My Email Has Been Hacked What Should I Do

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This article was co-authored by Luigi Oppido. Luigi Oppido is the owner and operator of Pleasure Point Computers in Santa Cruz, California. Luigi has over 25 years of experience in general computer repair, data recovery, virus removal and upgrades. He is also the host of the show Computer Man! Broadcast for over two years on KSQD covering Central California.

My Email Has Been Hacked What Should I Do

My Email Has Been Hacked What Should I Do

Email privacy is a growing issue every day. Email addresses are used to access all kinds of sites, especially those that store personal information such as credit card information, personal addresses, and phone numbers. Because of this, it is important to make sure that you are the only person with access to your personal account.

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This article was co-authored by Luigi Oppido. Luigi Oppido is the owner and operator of Pleasure Point Computers in Santa Cruz, California. Luigi has over 25 years of experience in general computer repair, data recovery, virus removal and upgrades. He is also the host of the show Computer Man! Broadcast for over two years on KSQD covering Central California. This article has been viewed 137,059 times. Beware of the email scams that are making the rounds this year! I’ve been targeted three times since January, and I wanted to share the story — so you don’t fall victim to a scam, and better warn your friends and acquaintances whose email accounts have been hacked.

First, let me beat the drum one more time: if their email passwords were strong and unique, none of these people would be in trouble. If you reuse your email password everywhere, or if it’s short and obvious, stop reading now and change it.

A new email password can be at least 13 truly random characters (eg iR82dGlQf3&@C) or common words with at least 28 characters separated by dashes (eg classic on the right battery), or it can be created using some passwords. code. A combination of numbers (such as dates) and letters (such as capital letters) that are meaningful to you. Whatever you choose, it should be strong and unique. And if you don’t use a password manager, you’re wasting your time and insecure.

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I received an email about cheating from John, a runner from a nearby town who had participated in some of the tracks I had organized. I gave out bib numbers and posted all the races so I knew his name so I wasn’t surprised to get an email from him – we had already corresponded once about the 2021 track meet. But in just one preliminary conversation, I didn’t understand his email style, so his first email didn’t raise any alarm bells in my head.

I responded generically to the first message—there were all sorts of reasons why a runner from the New York suburbs would have contacted me—but when the next message came, those calls immediately died down.

I couldn’t see any reason why someone I barely knew would ask if they had an Amazon account, and besides, who doesn’t now? I went into investigative mode. What you can’t tell from the message above is that the email address has changed from windstream.net to yahoo.com, although the sender’s name remains the same. Adding to the weird Amazon account question, if John changes his password and locks them out, I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with a scammer who is switching emails to get me into his account. I decided to talk to the scammer and see what I could learn.

My Email Has Been Hacked What Should I Do

After sending that message, I looked up John’s phone number in his last date log and texted him. Fortunately, I was able to provide enough context in my original text for her to know who I was. As I expected, he had no idea what was going on and confirmed that the Yahoo account was not his.

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Now I was curious as to what the scam would be like so I looked skeptical but went along with it all. After a couple more messages, it turned out that the scammer wanted me to buy a $300 Amazon gift card for which he would refund my money later. Yes, that’s right.

In all of this, I decided to send only a partial windstream.net account to see if the scammer could gain access. I checked the text feed with John at the same time and he said he didn’t see any of these messages in his Outbox or messages from me in his Inbox. I think John changed his password, but if so, it doesn’t seem to have kicked out the scammer because I kept getting replies to my messages to windstream.net.

I didn’t expect Yahoo to be interested in removing a scammer’s address or an address that Amazon wants to use for a gift card. But no, my attempt to notify [email protected] failed. After reporting the issue under “Yahoo-supported POP connections cause formatting error” (Jan 26, 2022), I tried to contact Yahoo via the provided web form, but that was also unsuccessful.

By this time, I exchanged a few more messages with the scammer to continue the conversation, but eventually they dropped me. I never heard back from this post.

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I did not have time to write down this story and quickly forgot it. But a month later it happened again! Vern isn’t someone I’ve ever emailed with, but he runs a great U-Pick blueberry farm near my hometown, and I left my email address in his guestbook the last time I picked berries. Fortunately, I had to contact him – my father used to be a mail carrier and he still knows most of the people in town. Dad was able to call him and tell him about the problem, and Vern changed his password and warned all email contacts not to respond to scam messages. Interestingly, this time Vern’s real email address was at Yahoo and the scammer tried to redirect the replies to a fake Outlook account.

Two months later, the scam hit my email again, targeting an elderly jogger in the area. At this point, I had talked about Tom with another friend of mine who works with him on a regular basis 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 incredibly common that if they come from someone you know well, you’ll know right away that it’s a scam. Or, as in my second example, you know the person so little, and the deception is obvious, because a stranger would never ask such questions. If the message is similar to my first and third examples, then since I know the people well, I would not be surprised to receive an email from them, but there is an awkward environment because I am convinced that the message is fake. .

My Email Has Been Hacked What Should I Do

Even so, if you’re not sure, there’s no harm in answering – just don’t pump! If you notice that your reply (or the next one) is going to a different address than the one it came from, that’s another sign that you’re in the middle of a conflict. Once you understand what’s going on, here’s what I recommend… and what not to do:

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To make it easier to report victims, you can text them or use them as a script when you talk to them:

It looks like your email account has been compromised and used to send fraudulent messages to contacts like mine. I recommend that you change your email password immediately, make your new password strong and unique, and use a password manager app. It would also be a good idea to remind contacts to beware of scams and to make sure their passwords are secure.

Finally, if you have friends who aren’t internet savvy, share these stories so they don’t have a better chance of getting scammed or having their accounts hacked.

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