Categories: Reading and Receiving Messages :

I'm getting someone else's email

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I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/22/09 8:32 PM
Last night I started getting email addressed to someone else with the same last name as myself. 
I've read the FAQ regarding this issue which I have included below just so you know I have read it . And it does not appear to apply to me at all.

my email address is in the format of
the person whose email I'm getting has the email address of

I have sent a test email to his address from my hotmail account and it is getting delivered to my gmail account.

I'm getting his bank statements and credit card purchases.  I sincerely hope he is not getting my email as well.

---The FAQ I already read---
Your address is similar but has more or fewer dots (.) or different capitalization.

      Sometimes you may receive a message intended for someone whose address is similar to yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. For example, your address might be, but the message was sent to a While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else's mail is being routed to your account, this is actually caused by a simple misunderstanding. Here's why:

      Gmail allows only one registration for any given username. Once you sign up for a username, nobody else can sign up for the same username, regardless of whether it contains extra periods or capital letters; those usernames belong to you. If you created, no one can ever register, or Because Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they'll all go to your inbox, and only yours.

      If you're, no one owns, except for you. If you're getting mail addressed to, it's likely that someone was trying to send a message to, or, and made a mistake. You might even get messages from mailing lists or website registrations because the person who signed up for them accidentally provided your address. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.

      As an additional measure to keep your account safe, though, we require that when you sign in to your account, you use the same configuration of periods as you originally used when choosing your username. So if you signed up for, nobody would be able to sign in as, with any password, ever.

      One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you'd like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.

Your address isn't listed at all.

      If you don't see your email address in the To: or Cc: fields of the header, the sender has probably mailed you a 'blind carbon copy,' or Bcc:. The Bcc: field isn't displayed in the header of received messages. This means that you won't see your email address at the top of any message you receive as a blind carbon copy.

      If you're receiving lots of messages addressed to another Gmail user, another possibility is that someone else has accidentally configured their account to automatically forward mail to you. To see if this is the case, open the full message headers: click the down arrow next to Reply (or More options in Safari), and select Show original. Starting at the top, look for X-Forwarded-For. If you see X-Forwarded-For, then another Gmail user is forwarding mail to your address, and we recommend contacting them to inform them of the mistake. Please note that there won't be any X-Forwarded-For information in the headers if the mail was autoforwarded from a non-Gmail account.

You're receiving spam that's not addressed to you.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/22/09 9:03 PM
Not someONE. It's coming from every service provider the guy uses including his Bank.  And it all happened overnight.  Every email the guy has been getting for every subcription he has is getting delivered to my inbox.  My email address isn't even in the "to" field on the emails I'm recieving.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email SN 6/22/09 9:25 PM
What do you want to happen to these 'someone else's email'?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/22/09 9:38 PM
I'd like to know that his emails are going to him.
I'd like to not be an unintentional eavesdropper on correspondence that is not for my eyes.
I'd like to not have my inbox cluttered with mail that isn't mine.
I'd like to think google is taking an interest in protecting the privacy of it's users and the integrity of it's product.
I'd like to think if the shoe was on the other foot a stranger who was getting my email would do the same for me.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SN 6/22/09 10:06 PM
Thank you for answering my question.

I'd like to know that his emails are going to him.
I do not recommend ever to make contact with any 'unknown' sender; reason for this is safeguard your email address (a preventive measure) other people might not be responsible with your address as you; also devious spammer or prankster might be the culprit, so it's imho whether any of those are actually valid mistakes or devious spammer either use 'Report spam' tab or filter to trash and ignore. 

I'd like to not be an unintentional eavesdropper on correspondence that is not for my eyes.
I understand, the headers can give indication of some type of spam set up or something in the body of the email; if actually a valid correspondence still create a filter and trash to safeguard the person's privacy and protect yours. 

I'd like to not have my inbox cluttered with mail that isn't mine.
The 'Report spam' tab will get those devious spam from inbox; for valid mistakes set up a filter to trash with criteria 'Skip the Inbox' and 'Delete it'

I'd like to think google is taking an interest in protecting the privacy of it's users and the integrity of it's product.
I don't work for Google. I believe Google is definitely looking out for their customers; be aware spammers or trickster are ever innovative.

I'd like to think if the shoe was on the other foot a stranger who was getting my email would do the same for me.
It would be nice to be a good Samaritan but my focus on imho the protection of your email address as the ultimate priority.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/23/09 6:30 AM
I appreciate your input on the matter.  However I feel I might have given the impression of naivete that may not be warranted.  I am a systems Engineer for a major corporation whom at some point I even administered exchange servers for.  While it is not my job anymore people come to me for assistance for spam, phishing scams, and malware on a regular basis.

I've done my detective work on this guy.  I know his physical address.  I've found his facebook account and seen art posts his wife has made (all in the effort of letting him know there is a problem with his account).  I have given him virtually no useful information about myself. In fact I don't even think I got anything through to him. I truly believe that this problem resides in the mechanisms Gmail is using to process mail.  As gmail apparently has no customer support for this free product (which I MOSTLY understand)  I'm hoping that an employee will read this and make an effort to resolve it and perhaps prevent large numbers of their users from similar problems.  The mails I'm getting do not have any of the tell tales of phishing scams and as far as I can tell the intended recipient has no clue that I'm getting them.  I may be wrong, but if I am this has got to be a pretty artfull and detailed long con.  I will keep my guard up but I just don't smell a rat on this one.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/23/09 6:20 PM
If you send him an email at that address (the one with 6621), does it come back to you?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/23/09 6:32 PM
Also, since you say you know who he is, and the difference between those two addresses notwithstanding, are your names the same that he could conceivably have given your address in error?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/23/09 7:13 PM
Hii Msl53,

Thank you for your response.  Yes I have sent an email to the address from my hotmail account and it does in fact get sent to my account.  The same thing happens when I message the account of his that I found.

His middle name is the same as my first name and his and my last name is the same.  However only is lastname is in his email address whereas my first and last are in mine.  And my email address does not contain a number.
I don't see how several internet services all have the wrong email address for him such that I started getting all of them overnight.  I am now getting my email for him and his wife from various sources than I am getting for myself.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/23/09 7:21 PM
Have you looked at the full header of any of these emails to see if there's any sort of forwarding indicated?

(You didn't mention having done so.)

Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/23/09 8:37 PM
I'm not as smart or thorough as I thought.  You figured it out. There were in fact X-forward references in the header.  I'll need to find another avenue to get him to cancel his forwarding. Thanks Msl53.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/24/09 3:49 AM
Glad we figured it out!

Do you yourself have a Facebook account? You can send him a message there without actually having to be his friend. (If you don't have one, it might be worth creating one for that purpose.)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintme 6/24/09 8:01 AM
I do.  And I was able to get a mail off to his wife.  He's corrected the problem and contacted me.  Thanks again for helping me find a resolution.  Nice to have some peace and quiet in my inbox again
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/24/09 8:43 AM
That is terrific! You're quite welcome.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email mainesails 7/17/09 5:34 PM
  I'm glad your problem was solved- but I have a similar issue.  I've had a number of my emails sent to the wrong address.
When this happens,  either the address or the recipients name is always similar.  I can't imagine how this is happening.
Any thoughts?  I always used the correct address in the end to box.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email mr.mcscrooge 8/10/09 7:37 PM
I have a similar problem I have a firend who has an account when I send them mail it goes to an account that is how did google allow the creation of my friends account, which I created for him, when apparently according to googles guide lines they are both owned by the first person to register using either of the above email addresses. ie blah.blah is the same as Anyone else having this problem?

Re: I'm getting someone else's email gnosttam 8/21/09 8:29 PM
Mr. Mcscrooge, I have been having this problem as well. I created a user name during the original beta version, and I fear that those safety measures/protocols were not in place back then. When did you create your email address?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email thiswontwork 8/22/09 9:16 AM
I have a similar problem however my own email address is not listed in the header as being forwarded to.  In fact the person the mail is addressed to isn't even at gmail.  they're at a service called  This person shares my last name in his email address but it doesn't seem as if my email is even listed as having his mail sent to me.
I have posted a new thread here:
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itaintmeeither 12/11/09 12:14 PM
I am having the same problem. At least once a week I'm getting an email intended to go to someone who has my first name and same last initial. Last night I got a response to her request for more information on a room for rent -- a craigslist ad she responded to. Every other time I'm getting replies from people (intended for her) about her business. I have her email address which is not even close to mine, but when it lists her first and last name on the email, her full name is very similar to mine.  How can this be happening?  In all cases they're  replies to her emails, but they're coming to me.  This is alarming?  Are my emails going to other people?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email jws or j.w.s. 1/31/10 3:35 PM
I've been reading these posts and it's quite ridiculous.  The periods (dots) need to either be strictly enforced as a unique email address or duplicate accounts eliminated.  I just received a Facebook registration confirmation for someone WITHOUT dots in their email, matching my address WITH the dots.  Even more ludicrous is the fact that Facebook doesn't see the emails as matching, but Gmail does!
Re: I'm getting someone else's email s.wiser 2/3/10 9:27 AM
I've been having a similar issue for the last few days.  I've begun receiving emails belonging to another person(s). I am not listed in any of the headers (as BCC or x-forward) and our emails are not even similar. Mine is: (first).(surname), while the accounts I'm receiving are ohsnapits(surname) and s(surname) I never had an issue until 2 days ago, when it started (quite literally) overnight. I don't want to simply put them in the spam folder, because some are from Facebook and I don't want to lose my notifications. However, I'm recieving a lot of password reset attempts and account privacy changes. I tried looking up users on Facebook with those addresses, and had no success. Any ideas??
Re: I'm getting someone else's email itsnotmine 2/5/10 5:13 AM
I too am having the same problem.  I created my gmail account back when it was invitation only in the format  I keep getting email addressed to  I can only assume from what I've read here that I am the first one to create the account and that was not protected by Google at that time in order for someone else with the same first and last name to create an almost identical account, that I am the only one receiving any of the email intended and that the other accountholder is not receiving any of my intended email.  I sincerely hope someone from Google looks into this and resolves this issue, but in the meantime what do I do with the other person's email?  I have the same issues as the original asker.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email spat 2/5/10 11:49 AM
I'll join the club on this one.  I signed up during the invite only beta and used  For years I've sporadically gotten emails intended for at least two, possibly three, other people that share my name.  I think the problem goes a little deeper than what's in the FAQ and makes me wonder how many messages I haven't gotten. 
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 2/5/10 11:57 AM
One more time: NOBODY ELSE HAS THE SAME ADDRESS. You are merely getting mail addressed in error. People make mistakes all the time.

As Joshua pointed out elsewhere, if you suddenly started getting repeated phone calls for someone else, you wouldn't think that person had your phone number. This is the same thing.

There has NEVER been a documented case of two people with the same address. NEVER.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 2/5/10 12:22 PM
<ring, ring>


"Hi, can I speak to Bob Smith please?"

"I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number as there's no Bob Smith here."

"Did I reach 555-1212?"

"Yes, but there's no Bob Smith here."

"OMG!!,  You have the same phone number as Bob Smith!!  How do you keep your phone calls straight?  Isn't that an invasion of your privacy?"

"Umm, I think you simply have the wrong number for Bob Smith."

"No, I have it written down right here.  Bob Smith - 555-1212.  You have the same number as Bob.  That's SO weird."

"I'm going to hang up now.  Good bye."

ring, ring>   <ring, ring>   <ring ring> ...
Re: I'm getting someone else's email radeoflier 2/8/10 11:04 AM
I have the same problem as some of you have mentioned. The email I signed up for was Later I read that the dot (.) doesn't matter. However I get emails from someone trying to sync a hotmail account who has my first and last name and is using (with no dot).

I've contacted him, but he's not savvy enough to undo his mistake (he barely understands what he's done). I've tried "reply all" with text like, "This is not the correct email address for john smith. However, if you are able to contact him, could you tell him I have several emails addressed to him. Apparently 'busty teen beauties', 'viagra online' and a Nigerian prince are also trying to reach him as they mail me every day." (my spam GREATLY increased after this guy's mix up, so I was trying to embarrass him into fixing the problem... shameless, I agree)

I get notices of things he's recently signed up for that forward to me... kind of lame. I'm not as noble as the above poster; I don't really care if he gets the emails at this point, I just don't want to get them anymore. If there's a fix or google does something about it, that would be awesome.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 2/8/10 11:14 AM
If there's a fix or google does something about it, that would be awesome.

Isn't that sort of like asking AT&T (or your local phone provider) to make it so you stop getting wrong numbers?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email shweta siwal 2/11/10 9:50 AM
Hi someone has sent me a email today morning but i did not receive that email in my inbox the person have cc to me and another friend she received it but i did not can you please help me getting that email but it is a very important email .
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 2/11/10 11:26 AM
Shweta, please start your own thread for your question rather than hijacking this thread.  Thanks.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MaureenT 2/28/10 2:51 PM
Add me to the list of people who are having the same problem with getting emails belonging to someone else. I have had my email address since August 2006. Recently, I've been getting emails for someone with the same first and last whose email address is, no dot between the names. This is not some kind of scam. The first one I got in error was from a relative of this other person who was confirming travel plans. Today, I got a receipt for a Little League registration.

Now, the fact that several other people here are reporting this same problem leads me to believe that it's a fault of Gmail, which apparently allowed someone to get an email address that was the same as mine except that there was no dot. Several people have suggested that the problem is limited to email addresses that were created a long time ago, before the dot/no dot protocols were put in place.

Based upon what I've read and tests I've run, I'm pretty sure that none of my emails are going to this other person. I certainly hope not. I have other concerns, however, such as this person attempting to change the password or signing up for things with that email address that's going to cause problems for me. Of course, it also concerns me that they are not getting emails that they should be.

At this point, my only recourse is to contact this other person through the relative of theirs that I spoke of earlier. I contacted that relative when I got her email in error, but, apparently, she either never told the other person about the problem or the other person didn't understand what was going on, and they are continuing to use that email address. I will be asking that the other person stop using that email address, but whether or not they agree to do so is something I don't know. They could demand that I change mine, although my claim to the address apparently precedes theirs.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 2/28/10 3:12 PM

If you have attempted to tell them so and they have paid you no attention then just forget about it. You can direct that mail to trash. Your own mail is not going elsewhere.

There has never, EVER been a documented case of two people with the same address, dots or otherwise.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MaureenT 2/28/10 4:16 PM
I don't know where you get off having such a nasty and rude attitude about this. Obviously, I did read the other posts since I clearly saw that other people are reporting the same problem. I did read your earlier message claiming that it's impossible for two people to have addresses that are the same except for a dot, but the fact remains that several people are reporting this same issue. Now, is every one of us who is reporting this problem actually dealing with a case of someone who is erroneously giving out an incorrect email address? I suppose that's possible, but it seems to me that the odds are pretty small. It is far more likely that a bug in Gmail's system allowed someone to create email addresses they shouldn't have been able to. There would have to be a common denominator for these cases, whether it's the date that the original email address was created or something else.

