Who the hell is Russell Brown?

A few years ago I noticed I’d gotten email for Russell Brown at my email address. I figured it was just regular junk; I get more than enough misaddressed spam.

But mail for Russell Brown (always addressed to RUSSELL BROWN in block caps) kept arriving, and I realized that it was all from travel companies. Again, if you’ve gotten added to a particular spam list you’ll soon be added to related ones.

But these were from reputable companies. Holiday Inns. Princess Cruises. La Quinta. Not generally spammers. It seemed that Russell Brown (uh, I mean RUSSELL BROWN) was using my email address to subscribe to newsletters and such. Which I didn’t understand. There’s a Brown in my name, but there’s no Brown in my email address, so it’s hard to see how he could claim to have accidentally used Iain Brown’s email.

More recently I’ve started receiving booking confirmations. RUSSELL BROWN is still using my email address for travel, but it isn’t just subscribing to websites now, it’s making reservations. And the way he consistently uses my email address convinces me that it’s deliberate.

It’s not generally easy to register at a website with someone else’s email address. Unless you can log in to the mail account you can’t get confirmation numbers. Either none of these sites required confirmation, or he created the account using one address and then logged in and switched it later. Or maybe he’s selecting hotel companies based on whether he needs to provide a working email address.

Maybe he doesn’t have an address. He can figure out how to create an account and make an online reservation, but he doesn’t understand Yahoo, Hotmail or Google. That might account for the all-caps name.

Or else he doesn’t want his travel details known. Maybe Mrs. RUSSELL BROWN isn’t supposed to know about these overnighters at La Quinta.

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