I have a Gmail account that I’ve never used. Because my phone is now a Samsung 3 and interfaces with Gmail, I’m thinking of dropping my Yahoo account. The problem is that when I go into my Gmail account, I find mail from Amazon to a lady in Florida with the same first name as me.
I don’t understand what’s happened. Why, when I enter my name and password, I see emails to her about stuff she’s ordered on Amazon. Her name and address are there as well. When I look in All Mail, I see about 1300 emails, which I plan to delete and start up with Gmail because it’s the browser for my Samsung Galaxy. I don’t know who to ask about these emails from Amazon to this other woman in Florida regarding her purchases. And again, I’ve signed into my Gmail account with my name and password. So, now, I’m afraid to start up a Gmail account and drop off my old email address. Thanks, Leo for any light that you can shed on this problem.
I’ve got a pretty good guess as to what’s going on. I also have some ideas and some advice for what you might want to do about it.
Typing your own email address
I’m constantly amazed at the number of times people type in their own email address and get it wrong.
It’s one of the reasons you see so many sites forcing you to type it in twice. It’s annoying as heck to have to do so. I’ve resisted forcing people to do so with Ask Leo!, but as a result, more than 1 out of every 50 questions submitted includes a bad email address. That means when I take the time to reply, that reply bounces. That’s also kind of frustrating.
My guess is that’s exactly what’s happened here: that the lady in Florida typed in the wrong email address when she set up her Amazon account, or perhaps she changed the email address associated with her Amazon account at some point and put it in incorrectly then.
Confirmation should have caught it
I’m somewhat surprised that Amazon let this through, since normally the first thing a service does is require that the email address be confirmed by sending it a message that requires some sort of action. But ultimately there’s a lady in Florida that’s not getting her Amazon notifications.
On the off chance that I’m wrong, I recommend you change the password on the Gmail account. I’d also make sure that the security information on the account is what you expect it to be. I doubt the Florida woman is accessing the account, especially if you don’t see anything in the sent mail that isn’t yours. But better safe than sorry.
And after having done this, I’d have no problems using the account.
Steps to take
Now, the question is what to do about Amazon? You’ve got several options.
You could reply to one of those emails, or even contact Amazon customer service and explain the problem to them. I’m sure that this isn’t the first time they’ve had this issue. They may even have some way of resolving it themselves. Or you could drop the lady in Florida a note. You do have her mailing address after all.
I do need to point out one thing that’s particularly scary. To be clear, it’s not scary for you; you’re fine – but it is scary for the lady in Florida. And it’s another reason why it’s so darned important to always double check your email address when you give it to anyone.
You could probably gain access to this lady’s Amazon account.
Since the emails are being sent to you, it means that an “I forgot my password” password reset link would presumably also get sent to you. Using that, you could change the password on this other person’s Amazon account. And then you could do bad things.
I know you wouldn’t do such a thing since Ask Leo! readers are above such actions. But again, it serves as an important reminder that we all have a responsibility to know our information and enter it correctly.
It’s one thing to not get an answer from a site like Ask Leo!, but it’s something else completely to hand over your online shopping account to a stranger.