Mystery "followers"
Thread poster: neilmac

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 11, 2015

This morning I found an e-mail in my inbox with the subject heading "(username) @university servername... wants to follow you"

The username is not familiar to me, but I do collaborate with a few departments in the University mentioned. However, I'm not a Twitter user and I think this "following" people or events or whatever is mainly twitter speak. Can anyone tell me if this is normal - I mean e-mail requests asking for permission to "follow" you on twitter, rather than through the twitter medium per se ( which I am not interested in myself). Or is this "following" thing not confined to twitter? I personally find it a bit creepy...


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Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:22
Member (2014)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Twitter Mar 11, 2015

I don't know about Twitter, but LinkedIn has an option where you can send out LI invitations to your email contact list. If they are not on LI, the request will be sent by email. My partner actually did this by accident and LI ended up sending repeated emails to his extensive list of email contacts, which he found very embarrassing.

Maybe something like that has caused this?


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Spam Mar 11, 2015

Hi Neil,

did that "follower" address you by your real name? Probably not.

I get these "follower" requests quite often, even though I stay clear of Twitter. This seems to be a spam rather than anything else. Someone must have sold your email address. This is what happened to me, as I discovered, when a female (if she really is one) contacted me repeatedly with "offers" more fit for men. Just send it to File 13 and move on.


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Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Google + gmail scams are the same Mar 11, 2015

Hi Neil,

I get this "follow-thing" also directly in my mail sometimes. As it seems that it is from one person I know, I try to open it and immediately my computer warns me - a threat/malware was blocked, bla,bla. So it really seems that either e-mails are sold or e-mail accounts hacked, and the resultant e-mail is a scam... Personally I won't open any "...wants to follow you..." e-mails any more...

Best regards,

Agnes


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Danik 2014
Brazil
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Answerer tracking Mar 11, 2015

At Proz you have the option to track an answerer but you have to ask his/her leave first. Maybe some of those peers(if they really are peers) mean "tracking" you as answerer when they use the twitter term "follow".

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Carolina Padilla
United States
Local time: 18:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Spam Mar 11, 2015

It sounds like spam.
Twitter users do not have to ask permission to follow you unless your account is private. But if you have not a Twitter account, then twitter won't send you messages.
With LI, you would get an email saying that a certain person wants to contact with you. To avoid malware, just open the LI website instead of opening any links on the email.

In general I wouldn´t open any link in an email, but if I think it may be a genuine request to follow you or contact you, go to the website directly and check it out there.
If you do not have an account in the site that is sending you emails, then is a scam.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the feedback Mar 12, 2015

Your comments have reassured me to some extent. At least now I know it's not just me being paranoid!
I do have contacts in the University in question and the mail appeared to come from their own server (@universityname.com), but I don't recognise the user name (which I still call "handle", probably as a hangover from CB radio days).
When I have a but more time to spare, I might ask some of my contacts if they know who this person may be.


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SandraGenJobs
United States
Mystery "followers" Mar 31, 2015

Not only does it sound like a spam, it can also be a malware or a virus that can harm your computer. I suggest you delete the email.

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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
E-mail them Mar 31, 2015

If (unlike neilmac) you recognize the person's name, instead of opening the e-mail, you can call or write the person and ask if the letter is really from them. There is the chance that it might hurt the feelings of a well-meaning potential friend if you just heartlessly hit "Delete."

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