How do they know me?

YOURLifeChoices subscriber, Colin, was surprised when he received an email identifying his local MP, but he had never provided this information online. How do spammers know this information?

Q. Colin

I am used to receiving the normal junk and spam emails from various email addresses and add them to my blocked senders list on a regular basis. Today I was sent an email that was not addressed to my name, so I assume the sender did not know who I was, but identified me by my local MP. I am quite tech savvy but this has me baffled as I have not provided this information before.


A. Hi Colin, Drew here,

There are a number of different ways the email sender could have identified your local MP, but I will admit these are a bit of a guess.

The first way this can be done is via IP address. This can be located a number of different ways. The first is that you could have visited a website which you entered your email address into but did not provide your name. They automatically pick up your visiting IP Address, which contains the local area of where you are living (The exchange your computer connects to in your area) which could be used to create a script that enters the name of the local parliamentarian to attract you to reading their email.

The second way is a long shot. The email could contain an image which is set up with a special script which identifies your IP address when you open the email and fills in the blank spot like loading an image from an outside server, but this time instead of being an image, sends the IP address to their server and then fills in the blanks from that information.

The final and most likely way is that you entered your details into a website and this has resulted in your email address and postcode being added to a spam email list. Obviously your postcode is associated with a local MP for the area and could have resulted in the email you received.

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