I just got these 10 e-mails 5 hours ago from do-not-reply@stackexchange.com:

Recently, you asked a question on [X] Stack Exchange, but you haven't verified your email address yet.

Click on the following link to verify your email and set a password so that you can log in.

Here, [X] refers to all of the following:

  • GameDevelopment.SE
  • SharePoint.SE
  • Unix.SE
  • Skeptics.SE
  • Japaneese.SE
  • HomeImprovement.SE
  • SciFi.SE
  • PersonalFinanceMoney.SE
  • DatabaseAdmins.SE
  • TeX.SE

I haven't posted on any of these except for TeX.SE, but that was not recently, and through my real account. =

I asked about this here, and was told that someone seems to be impersonating me by using my email. Is it possible for staff to stop this?

Also, I'm pretty surprised there is no measure to stop people from using emails to existing SE accounts (see for example, on wordpress.com, if you use an e-mail which has an existing account on wp.com, you are asked to log in.).


I just got 2 more emails an hour ago for SharePoint.SE, and for AmateurRadio.SE.

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    True, I found one such user - exact same image from Gravatar means he's using your email address when answering. I would also send direct email to team@stackexchange.com and ask them to handle this as soon as possible. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 5 '14 at 9:27
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    Please forward a copy of the email you received to team@stackexchange.com and @reply me once you have. I'll need to ask questions that we probably shouldn't discuss in public :) – Tim Post Jan 5 '14 at 11:11
  • Yeah, we've been dealing with this nonsense for a while. We know it's not you, don't worry. Sorry about this. – Manishearth Jan 5 '14 at 13:35

Someone is either playing a joke on you, or doing this to simply rattle you. They've been using your email across a few IP's to create unregistered accounts on random sites, where they basically paste the contents of your profile into a question.

I've deleted four fictitious accounts so far, and I'm on the lookout for more. I've also made sure that the spam system knows about them so that even if they do create more accounts, it'll be a while before they're able to post anything (or even suggest edits).

I wouldn't put too much into it, someone recently signed me up for the Over 50 version of several dating services, probably just an annoying prank.

Please reach out to us at team@stackexchange.com - we'll need to know if this continues so that we can quickly zap your dopplegangers. Just link to this meta post as you forward the email you received, then continue to forward them so we can keep up on it.

Some people have much more time than brains, what can I say?

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  • True, people can get creative when really angry... and Stack Overflow is making lots of people angry while fighting to preserve its quality. That said, is it possible to scan the unregistered accounts and look for more such cases, that went unnoticed so far? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 5 '14 at 11:41
  • @ShadowWizard That actually happens automatically behind the scenes. The accounts queue will pick this up and show it to someone that will be able to sort it out (only developers, or those with developer level access can get to that queue, so it's pretty sane). – Tim Post Jan 5 '14 at 11:56
  • Tim, would it make sense for us to get the question-asker to click a link in email before accept the content / user profiles? Perhaps some infrastructure changes for us, but this is an unpleasant exploit. – Mike Pennington Jan 5 '14 at 12:25
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    @MikePennington This ... needs addressing indeed. On the one hand, we don't want to increase the barrier to anonymous participation. On the other, when we get a new account with an email we know about ... I'm going to raise it internally. – Tim Post Jan 5 '14 at 12:37
  • @DIMension10 I've cleaned all of them up. Sorry about this, I know it's quite jarring, but I'm staying on top of it until it stops. – Tim Post Jan 5 '14 at 12:41
  • I'm not very certain that this isnt' some sort of regression. I'll try and get it sorted tomorrow. – Tim Post Jan 5 '14 at 12:45

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