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I received a strange mail from a well-known SE user with the following body two days ago:

HALLO EVERYONE. I am writing to you from Kenya. I have recently come into contact with a great bunches of Viagras -- roughly 15,395.5 bottles worths! That's FIFTEEN THREE NINE FIVE and a half bottles. They're stuck in the customs. These Viagras have a NET VALUE of 15,395,500. I need to wire you the money, so you can wire the money to Customs. Then Customs will the money back to me and release the bottles. My agent PRINCE DAGAFOGU will then pick up the bottles and sell them. For your help you will be granted $752,495.41. Can you help me? We have only until 6 hours!

Sincerely thank you.

(a blank image)

King Tutencut Dagafogu

The key point is that the email had 110+ CC recipients. Among them, I can recognize quite a few high-profile users, including ♦ moderators and many more.

I received this mail from an address that was not intended to be public, so I am wondering how this mail came to my inbox, and why there are so many CC recipients. Also, is it spam or something legitimate (it looks quite spammy)?

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    When I first read the title I wanted to flag as spam... – MEE is Johann Gambolputty ... Jan 10 at 18:53
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    15,395 .5 bottles? Does that insinuate the sender used some...lmfao – JBis Jan 11 at 20:36
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    Also we all know real scammers put '$' at the end of numbers. *These Viagras have a NET VALUE of 15,395,500$* – JBis Jan 11 at 20:39
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That's on me, and I'm really sorry about this! As Glorfindel explained, I accidentally CC'd everyone entitled to a watch from this contest, instead of BCC'ing... :\ One of the recipients then sent the message you quoted to everybody.

Right before that email you mention, you should have one from me, apologizing for this mistake and making everyone aware of it — I properly BCC'd everyone on that one!

We're looking at what systems we can use for similar situations in the future, so as to avoid emails like these having to be sent manually from our personal inboxes, which is much more prone to errors like these happening.

Also, the most ironic bit is that I was about to send everyone the email directly from Google Forms' builtin function to do so, but decided against it last minute because I wasn't sure the addresses would be BCC'd, and from GMail I could make sure that was the case... :|

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    lol your original mail went to the junk folder (automatically by my mail provider), and I confused a lot – ɪBᴜɢ Jan 10 at 11:33
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    LOL, that'd mean you wouldn't get the watch if it weren't for this 'spammer' ... – Glorfindel Jan 10 at 11:35
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    But the one that actually looks like spam didn't, @ɪBᴜɢ? – JNat Jan 10 at 11:35
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    Ironically, yes. The Viagra mail stayed sound in my inbox. – ɪBᴜɢ Jan 10 at 14:28
  • Privacy aside, how would BCCing have been any better? Is there some legitimate point to this email message that I'm missing—or is it really nothing more than it appears to be? – Jason Bassford Jan 10 at 17:32
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    The original message — the one where I did not BCC the users — was one informing users that they were entitled to a watch, as per the contest I mention in the answer. The email body shown on the question here was something someone in the chain sent to the whole chain later on, "for fun" :P – JNat Jan 10 at 17:45
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    I don't blame you at all JNat, everyone makes mistakes. Also I was really glad to see that email. 😁 ⌚ – hat Jan 10 at 19:31
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It turns out a Stack Exchange employee accidentally sent an e-mail, related to this contest, without putting the 110+ recipients in the BCC as required by data protection regulations. Therefore, all recipients could see each other's email addresses. A few minutes later, he apologized for this mistake, promising to send everyone a dollar if this would lead to spam.

One of the recipients thought it was funny to write up a spam message and send it to all other recipients (including me, that's how I know of it). This isn't really my type of humour, but I get where it's coming from. Please just ignore and move on.

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