Wednesday, November 18, 2009

greeting card identity theft?

Several weeks ago, I received a rather strange e-mail. It was from the friendly electronic greeting card company, and it was thanking me for registering with them. Of course, I had done no such thing. They also addressed the email to Allison somebody else (I can't remember the last name but it was definitely not mine.) Apparently this person had used my email address to sign up with her greeting card company. "That's strange, and slightly annoying," I thought to myself. A few minutes later, I started to realize that Allison was having quite the busy evening sending e-cards, because I got another registration email from the American Greetings website. And then she sent one. Since they thought she lived in my computer, they sent me a copy of the card. I stared at it for a minute, thinking that it would be wrong to read someone else's correspondence, but of course I couldn't resist. One nauseating music-box style song and some chirping birds and bouncing flowers later, my heart was warmed by her heartfelt thank yous to someone named Joy for being such a good and encouraging friend. Was this wrong? I don't know. I felt a little guilty, but when you type in someone else's email address (someone whose name doesn't even resemble yours) to register for a website, then you're kind of asking for it. At least that's my perspective.

Fast forward to tonight. I seem to have been the victim of yet another unrelated email greeting card confusion. I received a copy of someone named Allison Lott's belated birthday wish from Aunt Cathy and Uncle David. I saw that the message was copied to both my address and a Baylor college email, so I'm assuming they just got confused and that this girl who is hopefully a Baylor student got her birthday card. So obviously, curiosity got the best of me once more and I clicked on the card. And let me tell you, I'm so glad I did. PLEASE look at this. I'm sorry, Aunt Cathy and Uncle David, whoever you are. I'm sure you meant well. But this might be the worst and creepiest card I have ever seen.

I'd like to conclude with a public service announcement to the Internet users of the world: Please, please use your own e-mail address when sending greeting cards, because if you steal my identity and they get sent to me, I cannot be held responsible for any invasions of birthday-wishing privacy that may occur. Thanks and have a great day.