General Question

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Does this sound strange to you?

Asked by LifeQuestioner (3355points) 3 weeks ago

I work at a church and we use Google Mail for our church office email address. We have a large number of people in our contacts, most of whom are either members or regular attenders, although there are a few vendors mixed in.

Whenever I am entering a new contact, I always list their contact name as first name last name, which also helps when they email me because it doesn’t just show an email address, but rather their full name. And especially because some people have really odd email addresses and it would be difficult to memorize a bunch of random email addresses.

Tonight, after hours, I went on my work email account and had an email from a regular attender stating that his email was going to be changing and what the new email was going to be within a week’s time. He then put his name at the bottom of the message. But here’s the strange thing. It showed up in my email as a message from John Smith, and his name is nothing like John Smith.

Another person got a similar email, although I should point out that their email message was worded a bit differently. It would make sense for this person to also get an email since they keep a database of everyone’s contact information.

But I clearly had that person listed in my contact as, we’ll say, Fred Doe. So why would it be showing up as John Smith under the sender of the email instead of Fred Doe?

Has anybody else heard of this happening? I didn’t respond to the email because I was worried his email had somehow gotten hacked.

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8 Answers

LadyMarissa's avatar

It’s possible that Fred doesn’t want to use his real name on his emails so he’s chosen another to weed out SPAM. Then he knows that any email to his real name is from someone who really knows him. To be on the safe side, call him & ask him if he is really changing his email addy before you change it in your system. You might mention the name difference & he can let you know for sure that it is him. If it’s NOT him, he will know that he’s been hacked.

YARNLADY's avatar

We use the name of the company on our e mail site, ie: church@menschel.net. It separates mail as it comes in.

Forever_Free's avatar

The Display Name and the email address do not have to align. His display name can be set to send showing whatever he want. Your entry is something different.
As long as the email address is referenced is what matters.

This is part of how SPAM works. The Display Name can show anything the sender wants or wants you to believe.

RFC5322 spells out the details for Internet Messages here.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It could be an attempt by a spammer (or worse) to gain access to your entire contact list. When you send out messages do you send them to a single dummy account and have all the addresses hidden in BCC?
Before making any changes or adding the new address please send a quick note to the old address of the person and verify that they want this change?
It is too easy for a bad actor to get the email address of everyone in the group if they are all included in the email.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you call that person on the phone and ask what’s up?

LuckyGuy's avatar

^ Even better.

janbb's avatar

I agree with Dtuch. Just call him.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

Hi all, just an update. I did call the person but unfortunately they were at work well I was at work so I might have to wait to talk to them on Sunday. At any rate, both the assistant pastor and the clerk confirmed that they got emails from this person 2 months ago or so and that it also said John Smith at the time so maybe that’s just how he has it set up?

@LuckyGuy when we send out the group emails, we definitely BCC everybody so nobody else can see anybody else’s email. And yes, I will verify it before I reply.

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