My real name seems to be very common in the US. I am UK based.

I quite often get private emails not intended for me to my personal gmail account. They're not spam or phishing attempts. These have included a draft divorce settlement, a police report, sea cadet timetables, bill invoices, a job offer, to name but a few. They're not all for the same person either.

This evening I received some US person's "Trustee's Final Report filed by the Chapter 13 Trustee" from their bankruptcy lawyer. I have not read it. The law firm checks out on Google.

The legal blurb at the bottom of the email says I must notify the sender if I received it in error. Must I? Am I risking a headache if I follow the command; or should I delete the email and pretend it never happened? I'm in the UK which still falls under GDPR rules; do I have obligations under that?

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    Watching this question because I'm very interested in the outcome - I have had my firstnamelastname@gmail.com since Gmail first started, and pretty much 90% of the mail I get is for other "me's". I currently ignore it all and bin it, but I get some ... "juicy" stuff on a regular basis (most recently a confidential internal investigation in a UK political party about a politicians conduct for example), but I stopped notifying senders back around 2006 because the volume is too high and too few senders cared.
    – user28517
    Aug 15, 2020 at 5:39
  • @Greendrake: In particular, this answer as the UK is a Common Law country.
    – MSalters
    Aug 18, 2020 at 15:12

1 Answer 1



Email disclaimers and other footers presently have no legal authority in the United Kingdom. You have no obligation to notify the sender under GDPR or the Data Protection Act 2018.

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