Well today as I was going home I got a strange email, in my private inbox (email associated with S.O.) asking me if I had solved a question on S.O. that I didn't ask. To be more precise I had given an answer.

After reading:

and several other email related issues on S.O. I decided to let you all know about this because probably I am not the only one.

So the mail subject was:

Re: Deleted facebook account - Cannot access my apps?

which refers to this question

And the body (masked last name of sender):

Hi Jimmy,

Just wondering if you ever got this question answered. If not, maybe a brief chat with a html wizpert could help: link http://wizpert.com/htmlchat.

Good luck getting this resolved!



------------------------- Michael W%^%^GF Founder, CEO @ Wizpert

Now I know that my email address is not visible and I read about the MD5 regarding gravatar but I don't think this is the case. I thought about some methods and sure it's possible via metadata, github, etc for someone to get my mail, but I do not dare to think that this has reached an automated level, so that some service could easily get the email of S.O. members.

I didn't get annoyed by the message, since the CEO took the time to contact me :-p but someone else could get annoyed by these kinds of messages, since they come in the important inbox of gmail.

What is more strange is that Wizpert seems to be a nice site and also is active in the Careers 2.0 if I am not mistaken.

Another thing that crossed my mind is that since Wizpert needs unanswered questions to promote their services, possibly this is an action of Wizpert trying to attract people into their services.

Well that's it, I hope I did good to let you know (maybe I did't include the correct tags).

  • Did you ask him how he obtained your email address? Feb 3 '14 at 19:18
  • @BenCollins not yet.
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:18
  • And do you have a Careers profile? Feb 3 '14 at 19:22
  • @BenCollins nope, just created one btw to be sure.
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:23
  • I got one too, this guy is targeting SO users to promote his sexchange operation. Just add him to your junk filter. Feb 4 '14 at 15:40
  • @UphillLuge well I though I wouldn't be the only one. Did he correctly contact you? I mean what the subject correct? Because he confused me with the OP.
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 4 '14 at 15:52
  • No, spammers rarely take the time to get it right. Feb 4 '14 at 16:01
  • 2
    Just a "I got spammed, too" comment...
    – Ole Albers
    Feb 18 '14 at 14:46

I can't say for sure, but I found your email by Googling using nothing but the public data on your SO page on a public Github page.

I'd guess that's what Michael did.

  • Sure! that's easy, but I didn't ask the question. So it's probably not by hand.
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:21
  • 7
    So he got the OP and you confused. That's nothing strange. I get emailed all the time by confused visitors.
    – Bart
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:22
  • @Bart ok if so, though as said twice my main concern is not to be automated. Well it's not only for me this concern.
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:24
  • 11
    @JimmyKane, it's obviously hard to be sure, but the fact that he grabbed the wrong user (the answerer, when he meant the questioner) would seem to reduce the likelihood that there's a script or some automatic action at play - my guess would be searching or querying for questions that look like potential leads, then manually clicking the user (incorrectly here) to get enough info to do a quick online search for public email addresses. Pure speculation, but automation seems unlikely given the apparent (human-looking) error here.
    – Jaydles
    Feb 3 '14 at 19:35
  • I got contacted too without any github page
    – Ole Albers
    Feb 18 '14 at 14:47
  • @OleAlbers is your email address available easily if someone searches the web? I couldn't find it...
    – JimmyKane
    Feb 18 '14 at 15:10
  • These spammy lowlifes run ads on Stack Overflow. Any chance of putting a stop to that?
    – Pekka
    Mar 10 '14 at 20:28
  • ... at least, this question is now on page 2 on Google when searching for "Wizpert". Mwahahaha!
    – Pekka
    Apr 2 '14 at 17:08

I got contacted by Michael @ Wizpert too... My suggestion for anyone annoyed by this (like me), click the spam button and delete. With enough of us clicking the spam button, he will eventually get blacklisted.

  • 3
    I also added the site to some reputation DBs (Avast, etc.) as bad. Hopefully that helps
    – Ole Albers
    Feb 18 '14 at 15:16

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