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I'm asking on behalf of a friend.

A few days ago, I received a email with his full name (with no subject), thought that's from him. But when I opened it, there was only an obvious spam link, and I saw that not only I received this mail but also 20 other of his contacts, however when I checked the address from which this mail was sent, I saw that the mail was NOT his own yahoo mail address , but instead a mail address on a spam domain which contained his name. and I received not only one of these emails, but many, and each time they were sent from a different address and with a different spam link in it.

He can still sign in to his yahoo mail, so his password was not changed.

Has someone access to his mail account or could it also be a dangerous virus on his computer and/or android phone? (he has the yahoo app on his phone)

Which steps should he take?

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I will shoot in the dark as there is no way to know exactly what can be the reason without further details...

Each time you forward those emails like : if you don't send this email to 20 accounts and the person who sent it to you in the next minute, you will be cursed..., spammers will receive a lot of information about you and your contacts (many people still don't use BCC). There is no magic in that.

Other possibility is that he set his account in a mail client (e.g. outlook) and his computer got some virus which accessed his contacts, which were sent to some server. Or... some of his friends got a virus / hacked and a spammer was able to get some of those forwarded emails in which all contacts are clearly displayed, for example: your@friend.com -> his_friend1@yahoo.com, his_friend2@gmail.com, etc.... Got the idea?

There are many strategies that can be used to gather such information. Personally, I don't think his account has been compromised or otherwise all emails would have been sent directly from his account (increasing spammer's success rate).

  • thank you for your answer. but the thing is, to all those to which these mails were forwared were ONLY his contacts, so that was no chain mail. it's probably a virus on the computer then and his mail account is OK. – esperanza May 11 '16 at 2:02

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