The email I received today that was intended for the other person is the first one I've gotten since the original ones that came through earlier this month. At that time, I contacted the relative of the person and told them about the mix-up, asking them to tell the other person by phone. That relative either did not do that or the other person didn't understand. I have just sent off another email to that relative and told her what is going on, asking her to contact this person and explain things to her.

Sure, I can ignore these emails coming to me by mistake, but guess what. I happen to be a conscientious person who doesn't think it's right to do something like that with emails that would be important to the person they are intended for. I feel that I should make every effort to resolve this issue, which is clearly due to a mistake, either on the part of Gmail or on the part of this other person. I also don't want a bunch of stuff cluttering up my inbox from various people, businesses, etc. that I have nothing to do with. My Gmail account has remained blessedly clear of junk since I mostly only give it to friends and family, and Gmail's spam filters do a great job of weeding out the spam.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Joshua 2/28/10 4:38 PM
@MareenT: When you receive a wrong-number telephone call, do you assume the phone company messed up and gave someone else the same telephone number, or do you assume the dialer (or the person who gave her the number) made a mistake?

The fact is, this has been investigated many times (and by "many" I mean "hundreds"), and every time the conclusion has been that someone mistakenly sent to the wrong address. People make mistakes. And with the millions and millions of gmail users, the fact that hundreds (or thousands) get mail accidentally sent to the wrong address is not at all surprising. It would be surprising if people didn't receive such misaddressed mail on occasion.

Programmers are people too and can also make mistakes, so gmail could have bugs. But in this case that is essentially impossible because it has been checked and rechecked so many times.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 2/28/10 4:47 PM
Now, is every one of us who is reporting this problem actually dealing with a case of someone who is erroneously giving out an incorrect email address?

Every indication available would indicate the answer is "yes".

The ultimate proof that two accounts exist of the form firstlast@ and first.last@ would be screen shots from the two account holders showing the address of each account.  That would beat headers, forwarding, BCC usage, or any of the other explanations for why one person gets someone else's e-mail.

I personally have yet to see any such proof provided and must for now accept Google's statement that no such account duplication exists.  But it will sure get interesting around here when/if anyone is able to post such proof.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 2/28/10 4:52 PM
I apologize; I wasn't intending to be rude. I have just seen this question asked and answered more times than I can count, and the fact remains that NOT ONE has EVER turned out to be a situation where two people had the same address, dot or no dots. NEVER. Every single one has been a case of user error. And it is hard to understand why people do not accept this explanation even though concrete evidence to the contrary is nonexistent. We have repeatedly asked people to bring us hard evidence, because of course if there is a problem then it needs to be addressed ASAP. But nobody has ever done so. And that is because it simply does not exist.
People make mistakes all the time. They send or forward mail to what they think is the right address. They even give out the wrong address instead of the address they actually own. But they're wrong. You've got Person A who *thinks* your email address is the address for Person B. It doesn't mean that Person B has your address. It just means that Person A is making a mistake.


Re: I'm getting someone else's email JimFbrook 3/2/10 10:12 AM
I have the same situation with my wife's account and if there is user error involved I don't see it.
She has had a gmail account for a long time with the pattern
A month ago she got in the email a message from a frequent flyer program saying she had lots of points and it included the FF number. So we tried to sign on and didn't have the password so went thru the password refreshing thing which includes receiving an email with a a clickable link. Once we could sign on we could see that in fact the registered email is (no dot). So I should be able to just stop there as clearly an email being sent to "no dot" is coming to "dot".

But just for grins i sent my own email to "no-dot" and sure enough it arrives in my wife's email (ie fetching from gmail with "dot" gets the  "no dot" email.

The thread above says gmail respects the dot in the name (as I would expect) so its ok the account got created with no dot but it really does seem like there is a delivery problem.

MsI53 seems very sure this is user error so I would love to understand it how this is an error on my wife's part of the other person with the same name who created the account with no dot.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Joshua 3/2/10 10:21 AM
Hmmm... Where does it say that gmail respects the dot? In fact, gmail ignores dots in email addresses. Both addresses belong to your wife and someone else simply mistyped their email address in the frequent-flyer website, accidentally entering of her addresses instead of their own true address.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email JimFbrook 3/2/10 10:45 AM
Ah. I misinterpreted the text in the thread above - esp the post from MSI53 about "dots or no dots" and the also the original post which included a faq posting with says "google does recognize dots". I guess I also assumed a unixish way of thinking for email addresses that would respect dots and case but this turns out to be incorrect for both criteria.

Funny I tried searching for google help on email addresses but didn't find that very clear posting you provided the link to above.

So in fact google does NOT recognize dots: is the SAME as and as you say our no-dot person has entered their address incorrectly into their FF program signup.

Thanks for your help.

The lesson for web site designers is that any web site that uses email addresses should ensure that the email address entered is functioning - ie require response via embedded clickable link - probably even when someone changes their address. The address space is now so crowded the odds are high of mistyping your email and chance landing on a real address of someone else.

Lesson for the rest of us is be really careful when entering email addresses into web sites with personal info like FF programs etc. We could in fact user this person's points and stand a good chance of not getting caught.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 3/2/10 10:56 AM
I guess I could have been clearer regarding dots or no dots. What I was trying to get across was that once you set up an address, whether with a dot or without one, it's impossible for someone else to set up the same address in the opposite manner.

This whole thing is a migraine. ;-)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email JimFbrook 3/2/10 11:02 AM
Well since you work for google -  is there some engineer somewhere spending 20% of his or her time pondering some cool technology that would resolve this? I get the same problem exists with phone numbers but that hardly seems like a reason to give up. Surely the company that invented the money machine of selling search order to the (current) highest bidder, created google earth (and not to mention the google mission to mars) can figure out something clever.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email davidcalderon 3/13/10 4:06 PM
I have been researching this very issue for some time now as I am also having the same problem.
A user has had multiple services with the format of while I have the email address.
I know this is no longer user error. My proof is as follows.
This user signed up for a Spanish version of facebook. In the process, they received a confirmation email (which I received as well) and accepted it. How do I know this? I'm now receiving all of the copies of his friend requests that he is getting. I have kept all of these emails and they are being sent to a version of my username.
My theory: I think the problem relates to how users from other countries are able to signup for a gmail account. Is there a different version of Gmail if I were in Spain or Japan? Would the .sp or jp be part of the email address?
If anyone has some better insight, please respond. This is not user error, I can prove it. I have read the links that say that gmail does not recognize dots in the username, but I have proof of this being an issue.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Joshua 3/13/10 7:34 PM
There are no separate gmail accounts for other countries.

Several people have reported getting facebook messages without responding to the confirmation email. I'm not a facebook expert, but I strongly suspect that they continue to send mail to that address whether or not they get a response to the confirmation mail.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email biggermarbles 3/29/10 9:36 AM
I also have been having this issue for awhile now. I have  and someone else apparently has  Before today, it was only a minor annoyance.

I know this has been asked and answered many times, but how is it that I can receive a request from facebook asking to confirm before an account is set up.. and then shortly afterwards, receive a confirmation that the account was set up...and now multiple accepted friend request emails.  That would mean that the original confirm setup email was received by someone else and clicked on in order to set up the account.  FB would not continue to send friend request emails to that address unless the account had been confirmed and set up.  This worries me as it means this email is being viewed by two supposedly separate people/accounts, no?  And I do wonder if any emails intended for me are being received and read by someone else.

