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Spooked by strange email. Help needed please.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Spanakopita, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    An email has just pinged through from my sister's email address. It has made me shake because for a minute I thought it was from my sister but she died in April so it obviously isn't. It has a link to some unknown business. What has happened? Can people steal and use defunct email addresses? Should I report this to aol? It has troubled me.
     
  2. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    Sorry nutella I can't be of any help as I don't really understand these things but I'm not surprised you're a bit spooked by this it must be quite upsetting. I'm sure someone will be along soon who can offer some proper help.
     
  3. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    you should definitely report it.
     
  4. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I often get emails suppsedly from friends which are obviously not, and which contain links to websites.
    I'm not sure how these work, I suspect in some way they harvest email addresses to use for spam. I'm sure yours is no more sinister than that.
    BTW I had no idea about your sister, I'm sorry to hear that.
     
  5. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I presume it was spam?
    Spammers will spoof all sorts of addresses to try and get through people's filters
    They just happen to have hit on one that your system recognises.
    Put the address in your spam filter and think no more about it.

     
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm afraid it is possible for people to acquire other people's e-mail addresses. My husband keeps getting e-mail from himself offering him various 'health products', which obviously he isn't sending. Not quite sure how this is allowed and obviously cannot put them into the junk folder as sometimes it could be a genuine one i e a test or sent on from work. Just have to manually delete them- 72 last week!
     
  7. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    Yes I have had email purporting to be from friends and family and when I open it there is usually just a link. I now know not to open it because nobody I know would just send me a link with no other message. Just bin it.
     
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Some spammer viruses harvest addresses from peoples' e-mail address books, which in some e-mail clients are switched on by default. This means that every mail you send automatically stores the destination address in the address book. The only way to prevent this type of spam is for everyone to switch off their address book feature, and that's never going to happen.

    The mail described by the OP has almost certainly been generated from an address found in a third party's address book.
     
  9. Just wanted to back up what everybody else has said - it's all too easy for a spambot to malappropriate somebody else's email. Unfortunately, they have as little regard for the dead as they do for the living.

    I'm normally an awful cynic about these parts, but that must have been fairly traumatic; you have my sympathies.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Thank you everyone for your help.
     
  11. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    That must have been horrible for you Nutella. Hope you're ok.
     
  12. Seadream

    Seadream New commenter

    My father died in May and I've been going through his emails sporadically to check there's nothing coming in that mum needs to know about. I opened one and it said 'Hi Tim, great to hear from you from beyond the grave' and was from a woman we'd never heard of. Mum made me delete it straight away (unfortunately she was with me and read it too). I wanted to look into it/report it and say how sick or wrong it was but now it's gone. Re your sisters email - if you know the password she used for her email account, then you need to login and change it to something ridiculous that cannot be hacked or delete her account. That must've been shocking - I know it would be for me if I got one from Dad.
     
  13. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    There are a number of possible answers, none of them very comforting I'm afraid. However none of it is likely to be personal, it is all done by computer software programs that are used to distribute dodgy mailings. Almost certainly the email account iin question has been accessed and the contacts used to distribute other mailings. The most likely explanations are either a) your sister's computer was infected a long time ago and the contact info stolen. b) there is still a live computer with your sisters account on it that has been compromised or c) the email account or contacts were backed up to an online facility that has been hacked. You are right to inform AOL, and also ensure that you run an anti-virus check on any computer that you opened the email on., and check for b). It's distasteful stuff and you have my sympathy.
     
  14. it happened to me too, it's usually a virus installed on the computer which provides login details, mine was hacked by someone from Nigeria and I reported it here http://ip-address-lookup-v4.com/ip/41.184.24.183 the same person hacked a bunch of other people's accounts. If something like this happens to you, you need to reformat your computer
     
  15. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    Thanks again, everyone. I passed it onto my brother who has, it seems, also had a message from my sister's email. He says the mail came from Brazil. He has dealt with it, he says. What a scummy lot these hackers and spammers are.
     
  16. My email address was hacked before Christmas (a Hotmail address) and sent everybody on my contacts list, including my father, an advert for ****** and some Canadian health clinic! The odd thing was that there was one sentence in the email body which was written in very poor English but mentioned that, "XXXX has been telling me you are having trouble due to bad choices". XXXX is my brother's name so that freaked me out a little bit. I changed my password and haven't had any issues since. Your experience sounds awful-I am glad your brother has sorted it.
     

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