam addressed to that address, you know which asshole company done sold you out.
Some dipshit either thinks this is their actual address (it’s not) or is just giving it out as a fake address whenever a store asks them for one. But they’re not smart enough to actually gin up a REAL fake address, or to not use it for shit that will actually result in their personal info going to a total stranger.
So, for years, I’ve been getting the occasional receipt for various purchases this dumbass has made, sign-up info emails for accounts he’s setup at various forums and websites (including some weird preacher shit, and some weird cheerleader shit, neither of which I looked into too deeply).
One time a few years ago, I got an email from some web forum that seemed like a small community so I emailed their admin to say “hey, can you hit up username whatever and ask him to stop using my email address ‘cuz I’m getting all of his shit from your forum and do not want it?”.
No answer, nothing worked, so I’d just occasionally unsubscribe him from these things, grit my teeth, and carry on with my day.
Mind you, this isn’t an incessant daily flood. It’s a few emails every couple of months. But the incessant… STUPIDITY of it all really bugs the shit out of me. It looks perfectly legit to Gmail (because it basically is) so it doesn’t get caught by their spam filters; it gets delivered as legit, to me.
A few weekends ago, though, I got a couple in a row from some hotel rewards program and it just got under my skin, so I went digging.
Stupid easy password reset for that site? Yep.
Log in, hey, got a home addy, credit card info and… thank fuck, a phone number. Let’s see if it’s legit…
“Hi, is this Shawn?”
“Ay-yuh. Who is this?”
“This is also Shawn. This will be a bit weird, so hear me out…”
I explain the situation.
It’s quickly made clear that I’m talking to a blue-collar Canadian guy (squares with the Ontario address I got from logging into one of his accounts) who knows fuck-all about the Internet. He does, however, like to chat with strangers.
I do not.
I explain the situation. He’s obviously not getting it. So I explain it again. Soon after, I explain it a third time (my wife overheard the whole thing and can validate what she refers to as my “amazing patience” with this guy, “amazing patience” NOT being something I’m ever accused of having).
He clearly has no idea what’s going on, he “only uses email to apply for construction jobs” from some province-run website up there, but his wife does the shopping and his kids use his card so maybe they did it, he’s not sure…
… and I don’t care. I explain that I just want to stop getting this guy’s personal info. I’m a generally moral person; many people who would get this access to a stranger’s accounts, would not be. I explain that I need these emails to go away, so whether he’s skating the truth with me, or if he needs to talk to his wife and kids about it, whatever, I’ve told you what to do, just do it already.
After the third walkthrough, hoping against hope that what’s going on here and, more importantly, what the fix is, will sink in, he comes back at me with:
“Y’know what it could be? We got these fucking Pakis up here who do computer scams…”
“Dude, we’re done here. I’ve explained what you or your family members are doing wrong. I’ve explained the fix. I’ve spent WAY more time on explaining this to you than I should have to, and my reward is apparently two barrels of Canadian racism right to the face. Fix your shit, or I’ll just start cancelling accounts for you or maybe buying me some treats on your dime. Your call. Good day”.
Obviously, my faith in humanity has been at a low ebb for some time now, but this one sucked the wind outta me. I can’t imagine having a conversation with a helpful, friendly stranger who went out of their way to try and help ME with a problem of my own devising, and deciding that dropping some cask-strength racism would be the appropriate return volley.
And, in that way of entitled white shitheads the world over, he obviously had no inkling that dropping the Canadian equivalent of an n-bomb on a total stranger might not be appreciated. Like, he expected me to just take it in stride because I’m sure he only deals with white people in general and has that weird suburban expectation that everybody else is Exactly Like Me.
I haven’t gotten any more emails on his behalf, but I also haven’t gotten any warnings about the donations to various bail bond funds I’ve been making on his card, either, so c’est la vie.