This was a legitimate facebook email and not spam/phishing. I have also received numerous other personal emails that appear to be legitimate and are replies to someone else's email.  This is not a case of someone "accidentally" giving out my email address. 

In addition, I have viewed the header and found no Forwarding going on. 
I have tried sending 'test' emails to and I am receiving them, but I wonder who  else might be? 
For now, I'm going to monitor and make sure that I am using an alternate email for anything "important". However, I would like to be able to use this account and know that I am the only one reading my emails.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email kunalee 3/30/10 9:10 AM
I'm getting the same problem.

I own a email address but I'm receiving a message from a address in the To field.  I know the email is legitimate.  It's only related to a specific neighborhood meeting email that is on the West coast while I'm in the Midwest.

I'm going to email the and see if they receive the message.  Just wondering if anyone has found a solution yet.

I'm just scratching my head on this on this one and I don't have a dry scalp :)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 3/30/10 9:12 AM
Dots in account names are not significant.  That is, first.last@ is the same e-mail address as firstlast@.  Receiving a message with an address with a different configuration of dots does not mean there are two accounts with the same name.

In like manner, and are also the same and do not represent two different accounts.

In addition, first.last@ is the same as FIRST.LAST (or any other combination) and also does not represent two different accounts.

There are not two accounts with the same name and no one is getting e-mail that hasn't been sent specifically to their account.

That said, there is nothing to prevent people from using the wrong address when they send a message, or giving out the wrong address (like on a business card or when registering at a web-site) to others.  Think of it as someone dialing the wrong phone number, or getting a couple digits reversed when giving the number to someone else.  Getting a phone call because someone dialed the wrong number doesn't prompt one to contact the phone company and complain about two people having the same phone number.

For more information see (especially the first item about user names with dots):
Re: I'm getting someone else's email kunalee 3/30/10 10:04 AM

It looks like Google had made a decision on how periods react in the local-part (username) in the email address. 

I know at my work I can setup a first.last and fristlast and they would be considered 2 separate emails.  We use Exchange and setup our accounts through AD. 

Interesting find.  Thanks for the quick response.  I'm am curious on why Google decided to go with periods in the local-part not being significant.  It would open up more username choices, but I can see about trying to avoid adding  a period in the first or last part of the local-part.  If you add a period in that manner SMTP should deny the email due to formatting problems. 

Thanks again.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email c.d.fisher 5/1/10 10:39 AM
RE: Dots or no dots

I recall very specifically when signing up for my account during the Beta phase that I could not get the handle I wanted without using dots. I first tried "first initial""middle initial""last name" and was told that was not available. OK...I thought to myself...let's try "first initial""dot""middle initial""dot""last name"!. That experience would suggest that the "dots don't matter" rule was adopted only later.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Joshua 5/2/10 10:03 AM
@c.d.fisher: You're not the only one to say that you tried to sign up for another dot variation and couldn't get it. I don't have an explanation for that. Perhaps there was some bug in gmail at the time you signed up, or perhaps there was some other problem in the signup process that prevented you from getting the name you wanted.

What we do know is that google employees have stated repeatedly that dots have been treated the same since the first gmail account was created. It has never been possible to have two gmail accounts that differ only by dots.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Linda.rocky 5/10/10 7:05 PM
I have had my gmail account for a couple of years and just this month I have been receiving messages intended for someone with a very similar email address ( (mine) vs (not mine).  Because of the large variety of senders including Facebook, I don't think it is just a typo as suggested in the comment stream. I also remember originally trying to acquire the login name LindaRocky... and was told it was not available but then tried Linda.rocky and it was and I have been using it ever since.  Shall I forward the erroneous emails to the other person? And what of my emails? Do you think the other person is now receiving mine? Yikes. I love my gmail account and would be bummed if I now need to abandon the account.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/10/10 7:09 PM
Linda.rocky, use a different (non-Gmail account) and send two test messages, one to Linda.rocky@ and one to Lindarocky@ and see which ones you receive.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email emtaylor517 5/21/10 11:16 AM
I am having the same problem.  I have and someone else has and I get a LOT of her email, not just facebook.  And they are very specific to her (yesterday her new apartment complex emailed me/her a new lease application with all her info on it). I also have received calendar appointments for job interviews, etc.  This has been going on for a year or two. 
Interestingly enough, someone brought up the issue of international accounts - this girl live in Canada and I am in the US.  Apparently, that shouldn't matter but I thought I'd throw it out there.
And, based on someone's suggestion above I sent 2 test emails from my work account - one for each address - and I received both of them.
Yesterday, after emailing this girl's apartment complex to tell them they had the wrong address I received 2 google password reset requests - I think this other girl was possibly trying to see if she could log into MY account and is probably as confused as I am.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/21/10 12:57 PM
I think this other girl was possibly trying to see if she could log into MY account and is probably as confused as I am.

You're not confused, but she is.  She has been giving out the wrong address, and now is trying to log into that account and can't figure out why it isn't working.  Odds are she'll be posting to these forums asking how to recover her "lost" account.  If you could only tell her what the problem is.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/25/10 5:02 PM
I'm yet another person who has been getting hundreds of messages from another individual's alumni groups, bank, website forum postings, etc.

Similar address...  Mine *with* the dot, hers without.

I've seen several opt-in messages come by, followed by a stream of advertising messages from the sites to which she opts-in.  Yesterday I got her Turbo Tax Online purchase confirmation (full name and home address), submittal report, an e-mail that her return had been REJECTED, and then a second submittal report.  Someone other than me is *obviously* getting these e-mails and responding to them.  There's just no two ways about it.

Google is lucky to have such loyal defenders on this thread, but while I appreciate the vigorousness with which you guys (Joshua and bkc56) are trying to defend the current dots behavior (really, guys...  I wish I had such devoted customers of my company's software), it's just fundamentally broken, guys.  Not sure why you're so hell-bent on insisting that Gmail is perfect, other than maybe to pad your "top Contributor" stats. 

If there's a problem (and somewhere around thirty people on this thread appear to agree that there is) then let's track it down and get the sucker fixed.  Welcome to the wild world of software, guys.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/25/10 5:13 PM
If there's a problem ... then let's track it down and get the sucker fixed.

The problem is simple - people use the wrong e-mail address for web-sites, business cards, giving out to friends etc.

When you figure out how to solve that, then please work on the similar problem of people calling the wrong number on the phone because they were given the wrong number by someone else.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/25/10 5:37 PM
A predictable response, but the farthest thing from helpful. 

People do NOT successfully opt-in to websites without receiving the opt-in e-mail in the first place.  People do *not* continue to have their bank statements and tax return submissions sent to someone else for months on end.

Keep up that cheering, bkc56.  Again, Google is lucky to have you.

That said, please be aware that you're not helping *us* in the least.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 5/25/10 7:28 PM
Hey all trades, since you have enough information about this other person to contact her, why don't you do so? Ask her to log in to her gmail account and tell you *exactly* what address is shown up at the top right. I am willing to bet that it will not be the same as yours. And if it is then we want screen shots, because the gmail engineers will want to see that ASAP.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/25/10 7:31 PM
As I have posted elsewhere, as soon as someone provides the documentation needed to prove two people have the same address (screen shots of inboxes is typically the best option) I will quickly and aggressively push the issue with Google.

