Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

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pkay
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Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:25 pm

I'll describe the situation and please, fellow BHs, tell me what's going on and if I should take certain actions to protect my and spouse's identities, email addresses, etc.

Got an email (my personal email account) of a Macy's e-Receipt of purchases made in Hawaii, with my spouse's first and last name but different middle initial and on a credit card with last 4 digits that don't match up to any of our cards (not sure about previously closed accounts, but I don't think so). We don't live in Hawaii and have never been to that island. I don't even have a Macy's account registered to the particular email that the receipt was sent to. However, in 2015, I have shopped at Macy's in person and elected to do e-Receipts at the register and sent receipt to said email account. Called Macy's, customer rep said they don't have any Macy's account or credit card opened under spouse's name (gave them last four digit of ssn so they could check).

We've had a few email addresses that have been "compromised" (right word?) in the past: got 1000x of spam mails in one day, occasional spam mail (weird foreign language), or been found on the dark web. Since then we've changed our password to more complicated secure passwords, though I still get weird foreign spam in my inbox. This was the first time I got a strange e-Receipt in my own email account that has my spouse' first and last name but different middle initial, of a purchase that we did not make, on a credit card that we don't have.

Anyone has insight? Advise on how we should handle our email? We feel like we need to change out password on all our accounts and create a new email and use the new email only for financial institutions where we invest or bank.

BTW, we use gmail.

Thanks all.

SirToolman
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by SirToolman » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:33 pm

Is it a common last name? Is your email address composed of your name? It sounds like someone shopped at Macy's that has the same name as you, opted in for email receipts, and there was a typo somewhere.

Like it went to JohnQSmith@gmail.com instead of JohnWSmith@gmail.com

pkay
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:39 pm

SirToolman wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:33 pm
Is it a common last name? Is your email address composed of your name? It sounds like someone shopped at Macy's that has the same name as you, opted in for email receipts, and there was a typo somewhere.

Like it went to JohnQSmith@gmail.com instead of JohnWSmith@gmail.com
email address does not have my name on it. it is random and I use that address for shopping stuff and junk mail for things that I sign up for online. spouse does have a common first and last name. but then again, spouse name is nowhere in my random spelling email address. I've never had a mix up so quite "coincidental" as this, never had a mix up of someone's email sent to my junk email account at all. that's why this incident is so strange...

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:48 pm

The first thing *I* would do would be to determine where the email actually came from. In Outlook (what I use), put the email into the junk folder. Now highlight it and hit "block". It will now display the actual email address where the email came from. So instead of "macyreceipts@macys.com, it will display, for example: abdulainnigeriainternetcafe@scammers.net.

I get emails all the time that look like what you describe. I find the above kinds of email addresses. I just go ahead and block that internet address, then I hit the wheel on the top of the page, then options, then on the left "block address" and put in scammers.net and then the entire domain is blocked for the future. I've got at least 1000 addresses and domains blocked.
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iasw
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by iasw » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:58 pm

Update and strengthen your passwords across accounts and pull your credit report from all 3 bureaus if you haven't done that lately.

kaudrey
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by kaudrey » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:07 pm

I would just delete it. I get random ones supposedly from "Amazon" once a week. I don't use that email account for Amazon. Obviously spam; and I just delete them.

pkay
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:16 pm

I put the email in the spam folder. the email came from "alert@emails.macys.com", and i am working on changing password on accounts and all.

I get spam all the time too but never had a spam that has spouse's name (different MI) on it. how did they even link my email account to spouse's name? that's what concerns me...

daheld
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by daheld » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:18 pm

There's a decent chance it's all fake and none of the transactions actually happened. There's also a chance you were sent an email that was meant for someone else. This recently happened to us. We were on the way to visit my parents when my wife got an email from a hotel chain confirming her hotel reservation. It wasn't using her rewards account and was not made with any of her cards. But the first and last name on the reservation was the same as hers. She finally wound up calling the hotel chain and the front desk agent said they were expecting a call--they'd taken a reservation and accidentally sent a confirmation email to the wrong address. They realized it when it happened, sent the correct person a confirmation, but because my wife's email address was a valid, working address, she got a receipt for a purchase someone else made.

pkay
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:48 pm
The first thing *I* would do would be to determine where the email actually came from. In Outlook (what I use), put the email into the junk folder. Now highlight it and hit "block". It will now display the actual email address where the email came from. So instead of "macyreceipts@macys.com, it will display, for example: abdulainnigeriainternetcafe@scammers.net.

I get emails all the time that look like what you describe. I find the above kinds of email addresses. I just go ahead and block that internet address, then I hit the wheel on the top of the page, then options, then on the left "block address" and put in scammers.net and then the entire domain is blocked for the future. I've got at least 1000 addresses and domains blocked.
I don't use Outlook, so don't have that function to block and show true email address. the email came from alert@emails.macys.com.

ugh. don't these people have better things to do. it really causes lots of headaches worrying about security, not to mention going to every account I have and changing pw.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:27 pm

When you get email receipts, very often it's by reciting your email address to the cashier. If either makes a mistake, then the wrong address gets the receipt.

There's a guy with a comic strip comment site, who talks about "Idiot Bill Bickel". That's another guy with the same name who keep using the "real" Bill's email address for things. Not as a throwaway, but because he leaves out the middle initial of his own email address on the same service. So real Bill gets personal information from clients of IBB, a real estate agent.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

ResearchMed
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:28 pm

From good old Google:

"Macy's is reportedly investigating a phishing scam that uses a fake Macy's delivery email notification for what is usually a non-existent order."

