Why Do a Bunch of Of Other People Have My Same Gmail Address?

Being the  Google Apps loving, Google+ excluded, long-time domain owning cat that I am, I don’t use them much anymore, but I own several regular Gmail email addresses.  I get occasional email at these addresses, mostly from websites where I didn’t want to give my real email address, so I have configured my Google Apps Gmail account to check them regularly.  Emails to those accounts show up in a designated folder in my regular Gmail app.

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A year or so ago, I started getting emails that weren’t intended for me, addressed to one of those old email addresses: knewsome at gmail.  Over time, the amount of email increased.  Now I get several a week.  Most of the time I just delete them, or unsubscribe, if that is an option.  Once I got what appeared to be an important email from a wife to her husband, so I emailed her from another email address and told her that I wasn’t her husband.  I got another one from her the other day.  She wanted him to call her at work, before 6:15.

At this point, I’ve unsubscribed, deleted and, in that one case, emailed, about as much as I can, to no avail.  The emails keep coming.

I can’t get Tim Westergren to give me a straight answer on the Pandora hobbling 6-skips an hour limitation, but I got this today, welcoming some other Knewsome to Pandora:

Thanks so much for joining Pandora! We’re very happy to have you on board, and we look forward to providing you with endless hours of great music listening and discovery.  The Music Genome Project has been a 10-year labor of love, and we hope you’ll enjoy the results.

Yesterday, Google wrote me, not to tell me I can finally use Google+, but to tell someone named Kenneth that his newest Gmail email address, signed up for via the Knewsome account, is ready:

Congratulations on creating your brand new Gmail address,
knewsome1968@gmail.com.  Please keep this email for your records, as it contains an important verification code that you may need should you ever encounter problems or forget your password.

There’s more.  Meredith, Holly and Margaret invited me to the AHHS Class of 2001 10 Year Reunion in Forth Worth, Texas.   Hope it was fun.  I graduated from High School before they were born.

I got an email about a Scholastic Book Order from a third grade teacher in Florida.  Hope those girls got their books.

Someone named Kindal was about to waste his/her money on some software program.  The salesman’s email was so over the top, I couldn’t even tell what he was selling.

Clearly, these are not all the same person, and at least some of them are not spammers or scammers.  It looks like a whole bunch of people are using the knewsome at gmail address like some sort of shared phone line.  I don’t use that address, so I don’t care all that much.

But it is troubling.  And apparently not an isolated event.  These folks are complaining to Google.  As are these.

Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing with their Gmail accounts?

4 responses to “Why Do a Bunch of Of Other People Have My Same Gmail Address?

  1. I’ve had clients who had to abandon email addresses because people started giving them out or using them for spam purposes. I actually had a woman years ago give out an old home phone number of mine as hers to creditors. It got to the point that I was receiving multiple phone calls every day for this woman and they wouldn’t stop.

    I doubt there is much anyone can do if someone is giving out their address to others. 

  2. Lucas Newcomer

    I had this happen last week where someone who shared the same last name
    and first initial as me (which happens to comprise my gmail address)
    signed up for some kind of web service and I received the email. That
    was the first in some time although last year I was receiving messages
    from something that looked like a multi-level marketing scam that were
    sent to another name at my gmail address. I set those to skip the inbox
    so I don’t know if they’re still happening.

  3. I’ve had spammers spoof my email address, but what’s weird in this case is that some of these people seem to be actually using my same email address for legitimate purposes.  I’m wondering if somehow Google gave more than one person the same address.

  4. I’d really love to know what’s going on here.  Another example I didn’t mention in the post: I got a sign up confirmation from Redbox.  I called them and asked if the person was pretending to be me, and they said no- it was another name, address, etc.  I think these folks somehow signed up for Gmail under the same email name.