How I found out my email was being watched

lockinlove

Staring into the sun
PABaccred
I want to share a small story with you that was both scary, concerning and quite interesting.

Not long ago an old distant friend of mine was in trouble with the law. I never spoke to this person for approx 8 years or more.

Suddenly, I got a very strange email from my yahoo provider. The email was that of yahoo itself. And the header read "Your account is being watched"

I kid you not. At first, I thought oh some stupid spam hoping I click on it. Well it did its job cause I clicked on it.

However, when I got inside I did a search of the email address that was sent to me. And low and behold is was a verified email address used by yahoo security.

Inside the email the content was short and to the point.

"We want to notify you that your email account is being watched by outside sources".

Im like wtf. This is very strange. But I thought to myself, it must be them doing some sort of security test. I dont do anything wrong so it must be a mistake.

Two weeks later One of the higher ups comes into my office and says to me there are 2 detectives that want to speak to me. Im obviously scared that something happened to a family member.

They ask me to go out to their car to have a talk. Im like pretty shaken up but they show me their badge and ID and im like ok what is this about this is weird. And they say dont worry you arent in any trouble we just want to ask you some questions. So im like ok ill listen to what they have to say.

I tell them i dont feel comfortable being put in the back of a police car as we approach the car. The fear of not being able to get out is something that went through my head. So i said Im not getting in your car guys we can stand outside of it. They said no problem they understood. That was a sign of relief. They were friendly and understanding and this relieved any wild thoughts "what have I done, I never do anything bad". Their demeanor told me this wasnt about me. Phew.

They said to me when was the last time you saw so and so. We know you were an old girlfriend of his. I told them I havent talked to the person in many many years, we left on a sour note and dont talk. They accepted this right away. And then the one detective said to me do you have any other email accounts other then ******@*****.com. Im like just my work one and one or two others I use for online stuff. They are like ok no problem.


They asked some more questions like where did he hang out, who are some of his friends etc etc. I told them I feel uncomfortable with all this and that I have not seen or talked to him in at least 8 years.

They accept my answers and leave.

I talk to some people I work with and tell them the story and one person says "wow wait a second how did they know your personal email address". Suddenly im like oh my god I got this email from yahoo security and they must have been watching my email somehow.

To shorten the story up. The police found him, charged him and he was in court. It was a small town so the town newspaper got ahold of it and reported.

The person I knew got into a barfight and beat up someone who was affiliated with a gang or something. This gang threatened him and his family so in response him and some of his friends got some guns and shot up their houses and vehicles to warn them to stay away from his family. They shot at the foundation and tires and not through the windows.

So as the police and detectives got involved part of their investigation to find someone is to find old gf's or friends or family and see if they can get any leads from that. And it came out they were watching peoples houses, emails and tapping some phones. Nobody was murdered or hurt but when guns and shootings are involved I assume they take this incredibly serious.

I am a little in shock about this all. I am floored that they obviously got warrants to watch people and how easily they must have obtained them. How a judge could sign off on it is beyond mind blowing. This isnt a case where me and this person where good friend or family or anything. 8 years is a very long time not to talk to someone or be affiliated with them for that to be enough to get approved to watch me like that.
/
I am a little taken back that they were watching my email. Im even more floored that obviously yahoo didnt like this and actually told me about it. Obviously they had to go through yahoo to watch my email so this must have been someone in the security department not liking they could do this and must have sent me that email in some sort of defiance? I really dont know just speculating because my lord its wild to just think about it all!

Wow.
 

Nicola

Meister Member
mm1
Wow what a story :oops:

It's long been known that e-mails through Yahoo and Gmail are read by third parties including Government spies. But never heard that the provider tells you that they are watching :eek:

In recent years, the rise of truly secure e-mail services like protonmail.com eliminate the risk for those that want privacy.
 

dionysus

can turn wine into water
CAG
MM
I'd like to say I'm surprised but these are the days when an amazon search shows immediately as a suggested ad in my Facebook feed.
 

dunover

Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
webmeister
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm3
The simple answer is to do 'dead drop' e-mails. Give the person you are communicating with the password to an e-mail account that you have, write to them and leave it in 'drafts' and then they read the draft and delete it, it's never transmitted. Unless the govt. have access to the e-mail company's server, it's secure. :thumbsup:
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
Staff member
The simple answer is to do 'dead drop' e-mails. Give the person you are communicating with the password to an e-mail account that you have, write to them and leave it in 'drafts' and then they read the draft and delete it, it's never transmitted. Unless the govt. have access to the e-mail company's server, it's secure. :thumbsup:
I like it! Of course I have absolutely no use for such an idea but hey, sounds pretty cool. ;)
 

redsfan

Experienced Member
webby
Going to have a little stab in the dark here but the email address they were monitoring is one linked to Facebook/Twitter or some other social media you use?
 

lockinlove

Staring into the sun
PABaccred
Going to have a little stab in the dark here but the email address they were monitoring is one linked to Facebook/Twitter or some other social media you use?
yeah pretty much I assume thats how they got ahold of it. The shock and awe wasnt how they found it but that they were watching it. I was so flustered by what was going on when the detective mentioned my email address it never clicked
 

dunover

Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
webmeister
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm3
I like it! Of course I have absolutely no use for such an idea but hey, sounds pretty cool. ;)
I have to know this stuff as I live less than a mile from the world's most advanced snooping operation....:p

Plus I'm a dyed-in-the-wool foil hatter.
 

geordiecolin

Sells powdered water in the Gobi
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm4
The simple answer is to do 'dead drop' e-mails. Give the person you are communicating with the password to an e-mail account that you have, write to them and leave it in 'drafts' and then they read the draft and delete it, it's never transmitted. Unless the govt. have access to the e-mail company's server, it's secure. :thumbsup:
You would have to be incredibly trusting in the person your allowing to access your emails to do that! I even reply to my "love you long time" messages :eek:
 

Steviedoo

Senior Member
MM
Wow. That's scary indeed.

But I'm just wondering ...there is a 20 year old montrealer who went missing in Peru in sept.....apple, t mobile and amazon refuses to give any info to his mother or investigators.....so I am quite surprised ....that this was so easy...
 

DreamRJ

Out of this world!
webmeister
MM
Wow what can I say, Kinda speechless after reading it.

I use live and gmail for my main email providers. I never even knew they would send you an email to let you know your being watched lol. I thought that they can just watch you without anyone even knowing.

Yahoo obviously have a system in place that detects it automatically for security and they automatically send an email out to let you know.

Another reason why the police then probably came to see you at work was because they saw that email yahoo sent. And they then knew you was aware of something was going on. So they probably decided to come see you sooner, rather than later.

But yeah scary and shocking story.

But it also goes to show. Big brother is always watching!!!
 
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