General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

How do they get my e-mail and what to say?

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As the title states: How do they get my work e-mail?

They being random companies, organizations, societies, and headhunters.  I don't use my work e-mail for really anything but internal communication.  I am so low on the totem pole that I'm not giving out business cards much at all.  But somehow, random people e-mail me about anything and everything, mostly stuff I have nothing to do with (IT, marketing, sales, supply chain)! 

Anyone have any ideas how my work e-mail is found? 

Then the etiquette question - what do I say?

When it comes to people offering IT services, or other programs that are SO far outside my work scope I just say something like "I am not the person to talk to about this, please contact our corporate _____" and if I have contact info for that group I'll provide.  Is there anything else I should say?  Can I ask how they got my e-mail? 

Headhunters are the worst...I just don't get how and why they think it is at all appropriate to contact someone about a job offer at their current job! Anyone a headhunter or recruiter want to offer some insite?

Ignore them. Why do you feel you need to say anything? This is SPAM and the last thing you want to do is to reply -- that just confirms that this is a "live" email address and they will send you more junk mail.

As for how did they get it? Someone could have shared your internal e-mail list (yes, people really do that.) If your company has a pattern to their e-mail addresses, they could have gotten an employee list and figured out what your e-mail would be. Or some malicious website harvested your e-mail address (or did it to someone else in your company.) Spammers are very, very good at getting this information. Trying to figure out why is a waste of time, unless you work for Symantec or some other security organization.

Addendum... I'm not sure about your question about the headhunter. It's absolutely appropriate and normal for a headhunter to call you about new opportunities. That's their job. Contacting you at work may be the only access they have. If you are interested in working with one, you can say "please contact me outside of work."

If your company has a conventional email naming system, and they know your name, it oculd just be guesswork. i know my company is first initial, last name @ my

and once someone has it, I'd be surprised if it doesn't show up in someones database or on someone else's list. so it gets passed around.

If its a simple fishing expedition, I don't think you're under any obligation to even respond. I'd simply delete them and let it be.

What you're describing is spam. I don't think you have to reply at all.

You could check with your boss to see if it's okay to set up filters in your email to preemptively block spam emails.


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