I've actually had a few people follow up on that offer.  Unfortunately they always quietly fade away suggesting either the problem wasn't bad enough to bother, or they DID do it, discovered the user-error, and saw no need to embarrass themselves further.

So until someone can document an actual case, and despite claims to the contrary, the default answer still stands.  But I would welcome you being the first to document the issue.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/25/10 10:23 PM
@Msl53:  I sent her a message tonight.  We'll see if she replies.  In the meantime, I have opt-in e-mails for this person from TurboTax, JCPenny, Expedia, Bath and Body Works, and (including a whole bunch of subsequent profile manipulation e-mails and comments/friends e-mails), that all list the e-mail address in question in the *body* of the message (not just in a header field) as the address used to sign up for various services.  She's obviously receiving these messages, responding to them, and actively using the address for a variety of things.  Explain that, please.

@bkc56:  I can certainly provide Google with screenshots of the e-mails described above.  In a heartbeat.  We'll see if my e-mail "evil twin" on the other side of the country replies...  Either way, I'll be sure to let you know.  :-)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/25/10 10:43 PM
I can certainly provide Google with screenshots of the e-mails described above.

The messages are probably useless.  All those prove is that your address is in the TO field and you received the message.  In some cases the headers could show your address in an X-Forward record (but I doubt that applies here).

It's the screen shots of the two clearly different inboxes with the same e-mail address in the upper/right that would demonstrate that two people have the same address.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/25/10 11:31 PM
@bkc56:  No, you have just missed the point completely.  The point of the e-mails is *not* that *I* have received them, but that *SHE* is receiving them *and acting upon them.*  The address in question is not only in the to: field, but it is:

a) in the *BODY* of the messages, meaning that it is
b) being echoed back to her by these sites *AS SHE ENTERED IT TO REGISTER THERE* and that
c) she entered it repeatedly and deliberately on these several sites,
d) not as a throwaway "spam catchall" address (we all do it...) but as an address at which this lady knows that she will be receiving mail that she cares about (Namely, her Federal tax returns and a variety of messages about her love life)

...and most importantly,


So...  yet again, any way you look at this, there is another person out there actively using a Gmail account that is the exact same as mine, minus one period.  Somehow we are both receiving these messages.  Please explain to me how you can possibly arrive at any other conclusion.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/26/10 12:09 AM
Please explain to me how you can possibly arrive at any other conclusion.

I don't have to explain it, Google does, just as soon as we have something that proves two people can open their respective accounts to the Inbox and have the same e-mail address displayed (with/without periods, caps, etc) at the top.

Any debate about what can/can't be done while using an incorrect e-mail address is pointless.  It's a waste of time.  Nothing will happen unless Google investigates, and the only way to convince them it's not the standard user-error it to provide the proof I asked for above.

I await some screen-shots.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 5/26/10 6:10 AM
all_trades_jack, allow me to suggest a possibility that you may not have investigated yet.  Your doppelganger may have tried to set up automatic forwarding from one of her gmail addresses to her other gmail address (or a more technically skilled friend helped her with it), and for whatever reason she mis-typed her forwarding address and entered your address instead.  Her real address is probably one or two letters or numbers off from yours.  Look up the full headers from one of these emails and paste them here so we can see if there is weird forwarding going on (that's the "Show Original" option).  Most email providers do not require a confirmation step in order to set up automated forwarding of all emails to another address, so forwarding to the wrong address is a problem that I have seen several times on the forums.  If you are certain that you are seeing emails that she has replied to, or back-and-forth email exchanges, this might be the problem.  All you can do is try to contact the other person and ask them nicely to change their settings.  I'm looking forward to seeing the headers.

I'd also like to point out that while most well-designed web services require confirmation of email addresses to set up accounts, some of them unfortunately do not.  I have had several email doppelgangers in the past year, and some of them have signed up for websites using my email address by mistake.  I have a common last name and a rather desirable email address (think JSmith), so when anybody else with my same first initial and last name signs up for gmail, they tend to try JSmith first, and when it is not available, they go for JDSmith or JSmith79 instead.  The problem comes when they forget (or their friends forget) the middle initial or number at the end when typing their email address into a web form.  You may think it's ridiculous that somebody wouldn't know their own email address, but it happens all the time.  Maybe they're in a hurry or distracted while doing something stressful like filing their taxes online, or they are signing up over the phone and the operator types something wrong.  My first doppelganger *insisted* that we had the same email address until I explained to her how to find her real email address (hint: I was able to contact her on facebook because she had a public profile, so that might be an option for you).  All the emails from her friends and other web sites stopped immediately.  My father, who is the opposite of web-savvy, verbally gives his email address out to anybody who asks for it, and he gives the wrong address probably 50% of the time.  His username has a foreign-language trick spelling, which he thinks is clever, but it's confusing to most  people including him.  I feel sorry for the person whose email address he gives out by mistake.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/26/10 8:58 AM
SamPeabody, Good post, lots of good ideas in there.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/26/10 11:13 AM
Thanks for your refreshing post, SamPeabody.

Your point about some sites not actually requiring confirmation to set up accounts is well taken, but I've observed her go through the whole opt-in confirmation e-mail process for several reputable sites (listed half a dozen posts above).

Tried the Facebook route this morning, and while I found three ladies with the right name (all of whom were African-American, as expected), none of them lived in the right state (her full address was in an earlier registration message from Intuit), and all three of them had public messages disabled.  Dang.

As requested, here are the original headers from this morning's confirmation that her federal tax return have finally been accepted (after three tries).  The username side of the address has been obscured, but as you'll see, there's no forwarding stuff lurking in here...

FWIW, the registration confirmation e-mail last week indicated that she registered for the site using ALL CAPS.

Delivered-To: XXXXXXXXXX*
Received: by with SMTP id r2cs19889qck;
        Wed, 26 May 2010 08:58:58 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id 35mr7778826was.25.1274889537176;
        Wed, 26 May 2010 08:58:57 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [])
        by with ESMTP id z12si460414wah.69.2010.;
        Wed, 26 May 2010 08:58:56 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of IntuitElectronicFilingCenter* designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( domain of IntuitElectronicFilingCenter* designates as permitted sender) smtp.mail=IntuitElectronicFilingCenter*; dkim=pass header.i=IntuitElectronicFilingCenter*
DomainKey-Signature: s=default;; c=nofws; q=dns;
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=simple/simple;; i=IntuitElectronicFilingCenter*;
  q=dns/txt; s=default; t=1274889535; x=1306425535;
Date: 26 May 2010 08:58:51 -0700
X-IronPort-AV: E=Sophos;i="4.53,304,1272870000";
Received: from ([])
  by with ESMTP; 26 May 2010 08:58:51 -0700
From: IntuitElectronicFilingCenter*
Message-ID: <30689539.198601.1274889531366.JavaMail.jboss*>
Subject: TurboTax: Federal Return Accepted
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Your comments about human error are certainly well-founded.  I'd love to think that this is what's going on here, but the pattern of repeated usage and her ongoing interactivity with messages sent to this address is making it hard for me to believe that she's not receiving these messages.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email all_trades_jack 5/26/10 11:14 AM
BTW, the forum would not let me post headers that contained e-mail addresses.  After editing the "@" symbols to be asterisks, it let the message through.  :-)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 5/31/10 8:55 PM
Okay, all_trades_jack, I've looked over your messages again and I am more confident that I know what is going on.  I agree that it doesn't look like there's any weird forwarding going on; just Intuit/TurboTax sending an email to your email address, which you then receive, because your email address is the one they have on file for a different person.  The reason your email address is in the body of some of the messages is because this person has typed your email address by mistake when signing up for websites (by the way, ALL CAPS and periods are irrelevant in gmail addresses).

