I’ve had the Gmail address Merlene at Gmail dot com since August, 2004 – that’s just over 7 years. I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to try the Gmail beta before it was publicly open so that, combined with a somewhat unusual first name, allowed me to get the simple, easy to remember email of Merlene at Gmail. It’s been my primary email ever since.
Starting a couple of years ago I began getting email that was addressed to my Gmail address but was clearly not to me. Someone out there had begun using Merlene at Gmail to fill out forms or on a business card or who knows what, but I began getting email from a university in Florida’s alumnae association. From an insurance company telling me my insurance files and been updated. From former classmates of this impostor. And so on. These emails weren’t the usual spam type email. No, they were definitely directed to someone. But not me.
At first I tried replying to these emails to the impostor. I explained that they’d sent to the wrong email address. That I was not the person they’d intended to send to. But still… it continues. I gave up trying to reply – after at least 2 years of this I’m still getting regular email for the impostor. I’ve attempted to contact the Google/Gmail team for some advice with no response. I’ve attempted to contact the impostor’s Alumnae association, insurance broker and real estate agent with no success. I’ve tried to do a web search to see if I can track down the impostor but no luck. I can’t set up a filter for the impostor’s email because it comes from all sorts of addresses.
So… Dear Impostor… whoever you are… I have a bunch of your email here marked return to sender. Email me if you want it. You know my address.
Sincerely the one, the only, the original Merlene at Gmail.