General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Uncle's e-mail address book probably hijacked - what to say?

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Three days ago I received what appeared to be an e-mail from my wife's uncle.  There was no subject line, and the body of the message just contained a link to a URL in another country.

I'm certain that the message was some sort of virus or malware attack, not actually an e-mail sent by my wife's uncle.

(I'm ashamed to admit that I'm certain of that because a couple of years ago I very foolishly clicked on a link in a similar message that only appeared to be from my wife's cousin.  It took me hours and hours to clean my computer after that mistake!)

Anyway, what is the polite thing to do in a case like this?

When it happened a couple of years ago, after I cleaned my computer I sent a very polite note to my wife's cousin, telling her I knew that she didn't send the message herself but that I thought she should know that I thought her e-mail account had been hijacked.  (I also told her exactly how I had cleaned my computer, in case she wanted to pass that information along to other victims, although I hoped I was the only one foolish enough to click on that link.)  My wife's cousin sent me a nice reply, and everything was fine.

When the message supposedly from my wife's uncle came this week, I deleted it and sent him a separate note telling him very politely that I thought his account had been compromised.

There's been no reply from the uncle after three days.

I've done my duty by politely informing him, correct?  (It would be overkill on my part to try to contact him again to be sure he knows, right?)  He's being a little rude by not replying, isn't he?  (Or am I too sensitive in expecting a reply?)

I think you're fine. I don't think he's being rude by not responding because possibly he hasn't seen your email if he doesn't check it all that often or maybe he got 50 replies along the same lines as yours and he can't respond to everyone. If you or your wife talk to him somewhat regularly you could call and give him a heads up, otherwise I'd imagine someone closer to him will have told him about it so you're probably okay in not going out of your way to try to contact him about it again.

I wouldn't think he is rude to not respond.  His PC might be out of commission because he's infected, his email might have been quarantined by his provider to keep any more infection from spreading, or he might have been inundated with a ton of people who sent him a note telling him he was infected.

You've done your duty of letting him know.  Now I'd just forget about it. 

Both of you did fine. You were polite to mention the hacking, he was fine not to respond. My email was compromised about a year ago, and it took me about 12 hours to get back into the system and change my passwords.  By that time, I probably had over 50 messages telling me that my email had been hacked. Yep , I know, sorry, can't go back in time.

I agree with PPs that both of you were fine.  When this happened to me, I must have gotten 100 emails alerting me, and I responded to maybe 3 of them (which was fun - they were people I'd lost touch with!). 


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