This particular post is about 2 years old, but if this is "out there", no surprise if it's still being recycled.

Or they could just be trying to find e-addresses that don't 'bounce back' as undeliverable, for a followup...?

There is also info from Macy's, plus an email to notify them if you feel like it.
(Some vendors want to have these spoofs emailed to them.)

I Googled the possibly fake e-address from "sender".

Good luck.

RM
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FlyAF
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:49 pm

Common phishing scam. The biggest one going right now is faking iTunes email receipts. Delete and don't give it a second thought.

I get a few each day in the email account that I use for all online purchases, aka, what is now just a giant spam receptacle.

I do find threads like this interesting. I don't know how anyone could have any sort of reaction to these types of emails. If you look at the address that it's coming from (yes I know it's masked, but it's easy to see beyond that) it's obvious this is nonsense. Any other number of things immediately flag this as junk, but there are threads daily where people get these obviously fake, but legit looking emails and get worried. I guess it just goes to show you how easily duped people can be.

Out of curiosity, would you have the same concern if this was a phone call where they happened to get your first and last name correct? Or would you simply hang up on said person from "Macy's" trying to fleece you?

pkay
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:33 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:49 pm
Common phishing scam. The biggest one going right now is faking iTunes email receipts. Delete and don't give it a second thought.

I get a few each day in the email account that I use for all online purchases, aka, what is now just a giant spam receptacle.

I do find threads like this interesting. I don't know how anyone could have any sort of reaction to these types of emails. If you look at the address that it's coming from (yes I know it's masked, but it's easy to see beyond that) it's obvious this is nonsense. Any other number of things immediately flag this as junk, but there are threads daily where people get these obviously fake, but legit looking emails and get worried. I guess it just goes to show you how easily duped people can be.

Out of curiosity, would you have the same concern if this was a phone call where they happened to get your first and last name correct? Or would you simply hang up on said person from "Macy's" trying to fleece you?
Hey FlyAF, thanks for responding. I get tons of spam in the same email account too. My concern is that someone somehow was able to put together my random email address (my name is not in the email address makeup) with my spouse's name. If they just did my name or my initials, that's sort of expected given I do use my first initial and last initial as my name for this spam email account. But to somehow connect my spouse's name with my spam email account is something new to me. Spouse and I don't have the same last name.

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FlyAF
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:51 pm

pkay wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:33 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:49 pm
Common phishing scam. The biggest one going right now is faking iTunes email receipts. Delete and don't give it a second thought.

I get a few each day in the email account that I use for all online purchases, aka, what is now just a giant spam receptacle.

I do find threads like this interesting. I don't know how anyone could have any sort of reaction to these types of emails. If you look at the address that it's coming from (yes I know it's masked, but it's easy to see beyond that) it's obvious this is nonsense. Any other number of things immediately flag this as junk, but there are threads daily where people get these obviously fake, but legit looking emails and get worried. I guess it just goes to show you how easily duped people can be.

Out of curiosity, would you have the same concern if this was a phone call where they happened to get your first and last name correct? Or would you simply hang up on said person from "Macy's" trying to fleece you?
Hey FlyAF, thanks for responding. I get tons of spam in the same email account too. My concern is that someone somehow was able to put together my random email address (my name is not in the email address makeup) with my spouse's name. If they just did my name or my initials, that's sort of expected given I do use my first initial and last initial as my name for this spam email account. But to somehow connect my spouse's name with my spam email account is something new to me. Spouse and I don't have the same last name.
Out of curiosity, what email address did it come from?

I will say that I am impressed with how far the low life's have come. The iTunes one that is big right now is very well done and definitely looks like it could be coming from Apple, if you were older or new to smart phones. I hearken for the good old days when Nigerian princes were hand picking us out of the thin blue internet air to help them smuggle their riches out of their home country. Such fond memories.

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Elsebet
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by Elsebet » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:14 pm

I would check your accounts but wouldn't be overly worried, it's likely someone accidentally used your email address instead of their own. Make sure you have two factor authentication on your email accounts if possible, and if not possible consider a move.

I have been going through this for years with a Norwegian woman who is using my "junk" email address I have had for over a decade. I have received very confidential things (travel itineraries, bill notices, iPhone activation, personal emails) of hers and I have a template reply I send to everyone in both English and Norwegian explaining the situation and asking them to contact her. Some people (including her lawyer) reply that they will inform her of the mixup and I don't get any of her email for months, then she signs up for something again using my email and it starts over. Recently she started a Lifelock account with my email, maybe she thinks she is a victim of fraud. :) I'm not sure how a person could not notice they are using the wrong email so much. There is no way she can login as I have 2 factor auth and unusual login activity alerts on all of my email accounts.

Rwsawbones
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by Rwsawbones » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:31 pm

I have a real oldie but goodie with Nigerian Princess. Going back to the mid 1970s I got a handwritten letter from one of these “princes”. Since I had never before heard of this scheme I called the FBI who enlightened me. Can you imagine the huge numbers of people sitting around writing all of these. Isn’t the internet wonderful!! Great at labor saving

pkay
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Re: Should I be worried about potential identity theft? Bizarre email/name mix up?

Post by pkay » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:44 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:51 pm

Out of curiosity, what email address did it come from?

I will say that I am impressed with how far the low life's have come. The iTunes one that is big right now is very well done and definitely looks like it could be coming from Apple, if you were older or new to smart phones. I hearken for the good old days when Nigerian princes were hand picking us out of the thin blue internet air to help them smuggle their riches out of their home country. Such fond memories.
it came from alert@emails.macys.com

agreed...Nigerian princes were much simpler to deal with.

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