Money Emails Sent To My Internet Dopplegangers

I’m sure it’s happened to most people*. Emails or text messages from random strangers that were meant for others and were sent to you on accident.  Like this one…

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I don’t get a ton of these messages, but every once in a while someone hurriedly shoots off an email to one of my internet-dopplegangers, that is, one of the assortment of virtual strangers with whom I share a first initial and last (well, maiden now) name and it ends up in my inbox.

That’s not all that odd, though. I own FLast@gmail.com and many of my internet-doppplegangers have email addresses like F.Last@gmail.com or FLast94@gmail.com. So it’s not outside the realm of possibility for me to receive an occasional email meant for them.

What is kindof odd, I’m now starting to realize, is just how many of these emails are about money in one way or another, and it almost makes me want to jump into the conversation and put my two cents (haha) in as well. I don’t… usually I just email the person who sent the email to tell them they should check their sender. But, what would it look like if I did answer on behalf of some of my internet dopplegangers?

Email #1

From RG, I received an email pondering the secondhand purchase of tickets to a water park.

“lady at work has 4 tickets she is selling for $78 total, the tickets must be used before the first weekend in September. is this something we would want to do? I am assuming if we only bought two tickets she would lower the price, but I bet we could find two other ppl to come with us and help pay for the tickets, just a thought. It would be more money we shouldnt be spending but were young and soposed to have fun =]”

Hey RG! If it’s more money we shouldn’t be spending, we’re probably better off passing on the $78 water park tickets. I don’t want us to be fighting over money later or hassling friends to pay us for water park tickets they didn’t really want in the first place just to hit up a water slide now. How about we stop by the dollar store and grab some water balloons or see if we can find a slip n slide for cheap?  That could be a very entertaining Saturday. =]

Long term, though… we’ll probably be in a better position monetarily if you stop sending me links to Comic-Con threads on reddit from your work email address during work hours. Don’t get me wrong, that was a great thread, but (as you said) we’re young. Now is the time to buckle down and impress the hell out of our bosses at work so we can zoom up the payscale early. Then we’ll have a lot more money for water parks later.

Email #2

From SC, I received some valuable thoughts on pricing for snowmobiles listed on Craigslist – which wasn’t particularly useful to us here in Florida.

“I looked at these sleds they appear to be in fairly good shape, as for the price… The trailer alone is probably worth $800.00 to $1000.00 If the sleds run and are in good shape ie no rips in the seats, skis not beat all to hell and tracks not misssing a lot of lugs them they are probably worth $900.00 to $1000.00 each. Something to keep in mind shit wears out and if a clutch is worn out you will drop about $700.00 bucks in a heartbeat. So I guess what I’m saying is, if all is right with them this is not a bad deal to get you started, but you will probaly need to upgrade the sleds in a couple of years unless they are like in excellent running condition and you won’t know untill you ride them and see. I would probably go in with cash and offer them $2300.00 and settle for around $2500.00. Good luck”

Thanks, SC. This sounds like solid advice that I will definitely keep in mind if South Florida ever freezes over (which I anticipate happening approximately 3 minutes before hell does). Snowmobiling sounds like it can be an expensive habit, but with your advice, I feel like I’m much more likely to find a good value on a used (starter) snowmobile. So seriously, thanks for taking the time to look at these and share your accumulated snowmobiling wisdom. I mean that.

Email #3

From Best Buy, I received notifications that they were cancelling Geek Squad service for one of my midwestern dopplegangers.

“This email is to inform you that your monthly plan(s) have been suspended due to non-payment. Therefore, you do not have access to the benefits available under the monthly Geek Squad Protection.”

Thanks for the notice, Best Buy. Am I to take this casual notice and no information about the account going to collections as an indicator that this won’t show up on my credit report?

Honestly, I’m probably better off without you since I never got great service from the Geek Squad and the claims process was terrible years ago, and I’m better off self-insuring most items in my life that I can afford to replace.

Email #4

From Colon Cancer Canada…

“Thanks for sponsoring [Jane Doe] in Colon Cancer Canada’s Push For Your Tush 2014!”

Ummmmm… you’re welcome!  Good luck with the tush, Jane!  =)

 

But I Don’t

If anything, I usually just say, “Hey, you probably didn’t mean this for me. Double check the email address you meant to send it to.” It’s not really my business to tell people what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their money, but sometimes it’s amusing to imagine how it would play out.

Do you ever get entertaining emails intended for one of your internet dopplegangers? What do you say? How would you have responded to these emails?

 

* Coincidentally, This American Life just replayed an episode from last year where someone pranks folks who accidentally email him.   I don’t think I had caught this one when it first aired!

19 comments to Money Emails Sent To My Internet Dopplegangers

  • I’d never thought about this! I have a very uncommon first name and a very uncommon last name, so this has never been an issue for me.

