Can members find my e-mail if I've not interacted with them?

+7 votes
I just received, not through wikitree mail, an obvious scam
request to buy something, and I immediately exited him.  The name on the opening is from a wikitreer who I have never dealt with in any capacity.  Two weeks go I had another request for identifying some people in a picture from a different person.  I left a note on his profile asking if he had sent it and got no response so I think it might have been a
scam.  Can a virus be passed on by linking up to them?
in The Tree House by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (400k points)
Beulah, since the name on the email is someone you can identify as a WikiTree member and they sent you an inappropriate message (a solicitation to buy something), I recommend that you write to info@wikitree about it.

Even if, as Lindy said, our email addresses are revealed to members who are on the trusted list for the same profiles we are, they should still not be abusing that by sending inappropriate messages to any members.
You should definitely forward the email to Admin for them to check it out.
I can't forward the message.  I had deleted it and my history is also deleted.  In defense of the name, I only looked up the name and saw he is a relatively inactive member.  This letter came as a regular e-mail to me.  He opened asking how I was.  Explained he was away from home and tried to buy a gift card for his niece but couldn't
and would I do it as a favor to hm and let him know if I couldn't.   Since it came as a regular email, not through
wikitree, I had his name and address.  I hate to make an accusation on that basis.  I'm wondering where he got my
email address.
He may not have gotten your email from wikitree, but some other method. A search also had your name in wikitree. It just shows how people that want to scam will act, as if they are a friend from wikitree.
its also possible that he, himself, was hacked, and the email wasn't actually from him (even though it looked like it was).
One reason for my caution in an accusation.
Beulah, if it turns out that the person who supposedly sent the message was a victim of someone who "borrowed" his email address and his list of contacts to do this that is not a reason for you to be cautious about bringing it to light - it will be a very good thing for him to find out that he was hacked, so that he can then alert all his contacts to watch out for scams that look like they are from him.
Excellent advice.  I am leaving a message on his profile as soon as I am done here.  I never thought of that.  I will not answer by regular email that I received it from.  Thanks.
Do you use Google groups for Wikitree purposes? I think e-mail addresses are probably visible on there.
No I don't but thanks for the tip.

4 Answers

+6 votes
There are links to "send an email" to you -- on profiles you manage. But your actual email address is not exposed to them -- until after you reply back, via email.
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
That was my impression.  I did not send any messages his way but he had mine.  I'm glad I didn't fall for it.
+11 votes
Your email address is shown on the trusted list of any relevant profile, so another WikiTreer who is on the same trusted list can see your email address.
by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (228k points)
I'm sure I have never requested trusted lists with this individual.  Maybe some other person has joined us on theirs. I avoid as many such instances as I can.  When he wanted me to buy gift cards I was "Out of there".  Typical scam currency.
Are you on *any* Trusted List of *any* profile? Not just yours or his.  *Any* profile.
I know I'm on my brother's, just left one I was co-manager with by merging, don't know the rest.
+5 votes
The person whose name was on the email in question has responded to my email to him.  He explained his email account had been hacked and it has been fixed.  I will now rest a little easier.  Thank you every one for your concern and suggestions for me.
by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (400k points)
+2 votes

                            GIFT CARD SCAM                             


I just tangled with a scammer impersonating one of the lead living Hubbell family genealogy researchers! 

The real person I met through wikitree years ago when he kindly assisted me overcoming a roadblock. We had traded emails and someone must have hacked his email account.  For a little while today I thought I was emailing with the real guy, but it turns out the automated REPLY TO address in this email was altered in the tiniest way, so that I actually responded to the imposter even though the email looked pretty normal.  

What these scammers do is hack someone's email account, then exploit that person's familiar name to scam you,  first starting with a vague catching up kinda note like this real life example: 

STEP ONE: "Hope this finds you well. How are you doing? Please reply when you get the chance, need to ask a favor. Will wait for your email as I'm currently unavailable via phone." signed by someone you think you know. 

The phone bit was a little odd, but I thought it was a genealogy research favor being asked of me, like correcting a detail on a profile.Imposter got a very friendly response out of me.  Here's what the imposter sent next:

STEP TWO: "Glad to hear from you. Please I need to get a Walmart gift card for a friend (cancer patient) - as it's her birthday - but I can't do this now as I'm currently traveling for a week. I was wondering if you could help get it from any of the stores around you (on my behalf that is). I'll pay back as soon as I get back by next week.   Kindly let me know if you can handle this.   Thanks,".... signed a person you think you know

I never got to STEP THREE because it was now clearly a creepy scam, but I could have possibly  been more entangled if I thought it was a closer relation like a boss or a family member. I read elsewhere that next comes instructions about scratching gift cards codes and sending copies of them with receipts to the scammer. Really could be tough if it was your boss or grandchild being impersonated.  樂

I read that it is important to try to track the actual person if possible and tell them to contact their email provider regarding a hacked account and impersonation.  A friend just had a similar case where fake requests went out under her name and the company sent out a good hacking alert to her whole email list. The one being impersonated is victimized too. 


by R Adams G2G6 Mach 2 (24.3k points)
edited by R Adams

Related questions

+10 votes
1 answer
185 views asked Apr 4, 2018 in WikiTree Help by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (201k points)
+7 votes
1 answer
184 views asked Apr 4, 2018 in WikiTree Help by Darren Kellett G2G6 Pilot (201k points)
+3 votes
2 answers
120 views asked Apr 2, 2018 in The Tree House by Steph Meredith G2G6 Mach 8 (82.9k points)
+5 votes
0 answers
155 views asked Apr 26 in WikiTree Help by Joan Landreth G2G6 Mach 2 (27.6k points)
+1 vote
3 answers
276 views asked Nov 2, 2019 in WikiTree Help by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (587k points)
+2 votes
3 answers
249 views asked May 18, 2019 in WikiTree Help by Sue Dawson G2G1 (1.9k points)
+7 votes
4 answers
185 views asked Apr 4, 2018 in The Tree House by Jim Baur G2G6 Mach 1 (18.2k points)
+4 votes
1 answer
+7 votes
2 answers
179 views asked Apr 3, 2018 in WikiTree Help by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (501k points)
+7 votes
2 answers
251 views asked Nov 30, 2017 in WikiTree Help by John Bavister G2G Crew (540 points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright