General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

What to do when someone is using a personal account name to spam people?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11203 points ) July 28th, 2011

This has happened a few times to me.

I think I am opening an email from a good friend. The address appears to be the same. But when I open it, it is usually for some ridiculous product. The address is often the same email address as a good friend…but it is a bogus email trying to sell me something. Sometimes it is just “gibberish”. Once, I got one from a nephew (who is only ten) and it read: “I drove by your house…. ” and then some random phrases that made no sense. My nephew a) can’t drive and b) lives on the other side of the world and I doubt that his mother would have let him go unaccompanied down the block, much less on a plane across the pond.

How does this happen? How can someone use your name and generate bogus emails from your own account? Is there any way to stop this? (I would like to know to safeguard my own email account from this sort of thing.)

Thanks in advance.

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7 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Forward a copy to all the other people that spammed you, then respond to them to tie up their time. It will go away if we all make it too much hard work.

What is more than likely happening, is that you computer is infected with a small piece of addware that makes this happen. Try installing and running some addware protection.

talljasperman's avatar

Can you spam them back..?. Can you invite your friends/coworkers to help?

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Not sure if I am clear. I am receiving email from a spammer using one of my friend’s accounts. The account is the same as my friend….exactly the same, but it is not my friend/nephew, etc.

Example: I get an email from myfavoritenephew@yahoo.com but it’s not from my nephew…yet it is the same email address that he uses.

So, it’s not yet a problem for me i.e. no one has done this with my account…but I wanted to safeguard myself against this happening to me in the future.

Do the above answers still apply? (Now, I’m confused..lol!)

talljasperman's avatar

Ask your nephew to get another account or at least better passwords… I have the same problem someone is hacking into my computer and sending messages to friends. I only found out because some messages bounced back… and the first answer from @poisonedantidote is better than mine… your nephew needs to run an anti-adware program.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Okay…that’s fab….....I understand now….thanks to all of you…lurve on the way!

laureth's avatar

It’s called Spoofing. This may help.

dabbler's avatar

@laureth is right, in lots of cases the “name” does not match the real source.

On the other hand, spammers’ robot algorithms do routinely figure out people’s password and hijack their accounts to send out trash. If that’s the case then get your friend to change the password on their account and the problem from that source will stop. Encourage your friend to use a more difficult-to-crack password while you’re at it.

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