A general email caution

Old Mar 17th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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A general email caution

I'm sure all Fodorites are careful about email addresses, but at any rate, be extra careful and doublecheck. A cautionary tale:

We have an email address that happens to attract a lot of misdirected email from people who don't doublecheck before they send. 15 minutes ago, we got an email from someone in the U.S. who thought he was emailing a bank administrator. He attached a pdf of his most recent pay stub. It contained:
His full name and home address
Place of work (his title, company name, address, phone number)
Social security number
Bank account number and bank name (!!)
Detailed salary information

If we were identity thieves, what a payday!
Ironically, this guy was an IT professional.
Anyway, doublecheck those addresses! (We emailed the guy about his mistake.)
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Dear BTilke,

Thank you for your honest treatment of the person who e-mailed you.

Your gesture to him was the only uplifting note in this day surrounded by the weight of potential war with all its destruction.

Thanks for the uplift.
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:08 AM
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That was great thing to do BTiLKe!!!Is nice to know that are still honest caring people in this troubled world...
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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We get all kinds of interesting stuff--letters from college kids to their parents, invitations to parties (complete with directions), job reference letters, etc. Last year, someone kept emailing us his company's detailed business plans, including specific strategies against the competition. We repeatedly emailed them polite requests to get us off their address list. They finally stopped when we threatened to forward all the emails directly to their competitor's head of marketing.
Nothing tops the experience we had with our home fax machine in the early 1990s. Some Air Force officer in Colorado Springs faxed us 15 pages of highly classified material intended for another officer whose fax number was similar to ours (How could he even have been *allowed* to fax that kind of info??). We called the guy up and told him about it--I think he nearly had a heart attack!
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:18 AM
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I too think it is most honorable not only to do it,but to tell the board so.I read your posts and think sometimes you oughta hav your own travel website,no joke.Ok--at least write a book!!
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:20 AM
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Wow, that is amazing! and scary when you think of classified material being sent via email!
What a nice person you are!! and Good thing you are honest
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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You are indeed a kind and honest soul.

I'm not sure how much it actually protects you, but I have many friends who works at law firms. All their faxes and e-mails have variations of the following at the bottom:

"The information in this transmittal (including attachments, if any) is privileged and confidential and is intended only for the recipient(s) listed above. Any review, use, disclosure, distribution or copying of this transmittal is prohibited except by or on behalf of the intended recipient. If you have received this transmittal in error, please notify me immediately by reply email (or fax) and destroy all copies of the transmittal. Thank you."

Anyone sending anything confidential should probably consider adding something of this nature to his/her messages.
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Thank you for telling us about this and for your honesty.

It is best not to send any important information via e-mail or fax. Those disclaimers might make the sender feel better, but they have no "teeth", IMO.
 
Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Very nice, BTilke. This reminds me of studies which have been done periodically in the U.S. to test the "honesty level" of people in various U.S. cities. Usually, the researchers do something like leave a wallet with money somewhere and then see how often people return it intact. If someone were to do this in various European cities, I wonder what the results would be?
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:51 PM
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I found this, about the "wallet test":

"How Honest Are We?"

http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/1997/03/think_01.html

"Out of 120 wallets dropped in Canada, 77 were returned intact -- 64 percent. In a similar Digest survey of 12 U.S. towns and cities, the figure was 67 percent. In Europe it was 58 percent; in Asia, 57 percent."

and...

"Intriguingly, women far outperformed men in our exercise. Of the 58 women who picked up the wallets, 42 returned them with the money still inside -- 73 percent. Of the 62 men who picked up the wallets, only 35 returned them intact -- 56 percent."

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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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It's been a weird day. I just spoke with our U.S. bank--"someone" tried to put through 7 (!!!) fraudulent charges from the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna, where I stayed last week. The sharpies in the bank's fraud department declined all the charges, thankfully, but one of my credit cards had to be canceled. I'll be speaking with the Interconti's manager tomorrow. I expect them to take this VERY, VERY seriously and launch a full investigation!! (The card was NEVER out of my possession and I used it only ONCE--when I checked in!)
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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This is getting scary!
 
Old Mar 17th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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You sure have a lot of problems. All the years I've used my card never had problem one either here or abroad.
Also never recv. other people's email. Just lucky I guess!!
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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I have never received misdirected email, but I have on a couple of occasions had fraudulent use of my credit card. Luckily, the card companies were prompt and vigilant in addressing the problem.
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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Back in college, I once received a misdirected e-mail from someone at the FBI--scared me to death at first. The e-mail was a short memo, pretty trivial stuff, but I forwarded it back to him anyway. He simply replied back and thanked me.

As posted earlier, you never know, maybe they're testing your honesty.
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 05:14 PM
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Since I work in an office where doors have to be locked and pcs locked down for coffee breaks, I constantly have issues of sloppiness.

The latest one was sending a contractor over to the copier to copy a doc he needed.

He returned with his copy and another original which was left on the glass.

It was watermarked 'confidential'.

The fax is in the same room out of sight.
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Old Mar 18th, 2003, 03:01 AM
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Since you opened the enclosure, I would recommend that you check your computer with the latest up-to-date anti-virus and anti-worm softwares, since some people use this way to dispatch worms or viruses...
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Old Mar 18th, 2003, 03:58 AM
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We have all the latest anti-virus software, thanks anyway. It's possible for a pdf to carry a virus (with macros running), but read-only documents are much less likely to carry viruses or worms.
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Old Mar 18th, 2003, 04:04 AM
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I was once billed by Amex for a stay in a 5 star hotel in Ireland.As soon as I queried it it they cancelled the bill, must happen a lot.
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Old Mar 18th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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We're sorting out a fraudulent use of our CC right now!

On our last bill we noticed a payment in Lille.

We phoned the CC company for more details before refuting the charge(thinking perhaps something we'd purchased over the internet or from a travel company was being processed by a head company based in Lille or something).

When they said it was a swiped transaction in Lille itself we refuted it.

We haven't been to Lille for years and didn't even have that CC then.

Do check you CC statements properly.

BTilke, thanks for the warning.
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