dealing with misdirected email
July 25, 2009 1:59 PM Subscribe
Misdirected emails -- what to do about them, and can they have any impact on me beyond annoyance?
posted by advil to computers & internet (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Being moderately early in the game, I have mylastname @ gmail. One consequence I didn't anticipate when signing up for this address is that I get a certain amount of misdirected email when people meant to put an initial before my last name. Because the name isn't too common, most of this I can easily ignore or reply to, depending on how important it seems to the recipient (though if anyone has a clever suggestion about how to make this stop, I'd welcome it).
A new twist on this recently occurred, however. Someone used this email to sign up for 9 or so "free trial" type accounts in places ranging in legit-ness from netflix/emusic, to "the income accelerator" and "dealmax". (I'm leaving links out on purpose because these places seem pretty shady.) Included in some of the emails is language such as "The e-mail address that you entered when you enrolled (MYLASTNAME@GMAIL.COM) is your electronic signature and constitutes your written authorization to debit your account." The person's first name and other identifying information are consistent across all these emails.
My question is two-fold: (i) should I do anything about this, and similar situations that might happen, in terms of trying to contact this person? I don't have an email address but I can see what seems to be the right facebook account (based on the identifying information in these emails), and I even have a phone number from one of them. (ii) How can I ensure that I never, ever have a business relation with the more shady of these organizations? Is it safe to just ignore this? Presumably if they have any bank/cc information it is this other person, and they have no way to get mine. Ideally I would like to never even get emails from these organizations, though, and never appear on their radar in my actual identity. This "dealmax" thing in particular has a definite reputation on the internet for unauthorized bank/cc charges.