    On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about you and your awesome woodworking skills a lot lately. This weekend, I hacked my way through making myself a set of Adirondack chairs. They don’t need anything like the patience/knowledge/tools of your own kitchen cabinet set, so I was simultaneously insanely happy with myself for my project and also just laughing at how crude these are compared to what I’ve been seeing in your pictures. So maybe I’m your woodworking doppleganger, but from a low-budget universe.
    Miser Mom recently posted..How I made my own Adirondack chairs, in 113 easy stepsMy Profile

  • I also have a very simple gmail address, so I get a lot of emails. Most infuriating was when I kept getting someone’s Culligan bills (water cooler servicing). I finally had to call Culligan, but I didn’t have an account, and ugh. I also get a lot of airplane ticket emails for one particular guy who often types in my email address instead of his. I have no way to contact him, but I did contact the airlines. I wonder if he ever wonders why he isn’t getting confirmation emails?

    There’s also a very nice lady whose daughter has a similar email address to mine, and we’ve had actual conversations. She mostly sent links to clothes for the daughter’s kid, IIRC.

    Sometimes I wish I’d chosen a simpler email address, but I appreciate mine.
    Leah recently posted..Solidarity in SolitudeMy Profile

    • The airline confirmations are hilarious! As are the conversations with the woman trying to reach her daughter. The one recently (with the water park), I told him to delete me from his contacts because he kept making the same mistake via auto-fill and not realizing it until after he sent. Hilarious. But it’s not so annoying that I’ve ever thought about closing the account down. Mostly it’s just an entertaining view into the everyday lives of my internet dopplegangers. =)

  • Not internet and not money related, but for a couple years some emergency responders thought my number was for an EMT and kept asking if I would be available for a shift.

    • Ha! Do you know CPR? =)

      Misdirected text messages are (for me) far less entertaining to me than emails – and a couple got kindof beligerent. Now I make sure to block those numbers.

  • I love this! Inadvertent financial advice. They didn’t know they were writing into a personal finance columnist! You’re probably catching people at their most honest, more than if they were actually asking for advice.

    I have an FLast@gmail.com account too and have a whole folder full of emails that weren’t “soposed” to go to me. I actually got a Geek Squad receipt. I’ve gotten vacation photos, a proof of a book from the writer, LOTS of stuff about an ultimate frisbee league, wedding plans, flight reservations, court depositions, people pouring their heart out about relationships. My favorite was from a writer for a big newspaper, basically cursing off her mother who she thought she was writing to. “Fuck you and your guilt trips.” I didn’t respond to that one.
    Norm recently posted..Frugal Failure? I Bought A New PhoneMy Profile

    • Wow, you have the motherload of misdirected emails! Your FLast must be way more common than mine. And yes, don’t you love the typos! So unfiltered and informal when no-one is “soposed” to be watching. =)

      What is it with the Geek Squad receipts? I’ve received a bunch of them! I didn’t know people actually signed up for that anymore. =)

      A part of me wonders if the reporter’s email to “mom” was intentionally or subconsciously misdirected. Those kinds of things can be super cathartic to write, but I feel like you’re never really meant to send them.

  • Too funny! I love the snowmobile like about Florida freezing over.
    Done by Forty recently posted..What Happens When Humans Need Not Apply?My Profile

  • My gmail account isn’t so bad as my name is too common to have firstlast or FLast or FMLast, though I did at one point get emails from doppelgangers at my firstmiddlelast gmail account. My Comcast account, on the other hand, is firstlast@comcast.net and I get all sorts of PTA, medical appointment reminders, and car dealership spam across many states.

  • Never with Gmail because there are numbers in my account. But I used to have a Hotmail account that I had opened circa 1996 (before it was even Microsoft!), so I had a common name/nickname combo and would get a lot of misdirected mail. I held on to that account for a long time… but gmail was just better.
    Frugal Paragon recently posted..Well, This Will Be DifferentMy Profile

    • ahhh, hotmail. I remember that! I still remember my best middle-school friend’s hotmail address that would have been sometime in 95 or so, I think. =) Definitely agree that gmail is much better. I migrated to it pretty early when it was still invite only and have never looked back.

  • spiffikins

    Just FYI – if you have FLast@gmail.com you *also* have F.Last@gmail.com as well as FL.ast@gmail.com and any other location you care to place a period – they are all considered to be the same account.

  • Kay

    Gmail doesn’t distinguish between a period and no period in an email address. So if someone already has FLast@gmail then another person can’t have F.Last@gmail or vice versa. We had a similar problem with getting the wrong emails and found out about the period thing then. Turned out it was just someone spelling their own email incorrectly.

  • How hilarious!

    No, I don’t get them…because I use Mac’s mail system and it doesn’t have the dots in it. Or if it does, none of them apply to moi. My gmail addresses have lengthy words with no dots in them, like all the words in my business name with no spaces or periods between them.

    Nice to know there’s one time-wasting annoyance not coming my way. The nuisance phone calls and the hordes trying to sell me SEO services are quite enough. 😀
    Funny about Money recently posted..Live-Blogging from the LakeMy Profile

    • haha, Mr PoP has never had this happen either since his email addresses are all fairly unique, but you guys aren’t missing out on too much in the way of hassle or entertainment either way.