How to Make the Most of Email Irritations

This past weekend, I apparently sent myself an email about a great deal on Rolex watches.

Imagine my surprise!!!

When I’ve gotten this sort of junk mail from a real friend’s email address, I’ve always told them that their email has been hacked. Well, this week I learned that’s not necessarily so.

According to my internet provider, since the email didn’t come from my computer. I don’t have a virus.

I’ve been spoofed.

Now, here’s the scary part. If someone gets such an email from me and blocks the sender because it’s clearly spam…they could be blocking me from ever being able to email them from that address again!

These guys are deviously clever.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well, first of all, I thought it was intriguing. Something one of my characters should have to deal with at some point. Don’t you think?

Good fiction is all about conflict. Imagine the conflict if the heroine is sending the most important email of her life to her editor or agent or future hero, and doesn’t realize they’ve blocked her address because some creep is tarnishing her good name selling watches or pharmaceuticals or who knows what else?!

Second, I wanted to warn you to be careful about blocking senders when you get spam. If someone you know is listed as the sender, even if you know he or she didn’t really send it, s/he will be the one cut out of your email box, not the real sender.

Third, to protect yourself, discourage your friends from “forwarding” you jokes etc. Or urge them to use BCC, i.e. blind carbon copy so that your email address doesn’t wind up on a bunch of computers of people you don’t know. Eventually, the forwarded email will return to the originator, who is likely a spammer farming email addresses.

Oh, there is definitely a story in this…next book 🙂

Your Turn: What is the most bizarre or irritating or scary email, social media, or computer-related situation you’ve had to deal with?