Deconstructing a Spam Message With Alarming Personal Information


Today I received a spam message that contained:

1) my full name
2) my mobile carrier’s name
3) the knowledge that I’d recently activated new service
4) a mention of a city where I’ve had a little mail sent (to a relative) but where I don’t actually live

And the spam also included the alleged IP address where I had “signed up” to receive that mail. I went to the IP address which had a home page and nothing else. While Yahoo Domain Keys verified the domain that had sent the spam,

It’s a combination of thrill and worry when you receive a mysterious message that appears to be a scam.

  • Did my cell phone company have a data breach?
  • Was I using a computer infected with spyware which tried to piece some information together?
  • Could someone at the phone company be involved with a scam? If so how did they know of that other city?
  • Did I log into my cell phone account while at an Internet cafe, in said town, with an insecure connection that may have been compromised?
  • Did I fill out a survey at some point recently?

My computer is sluggish with all the anti-virus and anti-spyware software running on it. With constant scans I hate to think that something got through.

In any case hopefully this was a one-time “issue.” My credit is frozen and I’ll keep the fraud alerts set up.

What else can you do?

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