I have a very common name. One of those last names that has full chapters reserved in the phone book. This is usually a good thing. I rarely have to tell people how to spell my name when putting in a reservation (and if I do, it's a good sign that I should reconsider my reservation). In fact, I could never say that having a common name has ever been a problem really.
Until the internet. You see, I made a huge mistake. When I signed up for an e-mail address, I actually used my real name for the address. Now if you have a unique name, this isn't such a problem. But with a very common name, everyone with your same name has the same brilliant idea as you. So they try to sign up for the e-mail address you have. Since they can't get it, they use something close, but quickly forget and start giving out my e-mail address, thinking it is their own. This results in my receiving some very interesting e-mails. Some of these e-mails have some very, very personal information in them.
To add to the confusion here, I signed up with an e-mail service that ignores dots (.) in the e-mail address. Just takes them out and uses whats left. So if my e-mail address were Jane.Doe@generic.com, I would also receive e-mail for JaneDoe@generic.com, J.Anedoe@generic.com, and Jan.E.Doe@generic.com. That's a pretty big fish net for a spammer to aim for.
In most cases, the spam filter catches the spammers, which just leaves me with the folks suffering from a case of mistaken web identity. So just to be clear:
- I have never applied to be in the Australian version of the FBI. So don't send me the full application form with my filled in results as well as the responses of my closest friends and relatives you interviewed.
- I am not a college student at LSU who enjoys deer hunting.
- I am not a car customizer in California, and I don't need for his accountant to send me a copy of his tax filings.
- I am not attempting to purchase property in Georgia, and I don't need that gentleman's mortgage application.
- I have never shopped at Blockbuster in the United Kingdom. I am not interested in the UK version of XBox titles, nor the XBox Live service in that territory. Please stop sending me the subscriber notices that he signed up for.
- I did not graduate from a Missouri arts college, and I am not interested in organizing or attending their reunion. How much weight Suzanne gained since graduation is none of my concern.
Typically I just chuckle at these e-mails intended for my dopplegangers. In cases where I have received sensitive information, I try to let the sender know so they can correct their records (and to be sure someone is not attempting to steal my identity). Now I think I will just use the form response below to see if I can get any more interesting response.
This is my e-mail address. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My e-mail address is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my e-mail address is useless. Without my e-mail address I am useless. I must address my e-mail true. I must filter my e-mail from my enemy, who is trying to spam me.
This is not the jedi you are looking for.....