AARP - AARP may have leaked members email addresses and do not seem to care

Posted on Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 4:31pm CST by 2bf332de

Product: AARP

Company: AARP

Location: 601 E Street, NW
DC, 20049, US

URL: www.AARP.org

Category: Other

AARP has been completely unresponsive to my questions about why I am suddenly receiving spam not related to AARP to two email addresses that only AARP know about.

Yes, I know this may be difficult to understand at first so let me try to explain simply and clearly. I will skip over and modify some unimportant details to make it easy to understand.

The bottom line is this... AARP may have let the email addresses of AARP members fall into the hands of spammers. And they don't seem to care at all.

I'm not even talking about spam for cheap printer ink and dating sites and I certainly not talking about all the email that clearly comes from AARP. I'm talking about make money at home schemes, low prices on medicine and one for meeting Russian women... Just the things AARP members would be most interested in (well, maybe not that last one) and most likely to fall for. Many look like they are hosted on a FoxNews site complete with testimonials but ALL take you to Russian websites... even the ones that say they are from USFinance Daily.

This may be happening to hundreds or thousands of AARP members who trusted AARP with their email address. The problem is, when the average person receives these emails, they do not know where the spammers got their address since it comes to [email protected] just like ALL your emails do. (The FROM addresses are, of course, fake.) The difference here is that I create a different email address for each company I deal with. I tell Target to email me at (made up examples) [email protected], Sears to email me at [email protected] and AARP to email me at [email protected] SO... if I get Russian spam emailed to [email protected], I KNOW where they got their hands on that address since I gave it to AARP and NOBODY else and don't use it myself in any way.

This makes for a difficult situation since AARP will NOT get complaints from other member because those members will not know where the spammers got their address. It also makes it difficult for me to prove my address leaked through AARP. I realize this. I also know I have TWO unique addresses I have given only to AARP and BOTH are getting the same spam. No other special addresses I have used (and there are many) have been spammed. Just the AARP ones.

Before you roll your eyes and think you know many ways to explain this, you have to do at least two things. The first is make sure you have all the facts which I do and you do not. The second is to go to a well known University and obtain your Masters Degree in Computers which, again, I have done and you probably have not. Most people to whom I try to explain this situation don't understand without me explaining it numerous times until they do. Most of them are AARP reps.

Where is this leading? If I'm right, either AARP got hacked, sold addresses, lost a PC with addresses on it, an employee was bribed, a third party company with whom they share addresses, if any, may have been the source and other possibilities. It may also NOT have come from AARP but I don't see how. No matter what, you'd think they would take an interest in my story and check things out just to be on the safe side. Heck, if my company received a call like this, I'd have a good IT person call back and ask some detailed questions to see if we were dealing with a crackpot or someone who seemed to know what they were talking about. But no. Nothing. Not a single call and yes, I even left a message at their Executive Headquarters. And think about it... if they were hacked, what else might the hackers have done to their system? The chances are not great, but don't you think a large organization like AARP would want to look into the possibility? As far as I know, they have not.

Many companies have been hacked. Target, Neiman Marcus and many more you will never know about. These companies do not know until, well, until enough red flags pop up and they figure it out. There is always a first person to raise the alarm and, like I pointed out in this case, not many people are in the position I am that can tell who leaked my address. (As clear as I have made this, you wouldn't believe how many times AARP reps brush me off by saying "Well, we haven't gotten any OTHER calls or complaints about this" even after I have explained to them why they wouldn't.)

So there is the possibility I am correct and the certainty that I was told numerous times I would be called back. It has been several weeks and I've gotten zero calls. I was finally transferred (quite rudely) to a manager of Customer Services who sounded interested in looking into things, but I don't expect it to go anywhere.

This is not the first time I had an issue with AARP and spent hours explaining and being promised call backs and receiving none. Heck, their system will not even permit me to change my email address. There is a bug in the system that I've been pointing out but doubt that will be fixed, either.

What a horrible, horrible way to run an organization.


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