On Gmail, I'm [email protected]. Some other guy with an account on eBay has a registered email address there of [email protected] (note the full stop). Gmail is sending his email to me. So maybe nobody is answering the stream of questions about what I am sure is a very nice drum kit.

The answer at How to deal with people sending email incorrectly to my GMail account? confirms Gmail doesn't differentiate between jharrop and j.harrop.

I assume eBay requires users to verify their address when they register.

So I guess what has happened here is that the user subsequently changed his email address in eBay, and there is nothing there to require him to verify the change?


In eBay, the "Update your email address" dialog has a confirmation step:

Just one more step!
We have sent an email to your address ...
In the email message from us, click the "Confirm Email" link to confirm your email change.

and the address does not seem to change until you go through the confirm step.

So how did this guy manage to give eBay my gmail address?

1 Answer 1


These emails are being delivered to the correct user as far as Gmail is concerned.

Gmail is not sending emails to you, rather ebay is sending emails to j.harrop@g... which IS your email account, just as jh.arrop@g... and ever other combination with a . in it would be. All those combinations are tied to just your one account.

I think your question however is really what to do about it?

There are three options:

  1. Nothing
  2. Setup a filter rule in Gmail to bounce email from ebay addressed to [email protected]
  3. Use ebay's password reset to login into that account since you'll get the reset notice (note this is probably illegal as your accessing an account you're not authorized to access).
  • To elaborate: It's not just correct as far as Gmail is concerned; anything that would route so.and.so@ to anywhere other than soandso@ runs afoul of the current standards for electronic mail. See: tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5322#section-4.1 Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 3:04
  • Gmail's handeling of + and . in address is well documented many places. Excuse just referencing the first I found instead of Google's. gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/…
    – jb510
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 11:11
  • 1
    The most salient aspect of the question has to do with eBay's process for account creation, given that the user has to verify the new account via email.
    – chb
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 17:39
  • Well, yes, the questioner here seems to believe someone circumvented Ebay's email authentication. That that actually happened seems questionable, but "stuff happens". Perhaps the answer here is "They shouldn't have been able to, and you can't".
    – jb510
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 3:36
  • If my experience with eBay Australia this morning is anything to go by, they don't require e-mail confirmation for newly-created accounts. Some tit in New South Wales just set up an account with my GMail address and bought a car part which the seller then sent a message regarding saying it was out of stock so they couldn't fulfil the order. I never received a "Please confirm your address" e-mail, so I can only conclude that they don't require them for new accounts, only changes of address to existing ones. This happens to me so often I made a YouTube video about it: youtu.be/Uea8FsfxG98 >.< Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 15:41

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