How did get my name and work email?
July 29, 2006 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I browse the site at work from time to time. Thing is I don't remember if I've signed up or not. I know if I did I would have done it at work. In any case I did not sign up with my work email address, nor would I have used my real name. The other day I get an email addressed to me by name saying I've got a someone who wants to meet me blah blah. It's kind of fsking me up because I only use the email internally, though I've sent a couple of thing to my personal email account. This is the only external email I've ever received on that account. Can anybody tell me how they could have gotten my name and email?
posted by zorro astor to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry that post did not come out as expected.
posted by zorro astor at 9:52 AM on July 29, 2006

A lot of sites rent mailing lists from other site operators, thus "passing around" known good addresses. Others just hire spam jockeys to do things as simple as just probing servers for "good" addresses randomly, pushing brute force string discovery for addresses, or even to exploit poorly configured mail servers, often in corporate settings, with various cc: and Bcc: "envelope" exploits.
posted by paulsc at 9:59 AM on July 29, 2006

Could a co-worker have signed you up as a joke?
posted by oddman at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2006

I'm with oddman. I think someone signed you up as either a joke or to mess with you.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:11 AM on July 29, 2006

Is your name guessable from your email address?
posted by sohcahtoa at 10:15 AM on July 29, 2006

spam operators brute-force email addresses, so never using or giving out an address doesn't stop brute-force spam coming in on it. Some of them have software that guesses your name from the address and incorperates it into the email, so if, as sohcahtoa asks, you name is guessable from the address, then the email might be nothing more than automated spam.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:32 AM on July 29, 2006

Well, look at it this way. Some website I've never heard of sends you an email. You say you've browsed this site from time to time. It's overwhelmingly likely that you simply gave your name and that email address to them sometime without realising it -- it'd be a pretty big coincidence otherwise, no?
posted by reklaw at 11:13 AM on July 29, 2006

I'm unfamiliar with the site -- is it the kind where you can input the contact info of the person you want to talk to, without knowing whether that person has an account or not? Like, maybe someone who knows you through work thought "Oh I want to talk to zorro astor, let me plug in his email and have the system invite him"?
posted by librarina at 1:04 PM on July 29, 2006

plentyoffish is run by a single person- it's not a corporation with multiple layers that would go through the lengths to buy a spam list. Additionally, since it is totally free, and not subscription based, it doesn't make sense for it to actively recruit you. As such, it is probably a friend messing with you.
posted by unexpected at 2:44 PM on July 29, 2006

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