Once upon a time, there was a senior citizen in one of the Southeastern United States who was apparently confused about what her email address was. Because I have no desire to cause this lady the slightest inconvenience, I will call her "Nadine", which is not her real name. I'm also going to change her surname to "Smith", which is likewise false. (NOTE: Because I have no desire to avoid inconveniencing any of the other players in this tale, hers is the only identity that has been altered in any way.)
On or about the second day of March in the year 2000, Nadine visited a web site belonging to an outfit called delivere.com. While there she apparently entered a sweepstakes, gave delivere.com some personal information and (I presume) agreed to receive email advertisements from various parties from time to time. The email address she gave them consisted of her first name and the domain honet.com. What the actual email address should have been is something about which I can only speculate.
To confirm (to Nadine) that she had signed up, delivere.com sent a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. (This was the First Big Mistake: the message should have asked the real owner of "email@example.com" to confirm that the sign-up was genuine.)
A semi-automated process at honet.com noticed the message and sent a "No such user" message to the appropriate addresses (at least one of which was bogus). Normally, that is all it takes to stop any further traffic.
Such was not to be the case here, however.
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