I took my analysis a step further and looked into the five websites you mentioned above that you received emails from.  I signed up for all of them, giving them an email address I use for junk mail.  Every single one of them signed me up for emails right away without requiring any confirmation on my part.  Let me repeat that.  Every website above created an account for me and let me log in without once having to click a confirmation link in an email or enter a confirmation code received in a confirmation email.  I just got simple "Welcome to our site" emails that stated that no further action is necessary.  I now have active accounts (complete with all the junk mail) with TurboTax, JCPenney, Expedia, I See Color, and Bath & Body Works, without ever once having to open one of the welcome emails from them.  You can try it out yourself with a spare email address.

Yes, it's scary that you can create an account with TurboTax without having to confirm that you own the email address you're entering, but it's true.  Once I created my account, it immediately prompted me to start entering info for my tax return, again without confirming my email address.  In fact, if you search for " Turbo Tax "wrong email address" ", you'll find multiple stories where somebody is receiving somebody else's tax filing receipts, and where others realized too late that they had mis-typed their email address when signing up, and somebody else had been receiving updates about their tax returns.  It's a stupid security lapse by TurboTax, but Gmail has nothing to do with it.

What you have here is a confused person who doesn't know her own email address.  Maybe she gets it wrong 100% of the time because she honestly doesn't know what it is.  Maybe she gets it wrong 25% of the time because she's just forgetting a number at the end.  Maybe her keyboard has a sticky key or it's a cheap laptop with a slow keyboard that misses letters when she types too fast.  Maybe she's not good with computers and has her teenage kid help her sign up for websites, and the kid is making the mistake.  Who knows why?  The fact is, this happens.  A lot. 

You said, "She's obviously receiving these messages, responding to them, and actively using the address for a variety of things.  Explain that, please." 

If you still believe that she is receiving any of these messages, I'd like to hear your evidence.  As I said, I was able to sign up for all 5 of the websites above, log in to my new accounts and make changes, and receive multiple emails from them, without ever once being asked to confirm my account through email.  You are receiving these messages intended for her, because she is giving out your email address by mistake.  There is still zero evidence that she is receiving any of these messages.  Now, if you are receiving long conversations between her and another person where you can see the string of replies tacked on to the end, those emails would be proof that she is somehow receiving a copy of the message.  That would mean there is a mistake in her automated forwarding settings, or she had set up her "Reply-to" address wrong.

I understand your frustration.  It would be really annoying if somebody else was signing me up for this stuff without my permission.  Somebody was.  My very first email doppelganger did all of this.  For months, I was receiving confirmation emails for things like Facebook,, and others, and I started getting newsletters for some PTA association in another state.  I had been put on her friends' and family members' personal recipe/joke/baby picture mailing lists, so I was getting birthday invitations and funny cat pictures meant for someone else.  Luckily, some of those sites require clicking a link in an email to confirm account creation, so that spared me some grief.  I tried emailing her friends back, telling them they had the wrong address, but no luck.  When I finally reached her (through Facebook, as I said), she was completely clueless.  She honestly thought my email address was her address, and it took a few messages back and forth before she believed me and figured it out.  The emails for her stopped shortly after that.  There are really people out there who make this mistake, and make it repeatedly.

I still get emails for other doppelgangers on occasion.  Some of them are very clearly cases where the intended recipient hand-wrote their email address on a form or read it out over the phone, and the sender typed it wrong.  Others are probably just hasty typos.  What can you do about it?  I have a canned "wrong number" email reply that I immediately send back to the sender (if it's a real person or a small company), and if it's a confirmation email for a web service, I try to contact that website's customer service to tell them of the error and ask them to contact that person by phone (if they used it to sign up) and delete the account.  If I'm in a really impatient mood, I go to the website and use the "password reset" feature to access the account and delete it.  Sometimes, even this doesn't work and I just have to wait.  I've been getting several emails a week from Microsoft for almost a month because somebody used my email address to sign up for a free trial of MS Office.  I contacted MS customer support and explained the situation to them, then asked them to remove my email address from the account and contact that person by phone.  MS responded to tell me not to worry about it; the emails would stop in a month anyway.  "Mark as Spam" is handy in these cases.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 5/31/10 9:20 PM
SamPeabody, that's a great analysis.  I especially appreciate your testing the various web-sites and proving you could sign up without ever confirming anything.  It really helps to show how easy it is for a confused person to do all sorts of stuff and never realize the error.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 6/1/10 9:30 AM
SamPeabody, let me also thank you for your comprehensive posts. I'm going to bookmark this for future use, since we see these complaints all the time!
Re: I'm getting someone else's email Koala Pixie 7/15/10 11:46 AM
I shall like to throw a variant of this issue out.

(Granted, I had also gotten other's emails - or thought I did - a few times.  Cupid was one, a Photography business was another; I replied to the Photo company after a few to let them know they had an incorrect address.  But anyway..)

My variant is this.  I signed up for an account to.. I think it was DDI, using my gmail account.  For some reason, one section of the account sign-in accepted the which is how I set it up, but another section (perhaps a different part of their website would *NOT* accept this form, and I had to sign in as
This confuses me greatly, because I keep getting confused as to which part of the account I need to use the dot, and which part is dotless.
Maybe I am explaining this wrong.  I signed up as but can only log in as (on that account)?

Man, now I am going to have to go check it out again to see if I can figure out the wierdness of it.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email strachj 8/10/10 6:01 PM
Yes, same issue here. My email address is [name], and i'm getting emails for [name] This includes Amazon shipping notices, email lists this person has signed up for. Looked at full details in the header and don't see any indication of forwarding to my address. Doesn't seem good.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 8/11/10 9:55 AM
strachj, can you post one of these headers?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email RJRJRJ 8/21/10 9:25 AM
This was surely one of the most dramatic and entertaining threads that I've read in a long time. 8^)
Re: I'm getting someone else's email duplicateemail 9/13/10 1:41 PM
Ive come to this page for a similar reason. I have had an gmail which is my first and last name with a period in between. I occasionally get email from a college, and even very early on some emails from what seemed like family members. I never saw direct correspondence back and forth so I assumed someone with my same name has a very similar email address and is giving it out incorrectly. In the last two months I have now been getting itunes receipts for purchased music so they must have more recently used my email to set up their itunes account.
Now today I received an email from an insurance agent sending them a document to fill out. What is new on this is that in the body of the email where I see the senders "From" email (the insurance agent) and the "To" email address it is showing up slightly different than my email. Instead of a period between the first and last name there is the letter "s". I can click on that address and it will open a new window to send an email to that address and still shows that way (with the "s"). But if I choose to show Details, the "To" address is me, but it just doesn't have the period (I understand from reading that this isn't actually used).
I tried sending an email to the "s" version but I didn't get anything in my inbox, and then I just tried to sign up for a gmail account requesting my first and last name with a s in the middle and it says this is available.
It just has me very nervous about using this account and I am always hesitant to send anything here as someone else may also be getting the emails in the same way I am getting these that aren't meant for me.
Any thought on this iteration of the above discussions?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 9/13/10 2:25 PM
duplicateemail -- can you please post the full header from that email? To find it, click the downward arrow to the right of Reply up in the top right corner, then choose Show original. Copy everything up to where the message itself begins, and paste it here. Best guess is that there's a forward involved, but I need to see the header to confirm that.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email duplicateemail 9/13/10 4:09 PM
(I edited the to and from address):

