My wife received a suspicious email where the "FROM" field contained my name, but the email appeared to be delivered from an E-Mail address that we do not recognize.

The fact that the email used my name was a little alarming, since it was so appropriate to get my wife to respond (she did not, deleting the email after she confirmed with me that I had nothing to do with it).

Should I take this as evidence that either of our accounts have been hacked? It seems to me like someone may have access to her address, her contacts, and sent her this message using a spoofed account using one of her contacts as an alias. On the other hand, maybe this is just the result of data mining on the web and there really isn't anything to worry about.

Any recommendations?

  • 3
    "...maybe this is just the result of data mining on the web..." - unless your name, the association to your wife and the email address of your wife are closely guarded secrets it is likely that nothing was hacked and just mining was done. Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


To answer your question, I slightly suspect if any, your wife's account may have been compromised. This suspicion is derived from assuming that the attacker may have gotten your name from her contacts, but I find it more likely that both of your E-Mail addresses and marital status are contained in some database out there.

One thing you can do to check if there's any unauthorized people using your gmail account is go to https://myaccount.google.com/security and from here you'll be able to scroll down and see some information about recent activity and connections to your google account. If things appear to be in order here, then you're likely fine. Regardless, it's always a good idea to change your password whenever you become suspicious.

In the future it might also be a good idea to keep the email in the event that this person starts to become threatening to the safety of your wife, family or yourself. It could be a good lead for the authorities.


This doesn't mean that either of your accounts were compromised, although it doesn't mean they couldn't have been, it seems unlikely.

If they had compromised your account, I would expect them to have sent the suspicious email from your account, rather than showing that name with another email address, as it would have been much more convincing.

And if they compromised your wife's, why would they need to send her an email? And if they wanted to do so for some reason, surely they could make a more convincing email if they had access to her previous correspondence (assuming they were willing to spend a bit of time looking at it).

I think that it is more likely that they got the data from a third party (a friend, relative… ?) with both of you on their address book (or having sent an email to both of you). This could be that they had their email account compromised, or at least the address book copied.

The trick of sending an email to someone from the address book impersonating another, with the assumption that they will know each other and thus they will be more likely to take the bait is an old one, and has been easily used by malware for ~20 years.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .