Someone is using my Gmail & old personal address to sign up for things
August 20, 2013 5:34 PM   Subscribe

A few months ago, I started getting emails thanking me for signing up for things like Match.com, Monster, and a few newsletters, all of these were using a personal address that I haven't used in about 7 years. I figured it was a weird spam thing, since the user names they created for these accounts were just random letters (like djfdksjafkasjvnckdfja). Today, I got four different responses from auto insurance companies about quote requests that I didn't actually make, all using that old address as well. I think I need to delete my Google account to stop this, but I'm very very hesitant to lose access to all my paid apps. Any suggestions what I could do?
posted by shesdeadimalive to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah, sometimes people are not so smart about how computers work. There's nothing you can do to stop this. Just delete the emails and make sure your gmail password is secure.

I'm assuming you use the gmail account for buying android apps.
posted by GuyZero at 5:38 PM on August 20, 2013


Yeah I think everyone with a "common" gmail email address gets this...some more often than others. In the past I was signed up for like Lowes rewards and realtor.com by someone looking for houses in FL.....I just un-subscribed as much as I could and trashed the rest and called it a day.
posted by Captain_Science at 5:44 PM on August 20, 2013


I got a similar problem. Often, I reply indicating that they got the wrong email address. Less than a quarter of the time I get an email back. I would definitely NOT delete my gmail account because other people are too stupid to know their own email address and use mine instead.
posted by aroberge at 5:45 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not so concerned about them using my email address as I am the old physical address...The email address would be an innocent enough mistake. It just skeeves me out, so maybe I'm overreacting.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 5:48 PM on August 20, 2013


Sounds like somebody with a grudge against you is doing this to be annoying. I know this because i have done this to other people, specifically the Haunted Bookshop in Melbourne because the owner was rude to me.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:53 PM on August 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait... these signups are for a physical street address that used to be yours, and an email address that used to be yours? If so then, yes, I would be skeeved out.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:59 PM on August 20, 2013


Is there any chance that someone could have gotten hold of an old computer that had your information it, and is using it to sign up for? Did you sell a laptop or sign into gmail at your parents house?
posted by bq at 7:41 PM on August 20, 2013


I've had the mistaken/weird email thing happen to me a few times, despite the fact that I don't have a gmail account username that I'd think would be super common. In the past I've even gotten business communications, and once took the time to redirect a request for an admissions recommendation letter. Right now, I get notices on someone's Redbox rentals. This is all pretty harmless, and deleting your gmail account probably won't help.

Somebody making use of an old physical address in combination with my name or email address, though, that would freak me right out, and I'd probably start reading the FTC's identity theft consumer information site.
posted by weston at 7:51 PM on August 20, 2013


Just do SafeUnsubscribe for each of the mailings?
posted by lotusmish at 8:52 PM on August 20, 2013


I've got four different gmail accounts and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I'd be weirded out, I'd delete the gmail address, and I'd contact the fraud departments of some of these companies so that maybe I could get the IP address that applied and then feed that to the cops with a complaint of identity theft.
posted by GoingToShopping at 11:34 PM on August 20, 2013


You really didn't make it clear at all in your question that you were talking about a physical home address.

I'm not sure deleting the email address helps. After all, it's the only thing notifying you of what this person is trying to do with your information. Email addresses are a dime a dozen -- they mean almost nothing. An email address combined with your old home address? That's interesting. I'd definitely try contacting these companies, like the auto insurance companies, and seeing if they can track who can make requests in your name. If they say they can't or won't, you could ask your police what to do if someone is impersonating you and using your information to sign up for stuff. I'd expect they can get the companies to hand over the IP address, and then get the ISP to hand over the subscriber info and track down exactly who's doing it.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:26 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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