Oh, no! How to recover your hijacked email account.

Oh no!

On January 17th, I dragged myself from my nice warm bed, tottered into the kitchen in search of that necessary cup of coffee, and as is my habit, turned on my computer to review my emails.

These days, I have a fairly busy inbox. Not only is my novel, This Bird Flew Away scheduled for release on the 27th which requires a fair bit of correspondence, I’m doing my own promotion, and that’s become very demanding. I also have a family and friends who keep in touch. I edit for new writers and there’s lots of back and forth there. I've developed an email routine over the years.

First thing, I like to read the new hubs by my Hub-friends here on Hubpages. It’s a great way to wake up, a relaxing pleasure. So, emails from the Hubpages editor get first priority. Then family and friends. Anything to do with my book is next, and last but not least, correspondence with those writers I work with. Finally, the chore of deleting the trash that gets past my spam filter.

Did I mention I’m not a morning person? Getting into gear is a long slow process.

But this morning, I awoke with a shock.

User name and/or password incorrect.

Now what? My still foggy brain stalled for a moment, trying to comprehend.

I tried again. Same result. I hadn’t made an input error.

Like tens of thousands of other unsuspecting people of that morning alone, my email account had been hijacked. But I didn’t know it – yet.

No, it wasn’t for another hour and a half that fact became evident. Not until after I’d gone through the lengthy process of regaining access to the account. Not easy.

Google states they take your privacy and security very seriously, and to prove it, they’ve instituted a sort of merry-go-round guaranteed to have you gnashing your teeth.

Necessary, I suppose, but still annoying, like so many of those other things done for our own good.

Step One -- regaining access to your email account

First you need to reset your email password. I use Google's Gmail, so I went to their 'Please-help-me; I'm-such-a-nimrod-I-forgot-my-password-to-my-email-account' site.

Now, remember you can't access your emails, so you have to have another email address where they can send you an email containing the link where you can change your password.Luckily I do have another email account. If you don't, now would be a good time to open one.

So you click the 'I no longer have access to this' button.

Now here's where it gets kind of interesting, or infuriating depending on your mood. Mine was full-fledged panic mode.

Infuriating.

You see, when you set up your account you gave them a secret question with an equally secret answer. Even providing you can remember the answer, you have to let 24 hours pass by before you can access you secret question. Uh-huh.

Twenty four hours without email was simply not an option for me. Twenty four minutes was tough considering how much I had on the go that day. (It was the day I was scheduled to do a blog-radio interview, for one thing.)

So I used the option, enter several email addresses of correspondents I contact often.

Oh-oh! Another problem. Gmail keeps track of the 1300 or so contacts for me. All I do is type in a first name, and I'm given a list of options from which I click on the one I seek. Trying to remember one or two, even those closest to me taxed my aging memory to the limit. But I managed to come up with a couple.

Enough to satisfy Google at least. About thirty minutes later I received the following email in my back-up account in-box.

Success. Hurrah!

I clicked on the link.

The link took me to this page. Easy. Put in the new password. I decided not to worry about security at this stage. Once I found out what was wrong, I'd change it again.

My heart rate returned to normal, though by now fifteen cups of coffee kept my nerves humming. I could hardly wait to get in to my mail. My in-box would be overflowing by this time.

It wasn't.

The damage was done

I had no mail at all in my in-box. All of it, my 53 pages of history, anything that came in since the hijacking -- everything was gone.

My entire contacts file was gone. Every name and email address with whom I'd had correspondence for the past two years had been wiped out.

The page was a clean and clear as a new-born account.

I freaked. Yes, sir. I lost it.

Now's a good time to tell you I'm not very proficient in computers, software, technology of any sort. Like my car -- I put in the key and it works. Don't ask me how. I can put in gas, check oil and refill my windshield washer fluid. I'm the same with computers. Hopeless and pathetically helpless.

Google doesn't provide live assistance to Gmail users, but there is a forum where you can post your problem and eventually, someone may answer you. Here's the link if you're not in a hurry: Google help forum.

I was in a hurry, so I went to one of those "Experts on Line Now" sites, marked my problem as urgent, and received a bill for $48 upfront. All things considered, I decided it would be worth it.

