Chase Bank’s Email Security

For a few months I’ve been getting emails from Chase, which appears to be a financial establishment of some kind. These emails are addressed to a ‘Barbra Harrison’, who is not me. These are coming to my Gmail address – a fairly common occurrence, as many people mistakenly think they own my Gmail address.

People not knowing their email address – or simply mistyping it by accident – is a ridiculously common occurrence. In fact, I was working on how to mitigate it on AusGamers just before writing this. It seems a little scary though that people would screw up their actual email address in anything related to their bank or financial institutions.

But what’s worse is the emails don’t provide me with a clear way to notify the bank that they’re coming to the wrong place. I’ve tried replying to them a few times (despite the notice saying they won’t read them – sometimes they do). I’ve tried navigating their website, but it’s a maze and the only way I can seem to do it easily is to either log in with the account details of Barbra (which I might be able to retrieve as I am in control of the email address she submitted for her online account!), or call them.

I was a little amused when I got this email from them today:


I decided to spend a bit more time reading the email to see what my options are. I can unsubscribe from mailouts – which I don’t want to do, because my email address might still be attached to Barbra’s account, which is not great for anyone. I can report it as fraud, which I don’t want to do because it’s not really appropriate.

The FAQs have one useful question: “I don’t have an account with Chase, but I’m getting e-mail about my Chase account. How does that happen?” The answer to that, however, assumes that I’m the victim of a phishing attempt. I’m confident that is not the case here.

They have an email address for other inquiries – emailquestion at I always feel like mailing addresses like this is a total waste of time, but I’ll give it a go – for Barbra.

Update: bounces:The original message was received at Tue, 4 Aug 2009 20:44:45 -0400 (EDT)
from []

—– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–
(reason: 550 5.2.0 /var/mail/t000900: irregular file)</>

They sure make it hard.

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