Twenty-three people sent me this one Thursday and Friday. Twenty-three people. I think the previous record for any single comic was ten.
Metatext: “I asked a few friends whether they’d had this happen, then looked up the popularity of their initials/names over time. Based on those numbers, it looks like there must be at least 750,000 people in the US alone who think ‘Sure, that’s probably my email address’ on a regular basis.”
Some people went back to a related March 25 post and commented there; so instead of making this a new post, I just brought up and re-named the older one.
Idiot Bill Bickel’s Daughter Has a Dentist Appointment Tomorrow
Guess how I know.
I swear, I could own this guy’s identity in six months if I made half an effort to.
Yup, somebody attached it to an e-mail to Idiot Bill Bickel, at the address he gives out.
I’ve long since accepted the fact that IBB is a complete moron: what startles me now is that when I inform his clients that they’ve sent me their personal information because they’re working with a man to whom the concept of e-mail is far too complex, they are apparently unconcerned.
I really have to assume there’s a community in Seattle entirely populated by immigrants from Chelm.
Idiot Bill send a client an e-mail — cc’ing me, as usual — concluding with “If you have any questions, Heather, please let me know.” I e-mailed Heather, cc’ing Idiot Bill “I have a question, Heather: why does ‘your’ Bill Bickel have such problems remembering what his e-mail address is?”
And that actually got me a response from Idiot Bill: an apology and a promise to correct the problem (though no acknowledgement that this had been going on for half a year)
Seattle’s Bill Bickel (whom I used to think was just a home buyer but I now know to be a real estate agent; because at this point I know more about the man than Google does) just took out a Craigslist ad, offering his services. Using, of course, my e-mail address.
I informed him that if anybody contacts me through the ad, I’ll tell them he went out of business.
I just got my first bank statement for the Bill Bickel who gave his bank my e-mail address. More precisely it’s a link to his account information, and I need a password to log in. But if I “forgot” the password, they’ll be happy to re-send it to me at the e-mail address they have on record. which is of course mine.
So I now have complete access to his bank account if I want it.
Seriously, it is kind of scary how so much of our personal security can depend on something like typing in an e-mail address correctly.
Update: Just received a general contractor’s detailed proposal for the work he’s planning to do on Home Buyer Bill’s new home. This seems like a pretty important document for both of them.
Screw ‘em. Home Buyer Bill never acknowledged either of the e-mails I sent him, let alone thanked me for forwarding all his stuff to him. It’s not my job to enable his irresponsibility.
Got a LinkedIn request this morning from somebody I never heard of. Checked his address, and realized he’d meant to send the invitation to Home Buyer Bill.
Seriously, what a great identity theft opportunity I have here: with a little bit of effort, I can steal Home Buyer Bill’s social and professional contacts, Credit Card Bill’s, financial history… and I can probably get at least a month’s worth of Netflix Bill’s movies delivered to my home before anybody begins to wonder. I can be the Ultimate Hybrid Bill Bickel.
Update: How big a friggin’ idiot is Home Buyer Bill anyway? I already reminded him once that my e-mail address isn’t his, so I thought at the very least he wouldn’t be giving it out to anybody new. So today he sends somebody some sensitive information and cc’s himself me.
I’ve mentioned this before: I’ve been getting some other Bill Bickel’s Netflix mail for the past few years, because he apparently gave them my Yahoo address instead of his own. I even called Netflix at one point — which was time consuming and not very easy, because they don’t have a protocol for one person to talk to them about another person’s account. I finally convinced them to stop sending me his messages, but they started up again after a month or so. Presumably they contacted him somehow and asked him for his correct e-mail address, and he gave them mine yet again.
And honestly, if I were him, I wouldn’t be too eager for somebody else to know some of the movies he rented.
A few month ago, at my Gmail address, I started getting information intended for a Bill Bickel who was buying a house. Including photos, and copies of floor plans, loan information, and the contract.
And then there’s the William Bickel whose mailings regarding his Capital One account have been coming to my Yahoo mailbox. This was never a big deal… until this morning, when they sent “him” confirmation that he’d signed up for paperless statements. In other words, he’ll never see his bills.
Now I have to decide how much time and effort to put into making this right. I’m not sure what I can do until the first statement arrives and I see his account number, though.
My wife’s convinced this is the same guy over and over again. True, it means he’d have had to mistakenly give people both my Yahoo and Gmail addresses — but that’s still more likely than having 3 people with my name who don’t know their own e-mail addresses: “Think about it, how many idiot Bill Bickels can there be?”