Mistaken Identity

I have a handful of email accounts including a gmail that is my real name that I use for professional purposes. It’s funny really how I could luck out in getting it before anyone else considering how many Yo-yo Mamas there are just on Facebook.

In October 2009 I received an email directed to Yo-yo Mama about a work schedule for a very prominent company. The problem was I don’t work for said prominent company. I ignored it. But then I received a couple of emails that were exchanges between the Other Yo-yo Mama and what I’m guessing was an instructor or counselor from a special ed school about the Other Yo-yo Mama’s son, including one in December regarding the child’s ADHD drugs and getting kicked off the school bus.

I knew then it was probably better if I contacted the Other Yo-yo Mama and let her know that I was getting some pretty confidential emails in error, which I did by using her work email that she originally copied to herself the first time. She responded quickly by thanking me and letting me know that the problem was most likely due to the fact that her email was yoyo.mama530@, whereas mine was yoyo.mama@.

Then I started getting emails from a program that reported her son’s school lunch balance. I forwarded these as well to the Other Yo-yo. These became annoyingly frequent so I eventually emailed the administrator of the program. When even this didn’t fix the problem, I set up a filter to block the emails as spam and notified the Other Yo-yo that I was doing so.

I should also mention that among those emails from the school, I received a couple confirming the signing up of accounts from different websites – including passwords and a congratulatory email for adopting a new puppy!

And now that I’ve told you about it, I’m wondering what the original intent of this post was…maybe just take it as a lesson and make sure when you sign up for web service, you double-check your email especially when you use your real name so you don’t end up annoying someone like me who already gets enough spam. Because of several screw ups in emails, I now know the following about the Other Yo-yo:

  • Her full name, including middle initial
  • Her place of employment
  • Her home address
  • Her son’s name
  • Her son’s school
  • Her son’s medication

Pretty crazy, no?

8 thoughts on “Mistaken Identity”

  1. I got a Gmail account very early on, and was able to snag my EXTREMELY COMMON firstname.lastname@gmail.com. There’s even a winery with my exact name on it, out there.

    I have an entire folder/label called Other Mes set up. Right now, I’ve counted at least 14 separate people who are not me who’ve gotten mail at my address…four of whom are regular offenders. My least favorite is a woman who has firstname.lastnameUK@gmail.com, who buys everything from plane tickets to expensive jewelry with my email address. I have her husband’s address, but she never stops. Then there’s the Texas Democrat, I get at least five emails a week from different Democratic events in Dallas as a result of her, and there’s the Philly piano player (I get a lot of requests to play events), and the proud Canadian grandparents who think I’m their daughter and forward me all the baby photos they take of my (her) child.

    The worst, though, was the time another Me accidentaly used my Gmail address instead of her internal company one in a database somewhere. She was a top level support person at a cellular company…whenever a problem would be escalated to her level, I’d get a copy (complete with super personal info for all the customers!). That took a couple weeks and two phone calls to finally stop.

    I try to be polite about it, and it usually makes people stop right away. Last week I got the syllabus for a freshman year English course. Aw.

  2. Same thing here on my gmail account. We have the same first initial and last name. I know that she uses Lancome, know her high school, and know all about her kids daycare. I havn’t been able to track her down though. Its annoying but I mostly use that account for my junk mail so I hardly ever check it. I can’t believe how frequently this seems to happen. You would think people would be more careful.

  3. I had the exact same thing happen to me (being the recipient of someone else’s e-mail). This woman was using my e-mail address at a veterinan’s on-line site (which included credit card info), RedBox video, credit card company and even her bank (she sent herself (me) screenshots of her banking info which included every piece of personal info)!!

    In my situation, I tried to be nice about it, but this person obviously wasn’t wrapped too tight. She actually yelled back in e-mail at me for contacting her. Can you believe that??

    I have spam block on the businesses that still e-mail me. I don’t want to change the email address because I’ve been using it for 10 years.

  4. Good thing you aren’t interested in identity theft! Amazing that she isn’t more careful inputting her email address when she already knows there have been several mistakes already.

  5. Had you given it a few more weeks, I’m sure you could have gotten her date of birth and Soc.ial (In)Security Number.

    This is why I use my former license plate number for my email accounts – no one has any idea what it means, but no one is likely to duplicate it either.

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