Why am I suddenly on the world's creepiest mailing list?
March 10, 2014 2:59 PM   Subscribe

A couple weeks ago I randomly received an email from what appeared to be a "disposable" email address (string-of-alphanumerics@guerrillamail.com). It contained a number of "tinypic" image links, none of which I followed, along with some incredibly creepy text that compelled me to report it to the NCMEC CyberTipline. I'd assume it was a fluke, but for the fact that both my primary email addresses ended up BCCed on this nonsense. How worried should I be? How did this happen? Is this "type" of email part of a known scam?

I won't paste the exact text that appeared in the email here, but suffice to say that it made references both to taking clandestine photos in swimming-pool changing rooms and to "cybering with 12-year-olds". The "participants" of the list referred to themselves using nicknames or first names only, and I didn't recognize any of them.

Again, I've already forwarded and reported the message to the authorities, but yesterday I received another email in the same "thread". I'm thinking that maybe I just ended up on some sort of massive, spammy distribution simply due to having posted my email addresses in public in the past, but I don't know anyone else who has received these particular messages. And somehow they've been posting straight into my main inbox, not my spam folder.

It would be very reassuring to learn that this is just one of those "internet things" along the line of Nigerian bank scams or male enhancement quackery, because at least then I'd know it wasn't personal. But I've dealt with blog trolls and such in the past enough to make me wonder. So beyond continuing to report anything super-creepy to the CyberTipline, not clicking links, and making sure to change my email passwords regularly, is there anything I should be doing here to protect myself?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is there, well, anybody who's particularly internet-savvy who knew both of those email addresses who is upset with you? I think my unfortunate first guess would be that it was some pissed off ex or former friend who knew how to find that kind of thing and sign you up for it.
posted by Sequence at 4:15 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

I agree with Sequence. This isn't spam, it's griefing. I've never received anything remotely like this as spam.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's either griefing or a set-up for an email that will come a few weeks later from some service that offers to "clean up" and monitor your online reputation...for a monthly fee.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:29 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have blog trolls, could someone have doxxed you? Have you tried, say, googling for both your e-mail addresses so documents containing both of them would come up?
posted by en forme de poire at 4:04 PM on March 11, 2014

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