Who stole my email address?

Someone has hijacked or cloned
my Yahoo email address and is
now sending me spam for
pharmacological and money products. I
have changed my password, and run all
sorts of virus-checkers – but all to no
avail. I would be grateful if someone could
help me, as I don’t want to change my
email address. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron
Govind Tiwari

Who stole my email address?

Th is is an issue that comes up
time and again in these pages. It
sounds like your email address
might have been ‘spoofed’ or ‘harvested’.
Spoofing is when spammers use your
email address to protect their own
identities. Th ey do this because emails
from ‘real’ addresses have a greater chance
of avoiding detection by spam-blocking
software. If the emails to which you refer
appear to come from yourself, then your
email address has indeed been spoofed.
Alternatively, your email address might
simply have been harvested from some
other place. As a result, you’re now
receiving this spam.
Th e perpetrators probably bought your
email address as part of a list, which
probably contained millions of other email
addresses. Th ese mailing lists are openly
traded online and, unsurprisingly, are
eagerly snapped up by spammers.
As we’ve said many times before, neither
of these behaviours are new. Th ey’re also
common and essentially impossible to
stop. Fortunately, as long as you have good
security software installed, there’s no real
danger, but the annoyance factor can be
very high. Our best advice for dealing with
these messages is send them to your email
program’s spam folder.

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