Received: by with SMTP id v5cs184155vcz;
        Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:11:05 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id h1mr268114waa.47.1284401464618;
        Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:11:04 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [])
        by with ESMTP id q35si14930865wam.50.2010.;
        Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:11:04 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender)
Received: from (localhost.localdomain [])
    by postfix.imss71 (Postfix) with ESMTP id 0A91022AE21
    for <>; Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:10:53 -0700 (MST)
Received: from WPSCV6M5.OPR.STATEFARM.ORG ( [])
    by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 2FFC723A009
    for <>; Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:05:53 -0700 (MST)
Received: from WPSCV6NB.OPR.STATEFARM.ORG ([]) by WPSCV6M5.OPR.STATEFARM.ORG with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675);
     Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:05:25 -0700
Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft Exchange V6.5
Subject: FW: State Farm monthly payment plan
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:05:25 -0700
X-MS-Has-Attach: yes
Thread-Topic: State Farm monthly payment plan
Thread-Index: ActTYyKjAhDhZjLpTo+kVPsYnjqjbwAArG1w
From: "Worker Man" <>
To: <>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 13 Sep 2010 17:05:25.0687 (UTC) FILETIME=[DBEF0C70:01CB5365]
X-TM-AS-Product-Ver: IMSS-
X-TM-AS-User-Approved-Sender: Yes

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 9/13/10 5:32 PM
What is new on this is that in the body of the email where I see the senders "From" email (the insurance agent) and the "To" email address it is showing up slightly different than my email.

I don't see that variant in there -- all I see is what used to be your address. Can you paste the relevant section again and highlight the address you say is differentt?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 9/13/10 5:56 PM

Did you mean that the alternate address only shows up in the actual body of the email (along with the customer's name and other basic info) and not at all in the header?  If so, it sounds like the insurance agent just made a mistake and typed your email address into the "To:" field, even though he had a good email address on file for this customer.  Something similar happened to me, where a contractor sent an email to my address (intended for somebody else) with a quote attached for a patio project.  Included in the attachment was a form filled out by the homeowner, with her correct email address.  Her address was close to mine but with either a middle initial or a number added at the end (I don't remember which now).  The contractor was just careless and didn't pay attention to details when he was typing her email address.  I forwarded the message to the correct person and got a "Thanks" in response.  I don't know whether she chose this contractor to do the job or if she went with somebody more attentive to details.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email duplicateemail 9/13/10 6:01 PM
That's hard to show. Its the body of the email where I see the "To" field at the top with my email address, but instead of the period between the first and last name it is a letter s. I can move the cursor over it and see in the bottom left of my browser it shows "mail And, if I click on that email address in the body of the email it opens a new window with that field as the to address, with the s in the name. But as you see when I choose to see and copy all the original info I posted above none of it shows with an "s". To really see it I would need to send a screen cap shot as its in the reading pane where this is seen.
Is it just a fluke that it inserted an s instead of the period? Do flukes like that happen? As mentioned I don't think its a forward email as I checked Google and this version of my email with an s is available.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email duplicateemail 9/13/10 6:17 PM
I was thinking it was a typo, but then why did it reach my correct email address?
If I click on "show details" I get an expanded ....hold the phone! I was just looking it over and see that the subject line has a FW: in the subject line. Meaning he realized the email with the s was wrong, then resent to my correct email address. Problem is, that is still the wrong address for this person who has my same name!

Do you think I should reply to him to tell his client they have been giving out an incorrect email address, or not get involved with something that could become a hassle?

Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 9/13/10 7:23 PM
That's up to you.  I usually reply with a short polite message saying they've got the wrong address, and nobody has ever gotten rude with me.  It might even fix your problem, if the insurance agent calls this person back and asks him/her to double-check their email address.  The first time I had somebody giving out my email address as her own by accident, when I finally contacted her on Facebook, she hadn't even realized what she was doing.  She had really thought my email address was hers for many months, but after we messaged back and forth, she fixed things and gave her friends the correct address.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email somanyphotos 10/15/10 11:04 AM
This is a great discussion!!   As so few personal attacks, what a pleasant surprise.

Just to add my experience to this.   My gmail account is initiallastname.  I've had it since the first week of gmail thanks to a former employee friend.  I have received non-spam erroneous email for 20-30 different people all over the world who have, over the years, given or used my very simple email address in error (with and without dots).  My first initial is J so I get lots of stuff for John, James, Joachin, Jessica, Joyce, etc. I've had bills, bank statements, building designs, little league results, alimony requests, newspaper subscriptions, dating site subscriptions and even rather personal photos - including a birth!!

My advice - learn to live with it or change your account to lastname94275213234!#$%@gmail.   Gmail spam system is great and after a few "it" gets it, and it doesn't cause me a problem.

If you get a "new subscription", just log on the website (reset the password if necessary) and kill the account, as the person that signed up for it will thank you when they realize you are getting their invoices/statements/confirms etc. and they are not. 

In my experience it was always "user error"; I have no evidence or suspicion whatsoever that there is another account out there.   Many, many sites do not honor their own "have to have confirmation it's your email address" policy.  Hope this helps.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 10/17/10 9:30 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience, somanyphotos.  I think that many people suspect a Gmail error because they can't believe that anybody could possibly get their own email address wrong or that a sender could type an email incorrectly.  If you think about it for a while, you can probably come up with dozens of ways that this can happen.  I was at a big event yesterday and met lots of new people who were verbally exchanging their email addresses, and I just know that today, there will be a J. B. Smith somewhere wondering why they got an email for a J. D. Smith.  I just told people "Google (organization name) and click my name on the Contact page," so hopefully I won't be a victim of a mis-typed email address this time. 

I have a last name that has two common spellings, so if I tell several people to email me at MGreen (for example), one of them will make a mistake and email MGreene.  It doesn't bother me if somebody spells my last name wrong (I'm used to it), but if they get my email address wrong, they're sending an email to a completely different person.  I've also noticed that many people have an email username like JSmith at their local ISP, workplace, university, hotmail, and yahoo, and when they sign up with Gmail, they expect to get JSmith again.  JSmith is already taken, so they try a few variations and settle on JDSmith or JSmith77.  Then they forget that their Gmail address is the one that doesn't match all the others, which is even easier to do if they don't use Gmail often or if they let their browser save their username and password.  Some people (like my first real email doppelganger) even believe that although they have to sign in to Gmail as JDSmith77, they can tell people their email address is JSmith.  They just don't understand that their username is the same as their email address.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj 10/22/10 5:35 AM
I have this problem. The other user has me in their X-Forwarded-For field but will not remove me from it. I have emailed them the article, but no reponse. Google needs to fix this, make them remove me from that field or wipe their account.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 10/22/10 11:40 AM
That's not Google's responsibility.

You can filter such messages to trash.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj 10/23/10 4:03 AM
How do I do this? When I create a filter and put in the to and from field it still doesn't pick it up. I guess that is because the emails are actually being delivered to my email address and are not coming from, but coming from his contacts.

How I can I get it to filter emails that have me in the X-Forwarded-To and X-Forwarded-For fields?

Thanks for your time.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 10/23/10 1:15 PM

Try changing your filter so it only filters "To: other guy's address."  If you set multiple criteria in a filter (To: and From:), the filter will only catch emails that match both criteria.  That is, a filter that specifies "To: other guy" AND "From: other guy" will only catch emails where both of those are true.  Click the "Test Search" button to test your filter before you activate it to be sure.

