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Old 12-29-2010, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Serious problem or harmless phishing?

Since I`m pretty out of touch with possibilities for electronic fraud, ID theft, etc, I`m hoping some of you more knowledgeable folks could explain a kind of scary situation to me. I`ve started getting spam that`s labeled in my "inbox" as though it came from my wife, even though she obviously has nothing to do with it. Well, I certainly HOPE she has nothing to do with it- haven`t asked her yet.

Hopefully, it`s just some new spammer method of getting my attention that isn`t a sign of a real problem, but I`m not sure. Does that necessarily mean that her email acct has been compromized somehow or that our computer has been zombied into sending stuff out to a zillion people? Another odd thing is that the emails are all addressd "to: former coworkers of my wife @ local school dist`s website"- hope my description makes sense. Anything I can do to check?

Not so important, but an extra irritation is that they`re written in the style of badly translated English. Since English isn`t my wife`s native language, and her writing sometimes has those same characteristics, it`d be possible and very uncomfortable if some of our friends and acquaintences read the spam and think it really did come from her.

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Old 12-29-2010, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most of the time it turns out to be someone that has hacked your email address and spammed everyone in your address book. Best suggestion would be to change your passwords until it happens again ...

Unfortunately it happens more frequently than we would like to be comfortable with.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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is she getting a lot of "undeliverable" returned messages? If so then her account was probably hacked. If not then probably someone is just spoofing her email addy.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Send a message via AIM to kamesama980
Either way change the password to be safe
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for chiming in, gang.
Yes, she has a ton of undeliverable returns! (It just ocured to me to log onto her account, she won`t be home until this evening). But the sent folder doesn`t look unusual??? Weird.

I`ll let her know what`s going on and explain that she needs to change her password.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If the sent box does not show anything coming out of it; then someone spoofed her email address. There was no hack involved.

It's the equivalent of me calling you up and saying I am someone else so you can't call me back.

If you have the original email, there are ways of examining the email headers to find out the real sending address.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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scan your computer for viruses. clear you temp folders
if it keeps happening then change her password.
if that doesnt fix it then analys the headers of the mail and find out where it is coming from.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Either way changing your password seems like a good idea because even if they are not sending it from your computer (making it show up as "sent") but they are still getting in to copy your address book of Email address's so changing your password seems like a good first step.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Passwords should be changed every 1-2 months. Unfortunately, hardly anyone does it

A clean 'Sent' folder doesn't mean that the account wasn't hacked. I once had my account blocked because a bot cracked my password and started spamming. The admin reset my password and I noticed that the 'Sent' folder looked normal. He explained that it is possible in some cases to send without copying to 'Sent', or that the spammer (bot) deleted everything it sent to leave less traces.

Anyway, change your password NOW, and next month too.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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duane1: "If the sent box does not show anything coming out of it; then someone spoofed her email address. There was no hack involved."
Don`t all the "undeliverable" notices in her inbox indicate that the spam was actually sent from her account?

pounsfos: "scan your computer for viruses. clear you temp folders"
That sounds like a good idea. How do I go about it?

"if it keeps happening then change her password."
Already changed.

Piwoslaw: "Passwords should be changed every 1-2 months. Unfortunately, hardly anyone does it"
Guilty as charged, but will mend my ways- changed mine, too.

"He explained that it is possible in some cases to send without copying to 'Sent', or that the spammer (bot) deleted everything it sent to leave less traces."
Makes sense to me. For somebody with the skill to hack into an account in the first place, it should be a piece of cake to amend the program in such a way as to delite the "sent" files. Why leave more evidence to clue in the victim that something is amiss just so that he can start fixing the problem and put an end to all the spammer`s work?

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