How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked

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How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked – Beware of the email scam that is circulating this year! I have been attacked three times since January and wanted to share this story – both to help you avoid falling victim to the scam and also to better notify any friends or acquaintances whose email accounts have been hacked.

First, let me beat the drum again: None of these people would have a problem if their email passwords were strong and unique. If you reuse your email password anywhere, or if it’s short and obvious, stop reading it and change it.

How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked

How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked

Your new email password can be at least 13 really random characters (something like iR82dGlQf3 & @ C) or at least 28 characters for common words separated by hyphens (eg a combination of numbers (like dates) and letters (like initials) that make sense to you Whatever you choose needs to be strong and unique, and if you’re not using a password manager you’re wasting time and probably insecure.

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The scam email I received was from someone I know quite indirectly – John is a runner from a nearby town who has attended some of the track meets I have organised. As I assign a start number and announce all the races, his name was so familiar that I was not surprised when I received an email from him – we corresponded once in 2021 about an upcoming track meeting. But after just one conversation earlier, I wasn’t feeling his email style at all, so his first message didn’t set off an alarm in my head.

I responded broadly to the first message – there were various reasons a runner from upstate New York might have contacted me – but those alarm bells went off immediately after receiving the next message.

I saw no reason why a person I barely knew would ask if I had an Amazon account, and besides, who doesn’t at this point? I went into research mode. From the above message, you can’t tell that although the name of the sender has remained the same, the email address has changed from windstream.net to yahoo.com. Along with the strange Amazon account request, I was now pretty sure I was talking to a scammer who was using an email toggle to access his own account in case John blocked it by changing his password. I decided the cheater would keep talking and see what I could learn.

After sending this message, I checked John’s phone number on his last tour date registration and sent him a text. Fortunately, in my opening text I was able to provide enough context for him to know who I was. As expected, he didn’t know anything about what happened and confirmed that the Yahoo account was not his.

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Until now I was wondering what the scam was about, so I still pretended to be skeptical, but still agree. After another message or two, it became clear – the scammer wanted me to buy an Amazon gift card worth $300, which they would reimburse me for later. Yes sure.

During this time, I made sure to only post to my windstream.net account partially to see if the scammer would lose access. At the same time, I ran a text back channel with John, who said he didn’t see any of these messages in his Outbox or messages from me in his inbox, suggesting that the scammer somehow immediately deletes them to cover his tracks. . I assume John changed his password, but if he did then it clearly didn’t throw out the scammer because I kept getting replies to messages I sent to windstream.net.

I had little hope that Yahoo would be interested in shutting down both the scammer’s address and the address they wanted me to use for an Amazon gift card. But no, my attempt to notify [email address protected] failed. Later I tried to contact Yahoo via the Recommended Web Form after I mentioned the issue in “Yahoo Supported POP Connection Formatting Error” (26/2022) but the same failed.

How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked

By then I exchanged a few more messages with the scammer to continue the conversation, but they eventually gave up on me. I never heard from that message again.

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I did not immediately start writing this story, and quickly forgot about it. But a month later it happened again! Vern isn’t someone I’ve ever emailed, but he runs a great U-Pick berry farm in my hometown nearby, and I left my email address in his guestbook when I last picked blueberries there. Fortunately I had the opportunity to contact him – my father used to be a postman and still knows most of the people in town. Dad was able to call him and inform him of the problem, and Vern changed his password and alerted all his email contacts not to respond to the scam messages. Funnily enough, this time Verna’s real email address was on Yahoo and the scammer tried to redirect replies to a fake Outlook account.

Two months later, the scam reappeared in my email and the scammer was stalking an elderly runner in the area. In this case, I was talking about Tom with another friend who regularly worked with him just the day before, so I recruited my friend to get Tom to change his password.

Suppose you receive one of these messages. They’re so weirdly generic that you’ll immediately realize it’s a scam if they’re from someone you know well. Or, as in my second example, you will know the person so little that the deception would only be obvious because the stranger would never ask such questions. A measure of awkwardness occurs when the message resembles my first and third examples, where I knew people well enough that I wasn’t surprised when I received an email from them, but not well enough to be sure the message was fake.

However, if you’re not sure, there’s no harm in answering – just don’t get caught! If you notice that your reply (or any subsequent reply) goes to an address other than the one it originally came from, another indication that you are in the process of being scammed. Once you realize what’s going on, here’s what I recommend doing…and what not:

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To help alert victims, here’s an example of a message you can text or use as a script when talking to them:

It looks like your email account has been hacked and used to send fake emails to contacts like me. I encourage you to change your email password immediately, it will keep your new password strong and unique, preferably using a password management app. It would also be wise to notify your contacts to ignore the fraudulent message and encourage them to make sure their own passwords are secure.

Finally, if you have friends who are not internet savvy, please share these stories so they have a better chance of avoiding being scammed or having their accounts compromised.

How To Tell If Email Has Been Hacked

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Cookies and Privacy: We wish we could talk about chocolate cookies here, but our site – like almost all others – relies on some smaller digital cookies. Various laws around the world require us to report this fact, so consider yourself informed, if not fed. By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of these cookies. Information about cookies and privacy policy. Think your email account might have been hacked? Most of us use email so often and from so many machines that it can be hacked at some point. But don’t panic. Even if the breach of privacy is extremely worrying, it is possible to limit the damage and prevent future hacking attempts. Here are some simple tips to help you regain control of your email account and minimize future data theft risks.

Often, changing your password is the first thing hackers do when they manage to get into your email account. This is how they try to prevent you from logging in.

If your password has not been changed, you can still receive emails as usual. You may then receive emails from your relatives letting them know that they have received spam or unusual messages from you (advertisements, messages expressed in a way that is not like you, or any strange messages that you have never sent them).

Noticing some emails you never sent in your Sent folder is another good indication that your email account is compromised.

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Hackers sometimes try to change your account password on certain websites to prevent them from being used. In this case, these parties will notify you of the password change by sending a confirmation. If you receive such messages even though you never requested those changes, it means that you have been hacked, most likely through your email account.

It’s always a good idea to check your call history regularly. Is there a connection to the IP address?

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