Use the “BCC” Function on Emails to Protect People’s Email Addresses and Names from Strangers-Truth!



Summary of eRumor:
A warning is issued about sending or forwarding emails to others that have an accumulation of other people’s email addresses on it.  It is suggested that the “BCC” (Blind carbon copy) feature of email programs be used when you want to send an email to a group of people.  This is followed by a lengthy story of a woman who became entangled with a stalker who had connected with her by seeing her screen name on an email.


The Truth:

We don’t know whether the story about the woman and the stalker is real, but the point of this email is a good one.  When you send an email to more than one recipient, it is common to put the additional email addresses in the “CC” (carbon copy) window.  When the email is sent, all of those email addresses and any names associated with them are visible to all the recipients.  For those who don’t want their email addresses to be known, that is a problem.  If the number of additional recipients is very large, it also creates a lot of clutter in the message.   It is better to use the “BCC” (blind carbon copy) feature because even though the email will still be sent to all the recipients, the only name visible at the top of the email will be the person to whom it was addressed.  Although it’s rare for email addresses to attract stalkers, it is common for email addresses to accidentally be passed into the hands of those who the owner of the address would rather not have it.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

I received this from a cyber buddy–am sending it to you–you can make your own decisions.

Dear friends:

Here’s a scary thought. Please read and pass on. It was sent to me by a friend. I hope you will send it to most of your email friends also.

E-Mail Security: What happens when you forward someone else’s e-mail!!

I received this message today from a friend. It really is an important message for me to forward on because I have noticed that many of my friends send me things that they have received from other friends. While it seems easy to just click “forward” and put our friend’s names in the TO: Field of our email program’s address box, it really can be a dangerous thing to do.

The following story illustrates just how dangerous it can be. Please read it. I am placing these instructions before the story so that you will know how to forward your email in the future.

Before you forward this message or any other message to someone, please do the following:

1. REMOVE all email addresses that were forwarded or sent to you on the message. Use the delete key, or the editing functions on your email program after hitting the forward button.

2. DO NOT use the TO field to send the mail on. Use the BCC field. This means “Blind Carbon Copy.” It will list only the name of each individual receiver on the email. NOBODY ELSE’S email address will be shown. To use BCC simply click BCC instead of TO. It works just the same. If you add names from your address book, just add them to the BCC field instead of the TO field. As an added bonus of using this feature, your email message won’t have all those addresses at the beginning. No one will have to scroll through the addresses to get to the message that you have sent. Please take the time to read this. It could prove to be very important.

The following individual asked not to be identified, but she asked that this letter be forwarded to anyone who does not BCC (blind carbon copy) on line … and to spread the word.

Please read this; it is not a joke.

Late one evening, while online, I received an IM internet message) from a gentleman who said he knew me through mutual pals on line. We chatted for an hour or so before deciding to keep in touch, as we had so many things in common, I eventually, after a week or so of knowing him, trusted him with my name (first name) and phone number; after all, he knew my friends and I felt he must have been OK if they all liked and knew him. He knew a lot about them, he knew a lot about me, and he knew a lot about a lot! He seemed like such a nice person, a pleasant person, and someone whom I felt very comfortable sharing my time online (and on the phone) with. One night, a friend from our group of friends invited me to a chat room where several of the friends had gathered and were chatting when this gentleman popped into the chat room. He popped in and then left quickly. Then, for the first time since I met and started chatting with him, I mentioned him to one of the friends who was in the chat room, one whom this gentleman claimed association with. She was in total awe, she did not know who he was! Things were beginning to look really suspicious. The more she and I chatted, the more suspicious it became. It also became apparent that this guy knew none of us. Suddenly, he disappeared off-line for a few days…then one day he pops back in and sends me an IM saying that we need to talk. He called me at my home and I was very upset, so I asked him how he really found me and why he had felt the need to lie in the first place.

THIS IS WHERE YOU ALL NEED TO PAY ATTENTION: He told me that he spotted my screen name on a forward that one of my friends sent to someone else. My screen name is what attracted him. He then used the screen name of others on the list of forwards to acquaint himself with me and various others from our clique of friends. He also used the member directory (at AOL) to look up info about others on the list of forwards, so not to look suspicious. He said he felt it was the only way he would have the chance to get to know me, and the main attraction to me was “My Screen Name” because he thought it was “sexy”! I was upset, needless to say, as I had trusted this man with my personal info … such as phone number and name. He also knew where I lived (thanks to the phone bill) and I was now his prey!

A few days after having last talked to this person and thinking that was the last of him, I received a phone call at 4:00 am, it was this man telling me he was in town to see a friend who lived 20 minutes from my house, and wanted to know if I would like to meet him for coffee or breakfast. When I told him it was not such a good idea, he became irate and hung up on me. I immediately called him back caller ID) and explained to him that my husband was back home (trying to scare him) and please not be so mad (in fear of him and what he might do). Telling him that my husband had returned and we were reconciling was a lie, and I told him to make him think I was not alone! imagine the feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach when he came back with the following response “You’re a lying bitch, your husband is not there with are alone!” I hung up on him and immediately called the County Sheriff’s office and told them what had happened. They sent an officer over to take a report and said that was really all they could do for me at that time. I went to my sister’s home for the night. Fifteen or twenty minutes after I arrived at her home, I received a phone call from this man again! He knew I called the Sheriff and reported him, and he knew where I was and he knew my sister and her husband’s names!! People, let me tell you something, this man had been stalking me for weeks and I had no idea! I walked, ate, slept and breathed in constant fear until he was finally arrested for stalking! Not for stalking me! Nope! For stalking another lady! I wanted to share this with you all. And yes, it is all true.

Friends, when you forward things and you leave your friends names out in plain view like that, you are putting THEM and YOURSELF in what could be grave danger. I hope I have gotten this message across; as I have not even begun to mention his assault (rape, using deadly force) charges the detectives uncovered on him while investigating his prior history!!!

People, please!!! Be safe, be careful and BLIND CARBON COPY (BCC)!!!!!