It was.

Philip, who seemed like a nice sort by our correspondence, walked me through exactly what I needed to do, step by step. He was exceedingly patient, especially considering my level of ineptitude.

I'm offering his instructions here to save others the grief and $48.

For those who don't want to read through these instructions until you need them. Go down to the last section and enjoy the consequences of this hijacking. Yes, I can laugh -- now.


What to do to recover and resecure your emails

Scroll to the bottom of your Gmail page and see if there are any other sessions signed into your account. ("This account is open in 1 other location"). Then click the word "Details" where it says "Last account activity" and then "Sign out all other sessions".

The click on 'details' will get you a report like this one.

And look! There are the bastards!

Click on 'sign out all other sessions.' This will get rid of whoever was there who might still be in, watching you as you flounder around trying to clean up the mess they made.

Next, go into your Gmail account settings and check all the following items and verify that they are set correctly.

Account Security

  • Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Google Account Settings -> Change Password [pick a new secure password]
  • Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Google Account Settings -> Change Password Recovery Options [verify secret question and recovery e-mail address]
  • Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Google Account Settings -> Email Address Edit [verify your name and other settings]
  • Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Google Account Settings -> Change authorized websites [Revoke Access to any sites listed]

Potential Spam

  • Settings -> General -> Signature [make sure nothing as been added]
  • Settings -> General -> Vacation Responder [make sure it's disabled and empty]

E-mail Theft

  • Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP -> POP Download [disable it]
  • Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP -> IMAP Access [disable it]
  • Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP -> Forwarding [disable or correct address]***
  • Settings -> Filters [no filters that forward or delete e-mail]
  • Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Send Mail As [make sure it is using your correct e-mail address, delete any unrecognized entries]

What will this do?

In my case, none of my recent mail was reaching my in-box. I found it all in trash and spam. When under Philip's tutelage I checked out "Forwarding" I found my email was being sent directly to another account, very similar to my own account name but with one letter changed, an 'N' where and 'M' should be. It told Gmail to forward my mail to this account and to delete Gmail's copy, which meant every email that had come in had been sent to this new account and a copy sat in trash. Very sneaky. In fact, I had to really study the change to see it.

So even if, like me, you know nothing about how these things work, check all of these settings very, very carefully. Best would be to take everything out, disable all settings and then re-do them.

Contacts

My entire contacts file had been downloaded, and my contact file was empty. This would have paralyzed me at a very busy time.

But Philip had the answer. To recover:

  • Click on the contacts option on the left side bar.
  • Select other actions.
  • Choose restore contacts. (You will be given the option of one day ago to thirty days ago. Beyond that, you're out of luck.)

What they did with this

Perhaps you, like me, are now asking yourself but why, why would they do this. What a good question.

The answer became apparent as soon as I got access to my emails, around three and a half hours into my day. Every single contact in my file received the following message:

"I know this might be a surprise to you but I am sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling to Scotland for a Seminar.

I need a favor from you as I've misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money,and other valuable things were kept and

I will like you to assist me with an urgent loan of $2,500 U.S Dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.

I will appreciate whatever you can afford to help me with and I promise to pay you back as soon as I return home.

love
lynda
--
Lynda M Martin
author of This Bird Flew Away"

Now, I still don't get this. There are no instructions to send money, no emergency contact number or address, no way for anyone to do anything except send an email back. Which many of you did (thanks.)

Any possible benefit would only accrue if they managed to keep control of my email account long enough to enter into correspondence with someone, without me finding out about it. If there's a moral here it's check your email account regularly. Move with all speed if something is wrong.

But the very sloppiness of the whole think reeks of amateurism. It smacks of someone making mischief just for the twisted pleasure of creating trouble in a stranger's life.

After all, if I was going to Scotland (my birth place and where I have relatives I can turn to if desperate) trust me, I'd probably write about it and you'd all know. And wouldn't I be unlikely to leave a few days before my book is released? Nor am I the kind of person who'd ask relative strangers to send me money -- in case the situation every comes up again.

