I'm having a problem that started out being annoying, but is rapidly becoming concerning to me.
I was an early GMail tester, and have "first initial/last firstname.lastname@example.org" as my email address. Lately, I've gotten bombarded with a large volume of email that is meant for other people with similar names and addresses.
At first, I was getting a lot of:
- Real estate agent emails from cities thousands of miles away
- Car dealer quotes
- Party invitations
- The occasional "sexting" message/pic.
Lately it has stepped up a notch, and I'm getting stuff that's more disturbing or personal:
- Airline e-tickets
- Password resets from brokerages
- Complete VPN/user/password/email information for a user at a government agency
- And the latest, a video from a driver-cam of a bus driver suffering from a seizure and rolling a bus full of passengers.
I have similar email addresses on other big commercial email systems, and have never had a problem like this elsewhere. My theory is that people get confused and don't realize that if they mistype "email@example.com" instead of "firstname.lastname@example.org" (i.e. the email they registered), email will be delivered to "email@example.com" for some odd reason.
The concern that I have is that I'm getting things with information that I should not possess, with no way of contacting the person who should be receiving it. (I cannot imagine explaining this to someone at an airline call center.) What's the best way to handle this? Just ignore it?