I've recently started getting a rash of junk mail to a particular email address. I give out unique addresses to all organizations I deal with, so I know exactly who has this address on file. The emails are not of a marketing nature (mostly phishing/work-from-home scams), so to me it appears that someone may have compromised at least a list of this organization's customer email addresses.

My attempts to inform the organization (an online retailer) that there may be a problem via all the channels I've been able to find have so far not elicited a response. I'm continuing to try, but if ultimately I can't get anyone at the organization to even acknowledge that I'm contacting them, what would be the next step to make sure someone is looking (or has looked) at this?

  • Are you certain they are a legitimate operation?
    – user123931
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 21:17
  • @notstoreboughtdirt Yes, I've been a customer of theirs for years, and they're widely known within their industry.
    – glibdud
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 21:19
  • 2
    If it is the US, then the FBI, Secret Service, PCI council for credit cards, or DHHS for medical... However, this looks more like they sold the email address to a shady email address broker more than a breach.
    – MikeP
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 21:22
  • @MikeP I can't rule that out, though that would be a breach of the company's privacy policy.
    – glibdud
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


The next steps would depend on the type of organization they are. I will only list examples in my answer as a complete answer is impractical.

Health Care Organization

If this organization works with patient health information (PHI) then you can file a complaint with Department of Health and Human Services as described on their website.

Retail Merchant Accepting Credit Cards

If this merchant accepts any credit cards, they are subject to PCI requirements. Violations of PCI standards can be reported to the payment cards brands, per PCI council guidance.


The FBI repeatedly warned the DNC that they were being hacked and they ignored the warnings, resulting in all those Podesta emails being dumped out in the open.

So the next step was obvious. First, invite the FBI to come visit and shut things down until it can be stopped. But they ignored all the warnings long enough that their server was totally cleaned out.

As an individual, if you know of a hack you might consider alerting law enforcement.

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