Help, I’ve Been Spoofed!

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It’s been a frustrating six months for me (and for everyone in my address book) as I have tried to deal with the fallout of my contacts being hacked by an unknown, evil third party.

Waves of spam messages have continued to go out with alarming regularity to my family, friends, colleagues, clients, professional contacts…basically anyone I have ever e-mailed. I then receive a flurry of calls asking if I sent the e-mail, telling me to change my password, asking me to remove them from my mailing list…but unfortunately once the evil hackers have your address book, there is little that can be done. I am left with no alternative but to change my e-mail address, so please read on.

This didn’t happen because I opened an infected e-mail attachment. I moved my website from one host to another last summer, and shortly thereafter the hosting company’s servers were hacked (as a side note, the company is Bluehost and I would not recommend that you use them – their customer service when I called was abysmal). A company in Japan dumped a large quantity of images and folders into my FTP account, and it took a great deal of time and effort to have a professional assist in clearing it out. My password was made even harder to hack, my plugins were removed/updated, and my site was secured thanks to the help of my friend and client Michelle Walker, but the damage was already done.

My hope was that it would die down over time, but that has not been the case. At this time I must change my e-mail address, and ask that people blacklist my previous one. This is a very disappointing situation for me, as I value my clients’ privacy and would never want anyone to think I was reckless with their contact information.

It is also disappointing to have to incur the costs of changing my business cards, my promotional materials, and spend time updating my information with hundreds of websites, companies, and clients. However, I’m trying to look on the bright side and be happy that my new address ties in with my Twitter and Instagram handles, where I am @RealtorJody!

Please update your address books to reflect my new e-mail address, realtorjody@royallepage.ca. My old address will continue to work for some time to ensure I don’t miss any client messages, but please place “jmcdonnell@royallepage.ca” onto your computer’s blacklist. This will ensure that future spam messages from that account do not reach your inbox.

If you are using a Mac, here is how you blacklist a sender.

If you are using a PC with Outlook, here is how you blacklist a sender.

Other mail systems (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) can be blocked by using instructions here.

I really apologize for the inconvenience and interruptions this situation has caused everyone, and hope that 2016 finally sees the end of it.

Thank you for your understanding.

RealtorJody

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