I'm assuming that his email address is actually a different address from yours; that is, it's not just different by a period/full-stop.  That's a different issue.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 10/23/10 1:19 PM's not just different by a period/full-stop.

Actually, the filters WILL see the difference between firstlast and first.last (for example) so some people CAN use that to filter messages of the "wrong" form sent to them.  It doesn't help everyone, but it can help some people deal with miss-addressed messages.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email SamPeabody 10/23/10 1:48 PM
That's a good point, bkc56.  I guess I was thinking about the cause of the problem more than the solution, but it would work in that case, too.  If there is only a difference of a period, it would also explain why the other guy hasn't responded to any emails (he doesn't own that address).  But if there is an X-Forwarded-To line in the headers, that probably isn't the case anyway.

Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 10/23/10 4:19 PM
What I've found is that if it's a simple firstlast/first.last difference, it's usually someone using or giving out the wrong email address.  For example, they think their e-mail is firstlast, but it's actually firstlast05 (or some such thing) and so any usage arrives at first.last.

On the other hand, cases where the address is flast and it arrives at firstlast are often solved by finding the X-Forward records in the header.  But not all providers add those, so it gets a lot harder if someone gets an e-mail at firstlast@gmail but it was sent to firstlast@yahoo and there's no header to prove the forwarding.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj 10/24/10 12:30 AM
Many thanks SamPeabody. With just his email address in the to: field it catches his mail. This issue isn't a period issue, as my email address doesn't even have a period in it and our names are nothing alike. I have had my account for many, many years and this just started happening this year.

Well, the test filter caught his mail so hopefully I won't be receiving anymore.

I do wonder if this is a security issue though as if I click on the links in his mails to various sites eg the unsubscribe option in the email it logs me into his account on several of the sites, so I do wonder if there is a reverse ability for this as I don't want him able to access my stuff that is linked to a google account.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 10/24/10 9:01 AM
I have had my account for many, many years and this just started happening this year.

I'm not sure I see the point of this.  It started happening as soon as he added the forwarding to your address (which you say he refuses to fix).

I do wonder if there is a reverse ability for this as I don't want him able to access my stuff that is linked to a google account.

No, there isn't.  You're not forwarding your messages to him, so he has no access to your information.  And the fact that he's forwaring stuff to you is not a security issue, it's a "dumb user" issue.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email ashweirdo 10/31/10 5:28 PM
What I think google should do about this: allow for us to select multiple emails and click a button saying "return to sender" or something with some sort of prefabricated message attached. They probably could, and code-wise it wouldn't be that difficult (its basically the same as with spam, right?)... but they're probably being stingy with their bandwidth.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email fredsie 11/19/10 4:33 AM
Jim, I'm not sure what there is to resolve. The fact is, Gmail ignores the dots, so all combinations of the name and dots (or   no dots) are treated the same.  So using to create a new account would effectively just create  From then on, no one could create a further account with this string of letters, even with dots. So setting up AB.CDE or ABC.DE would be impossible. Any mail addressed to any of these would just go to the original (and only) account. I agree people need to understand that this is how this works, but I don't see any problem with it. What change would you suggest?
Re: I'm getting someone else's email jankutik 12/9/10 5:37 AM
I'm facing the same issue. My email address is for example but lately i'm receiving emails addressed to and it's not a spam. Often it is some ordinary email communication from real people. I've contacted those people why are they sending me those emails and according to them they do have a friend who's address is and it is not me!!! How is this possible? IT seems there is some bug in system which caused that people are able to create accounts like those which are already used but with dots in it. And gmail is distributing emails to both addresses. I'm worried that somebody else is receiving my emails because it is my official email. I do not know who to contact about this issue because it is very irritating as i'm receiving more and more emails each day and there is a possibility that somebody else can read my personal emails too !!! pls advice.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 12/9/10 10:06 AM
jankutik, I answered you in one of your other duplicate posts.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email joannehill 1/4/11 9:45 AM
Depite the length of this thread I need to add to it! For months/years I have been receiving email to people with the same name, some quite private messages which I am uncomfortable receiving. There's at least three women around the world who are either giving my email address to people in error, or their similar email address is being forwarded by Google to me. I can't find any help on this though I only read the first page of this thread. I use firstlast@ and find that first.last@ also comes to me.

Where I can, I've replied to sender asking for my email to be removed from their records. In one case I succeeded in getting through to the person with the same name and she correct her mistake, but with the others I'm struggling. They have signed up for all sorts including house insurance and given my email address as theirs, or have got their close variation wrong, and I'd like to be able to get in touch to tell them.

Today I've been signed up to a mailing list I don't want. I clicked through to unsubscribe but it came up saying neither first.last@ or firstlast@ are subscribed, so some other variation is getting to me - any suggestions on how or why other variations (aside from dot/no dot) are coming to me and how I can solve it?!

I am really getting quite tired of other people's emails and can see no solution if there is some error in Google. It's at least three women in different countries who are making this mistake :(
Re: I'm getting someone else's email MsI53 1/4/11 10:26 AM
joannehill -- if you look at the full header of one of these emails you will probably find something that looks like X-forwarded to: your email address. You may also be able to figure out who the actual recipient is.

To find a full header, click the little arrow up top on the right next to Reply and then choose Show original. If you need help interpreting it, please paste it here and we'll interpret it for you.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 1/4/11 10:39 AM
any suggestions on how or why other variations (aside from dot/no dot) are coming to me and how I can solve it?!

One thing to always do is check the headers.  See who the message was sent to, who it was delivered to, and if there are any forwarding records listed.  This helps you to know if it's a "dot issue", a BCC header, forwarding, etc.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email nick.damato 2/16/11 8:37 PM
I am having the same problem.    My username is    I also signed up during the beta. 

I am now getting mail addressed to    (no period between firstname and lastname)   The person lives in another state, he is not me.  

I am getting all sorts of information about his purchases and receipts that I should not be getting, including passwords to accounts he's registered.     This just started recently. 

How can I stop this problem?  This is unacceptable. 
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 2/16/11 9:23 PM
How can I stop this problem?

Contact the other person and tell them to use their own address and not yours for stuff.  They're making an error and until someone gets them to fix it they my not even realize the error.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email carolinecho 3/10/11 2:23 PM
I have the same problem.  All of the emails I have received from first[dot]lastname@gmail (mine is firstl...@gmail) have come from personal email addresses, until today.  She had purchased tickets via fandango and I received them.  Obviously, there are two addresses in my case, and I am definitely getting a few of her emails, and I don't know how many of my emails are going to her...  but this is an issue that I would like to have resolved.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email bkc56 3/10/11 2:27 PM
Obviously, there are two addresses in my case

No there aren't.  Just yours, and someone using yours by mistake.

...and I don't know how many of my emails are going to her.

None.  She doesn't have your address so she's not getting your messages.

... but this is an issue that I would like to have resolved.

You'll have to contact her and convince her that she's using the wrong address for stuff.  But since any e-mail you send to that address goes back to you (only one address) you'll have to find another way to contact them.
Re: I'm getting someone else's email fredsie 3/19/11 6:04 AM
You can't stop someone telling their friends and contacts an email address that is in fact yours. You will then get their mail. 

Most likely they are doing this in error and it should eventually click with them that they never receive any replies. Once they realise and start quoting their correct address, most of the mail will stop.  

If it continues, obviously you can't just email them!  But if it really bad, you might try replying to some of the personal message senders and telling them you aren't the correct recipient, and could they contact the person some other way and tell them their mistake.
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