Two things are pretty much universal about humans: we all hate spam emails (ok – maybe with a couple of exceptions), and we all love a good revenge story.
So what would you do if you got the chance to deal payback to the person signing you up to junk mail lists?
Canadian Redditor u/F3nman had been receiving spam for years thanks to a stranger in Nebraska giving out his email address to companies. But, when his e-impersonator upgraded their truck, F3nman saw a chance to get his own back.
The Nebraskan no-goodnik's new vehicle came with a satellite radio service that required an email address – of course, they gave the Canadian counterpart's. But it turns out they really should have read the small print - because this radio service also gave the "owner" the ability to track the truck using GPS, lock and unlock it, start and stop the engine, and even beep the horn and panic button.
Using his email to log in, F3nman ordered a vehicle health report, lock the doors, start the engine, turn on the lights and beep the horn. And to really get the message across, he gave the account a pointed label: "stop using my email."
He also changed the vehicle settings to the metric system – a particularly brutal piece of vengeance against somebody from the only industrialized nation to still use imperial measurements.
The story, which has received around 100,000 upvotes, prompted other users to suggest variations on the plan.
Although luckily people pointed out a fatal flaw in one of the more popular proposals.
Other users shared their own stories of their details being erroneously given away – and how they got their own revenge.
Another user described how his attempts to contact the person using his email address during a house purchase led to a dramatic discovery: "I replied to all to let them know they had the wrong email address," they wrote, telling the person who replied, "Please do get them to stop, I get quite a lot of emails from where they've used it, and it's getting annoying getting emails from dating sites and worrying what my wife will think if she sees them."
"I then got a reply," the user continued. "'I'm his wife, I'll deal with it'. Whoops!"
With annoying or malicious spam messages accounting for more than half of all email, it's no surprise that people want to avoid receiving it – and no surprise people are annoyed when they're signed up for it against their will. But there's an obvious way to keep your inbox clean without making a stranger thirst for vengeance, as one level-headed Redditor pointed out:
For another tale of technological vigilante justice, click here to see what happened when some phone scammers picked the wrong person to target with a fake IRS hustle.