email filters

Has my email been hacked?

Episode 1560

Suzanne from Placentia, CA

Suzanne uses Hotmail and all of a sudden, she's getting hundreds of spam from subscribed newsletters. She also got an email about an order for a GoPro camera bought at Walmart. Leo suspects that someone doesn't like Suzanne or has stolen her identity. It's a new scam where hackers overwhelm your email address with bulk emails to distract you from the actual identity theft going on. It's called "Chaff." The idea is to be so overwhelmed with spam and bulk emails, you miss the stolen credit card activity. Shame on companies that allow signups without a double opt-in via email.

Why am I getting a ton of bounced messages from people I don't know?

Gmail

Episode 1433

Vic from San Diego, CA

Vic is bombarded by email addresses that an email can't be delivered. Leo says that Vic's email has been "spoofed" by spammers and that they have been using his in the From address line. The bad news is that there's really nothing he can do about it. The good news is, it usually stops shortly as they move on to another email address to spoof. He can set up a filter to send those emails to the trash and never see them, though. He should use "Mailer Daemon" as the criteria. That's usually what sends the bounced spam message.