The danger when forwarding mail
Late one evening, while online, I received
an IM (Internet message) from a gentleman who said he knew me through
mutual pals online. We chatted for an hour or so before deciding to
keep in touch, as we had so many things in common. I eventually, after
a week or so of knowing him, trusted him with my name (first name)
and phone number. After all, he knew my friends and I felt he must
have been okay if they all liked and knew him. He knew a lot about
them; he knew a lot about me, and he knew a lot about a lot! He seemed
like such a nice person, a pleasant person, and someone whom I felt
very comfortable sharing my time online (and on the phone) with.
One night, a friend from our group of friends invited me to a Chat
Room where several of the friends had gathered and were chatting when
this gentleman popped into the Chat Room. He popped in and then left
quickly. Then, for the first time since I met and started chatting
with him, I mentioned him to one of the friends who was in the Chat
Room, one whom this gentleman claimed an association with. She was
in total awe, she did not know who he was! Things were beginning to
look really suspicious. The more she and I chatted, the more suspicious
it became. It also became apparent that this guy knew none of us.
Suddenly, he disappeared offline for a few days, then one day he pops
back in and sends me an IM saying that we need to talk. He called
me at my home and I was very upset, so I asked him how he really found
me and why he had felt the need to lie in the first place.
***This is where you all need to pay attention:
*** He told me that
he spotted my screen name on a "Forward" that one of my
friends had sent to someone else. My screen name is what attracted
him. He then used the screen name of others on the list of forwards
to acquaint himself with me and various others from our clique of
friends. He also used the Member Directory (at AOL) to look up info
about others on the list of forwards, so as not to look suspicious.
He said he felt it was the only way he would have the chance to get
to know me, and the main attraction to me was "My Screen name"
because he thought it was "sexy!" I was upset, needless
to say, as I had trusted this man with my personal info, such as phone
number and name. He also knew where I lived (thanks to the phone bill)
and I was now his prey!
A few days after having last talked to this person and thinking that
was the last of him, I received a phone call at 4:00 AM! It was this
man telling me he was in town to see a friend who lived 20 minutes
from my house, and wanted to know if I would like to meet him for
coffee or breakfast. When I told him it was not such a good idea,
he became irate and hung up on me. I immediately called him back (caller
ID) and explained to him that my husband was back home (trying to
scare him) and please not be so mad (in fear of him and what he might
do). Telling him that my husband had returned and we were reconciling
was a lie, and I told him this to make him think I was not alone!
Imagine the feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach when he came back
with the following response "You're a lying bitch, your husband
is not there with you - you are alone!" I hung up on him and
immediately called the Broward County Sheriff's office and told them
what had happened. They sent an officer over to take a report and
said that was really all they could do for me at that time.
So, I packed few belongings into my car, and drove to my sister's
home for the night. Fifteen or twenty minutes after I arrived at her
home, I received a phone call from this man again! He knew that I
had called the Sheriff and reported him; he knew where I was and he
knew my sister and her husband's names!
People, let me tell you something, this man had been stalking me for
weeks and I had no idea! I walked, ate, slept and breathed in constant
fear until he was finally arrested for stalking! Not for stalking
me! Nope! For stalking another lady who lived in Kendall, Florida.
I wanted to share this with you all. And yes, it is all true.
Friends, when you forward things and you leave your friends' names
out in plain view like that, you are putting them and yourself in
what could be grave danger. I hope I have gotten this message across;
as I have not even begun to mention his assault (rape, using deadly
force) charges the detectives from Broward County and Kendall, FL
uncovered on him while investigating his prior history! People, please!
Be safe, be careful and Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc)!
This is not a joke and not a hoax.
Please Remember: It is Important to remove all personal email when
forwarding items from this, or any other list to individuals or other
(unless the message asks readers to contact them via email or phone).
Remember, a lot of us have a great deal of information in our sig's
(signature files that appear at the bottom of many of our messages).
In addition, the blind carbon copy (Bcc) option makes the individuals
you send email to unseen by all other recipients. E-Mailers should
also cut out email addresses from forwards when forwarding the message
on. I know I have received unsolicited emails from individuals who
have gotten my address via a forwarded message from this group. Although
more annoying than serious, it could have been worse."
IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS, CHANGE HOW YOU SEND E-MAIL!
This is a true concern of some people! Pay attention, read to the
Many times friends on e-mail ask me about me using the BCC addressing
on e-mails and commenting about my e-mails not having long lists of
other e-mail addresses where the e-mail had been sent prior to me
Please read all of this and you will understand why I do things the
way I do. Also this is not a fake or ridiculous idea from a crank.
Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?
Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from
the people that got the message before you - namely their e-mail addresses.
As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds,
and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get
a virus and his computer can send that virus to every e-mail address
that has come across his computer.
Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send
junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he
will make five cents. That's right, all of that inconvenience over
How do you stop it?
Well, there are two easy steps:
1) When you forward an email DELETE all
of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message. That's
right, delete them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them,
whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second.
2) Whenever you send an e-mail, don't
use the "To:" or "Cc:" columns for adding email
addresses. Use the "Bcc:" or "Blind Carbon Copy"
column for sending the message. This way the people that you send
to only see their own email address. If you don't see your "Bcc:"
option, click on where it says "To:" and your address list
will appear. Highlight the address and click "Bcc:".
And that's it - it's that easy! This should
be forwarded (minus my email address!) to everyone on your e-mail
list who does not use "Bcc:" and this should also confirm
why you should "clean-up" your e-mails before forwarding.