Criminals target out-of-office e-mail

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/13/2003

The out-of-office e-mail many workers use when on vacation could be making their homes a prime target for thieves.

The United Kingdom’s Corporate IT Forum issued a warning after evidence emerged that criminals are able to discover the personal details, and in some cases the home addresses, of staff through cross-referencing the information contained in out-of-office e-mail messages.

Criminals buy lists of e-mail addresses, readily available over the Internet, and send mass mailings with the intention of gaining out-of-office replies. Using online directories, such as Canada411, would-be burglars can cross-reference information contained within the automatic e-mail replies, such as name, telephone number and business address, to find out the personal details and even the home address of the sender.