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9 comments on “Why Am I Getting Email from a Dead Person?”

  1. It is possible that a dead person could have sent that email in question. Recently I remember an article on Ask Leo about a feature in Gmail that would allow you to schedule an email to be sent out later. If you were terminally ill and capable of typing you could schedule to send out emails to friends that you’d have a hard time communicating with. You could have these emails scheduled if you were given a fairly accurate time that you were expected to die. If for some reason you made a miraculous recovery or if you were given a new expected time of death you could edit the delivery date or even cancel the email.

  2. I would guess that the vast majority of emails from people who have passed away is case #3 — Random Spam. Everybody gets random spam spoofed from friends’ addresses, so it’s not surprising that some would come with a spoofed email address from a deceased person’s account.

  3. I’ve never received any email from deceased friends/family, but my wife has passed away, so I know first-hand how difficult such a loss can be. I’ve taken steps to make sure my Son has access to my computer when I pass away. He knows my login pin, and being able to access my computer will allow him to access my password vault. From there, he can close/cancel all the Internet accounts I have, including my email accounts (they all provide web access). I’ve also printed a document containing what I want dome with my digital data, et-al. This document also includes information about the steps I’ve taken for my eternal internment (I’ve paid to have my remains interred in my wife’s niche), and I’ve made arrangements (and paid) for my funeral service, so all my Son should need to do is contact the funeral home to get everything taken care of. I keep a copy of this document on my computer, so when I think of things that will need to be handled, I add that information, then print the update, and replace the existing one. This way, when I’m gone, those I love will at least have some guidance,

    Ernie (Oldster)

    • Your Son will! need more than access to your computer. All password vaults have a Master Password that is used to access it.

      (A password vault without a Master Password is possible — say, an ordinary Notepad Textfile — but from a security viewpoint it would be pretty useless — not secure at all).

      Your Son will need the Master Password to your password vault in order to access it.

  4. One other possibility: Sometimes an email will “hang” for a day or two before shaking loose and arriving at the intended destination. My employer uses Outlook, and everyone at my job site has at least one “…you haven’t gotten it yet? But I sent it yesterday!” story.

  5. I recently received an email from a deceased friend. As an IT tech I looked at the email address behind the display name and found it was not the same as my friend, ONLY the display name suggested it was from him. This was clearly a scam. If the email address BEHIND the display name had been the same as his, then I would have contacted his family. I hope that helps with identifying one of Leos scenarios.


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