But to those of you who did react with best wishes, regrets you weren't able to help, who tried every avenue to contact me, even as to setting up a thread here on Hubpages, thank you. It's nice to know so many cared.

The consequences

This has been a grave injury to my business, to my reputation and my pride.

Every contact got this message, including agents who had rejected me, publishers I'd been in correspondence with, and even a Senator and his wife who I'd met at a Christmas party. The Senator was very involved in combating child abuse and had sent me contacts in the government to help with my research. Ye Gods, even the government got a copy of this!

It took me two days to contact everyone. I first, sent out a blanket email to everyone explaining the situation:

"Any email from me requesting a loan is spam and a fraud. I am not in Scotland. I am not broke. I am fine, safe and sound at home where I've been all the time. Lynda"

But we all know what happens to blanket emails. They go to Spam. So I've literally had to write to hundreds of people individually and tell them the whole saga.

Worst of all, all my emails dated before January 17 are now lost irrevocably. There are people who wrote to me wanting editing, people I was editing, people who wrote to me for help in dealing with sexual abuse issues, people who wrote wanting interviews or to highlight my book and the list goes on and on.

All I can say is here's the situation. If you have anything outstanding with me, please contact me.

I hope none of you ever go through this, but if it does happen, I'm happy to share with you all I've learned.

More by this Author


Comments 56 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Oh my, Lynda. When I saw that email I knew immediately it was SPAM and if they had hijacked your account I wouldn't be able to contact you via email. I never imagined that you would send out such a desperate plea for money. What I know of you and your integrity defies such an act. But, like you, I couldn't find the pitch or how they could possibly obtain the funds without any contact info on where to send money. There could be no other purpose than to create havoc with your flow. So sorry this happened to you and thanks for the great steps shared to prevent this for others.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks Peg. You're right. It couldn't have been from me. I write much better than that. I don't know that you can completely prevent it, but you can recover somewhat. Lynda


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

What a distressing and disgusting experience, Lynda. Happy you were able to overcome someone's despicable mischief.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Yes, drbj, but it has cost me dearly. All my history is lost, and that leaves a lot of business unattended. Once again, I repeat if I have editing work, or anything else unattended, please resend. Okay, I know you are not among them, but it preys on my mind. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


UlrikeGrace profile image

UlrikeGrace 5 years ago from Canada

Thanks for letting us know the rest of the story...I thought right away this is not something Lynda would do...and sent you something via HubPages...I'm glad you were able to retrieve what you did and hopefully all your other contacts will get in touch with you. Sorry this had to happen to you right at this time...however it is never a good time for this kind of thing...but when you are in the middle of a new release...*grrrr* blessings to you Ulrike Grace


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Lynda,

I, myself, have been struggling with this - all my Google accounts are back but my other accounts are still in limbo. What a nightmare. Great Hub - fantastic walk-through - unfortunately I know it well.

I am changing my Paypal account to be completely separate from my other accounts.

Very sorry you too have lived this anguish.

Blessings to you and your family and your computer too!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks Ulrike Grace. Blessings gratefully received. Luckily my formal contact list was recovered, but it's all those emails sitting in history waiting for me to get to them... Lynda

Hi GmaGoldie, Sorry to hear you too have been cyber-raped. Horrible experience, isn't it? I've always kept my Paypal account separate, thank goodness. Best iwshes for a speedy recovery. Lynda


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

Ugh! What a horrible experience Lynda. Thank goodness you've such a level head. I never got around to opening the e-mail as I had already seen a thread about this on HubPages, but I'm sure I would have immediately realised that it couldn't be from you. I hope you're able to get things back on track without too many further problems!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Amanda, Thanks for commenting. I'm very grateful to those who took that action on my behalf. A lot of people said the same thing -- I'd already seen it on Hubpages. Lynda


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina

Glad you are back in business. Now for the book. Will it be available on the 27th to order or is available for pre-order? Could you provide a link or is that a no-no on hubpages?


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi resspenser You can preorder on my website. Look for the red letters.... http://www.ThisBirdFlewAway.com I'm told that it will take several days to get on Amazon, B&N, etc and it will be available for Kindle some three weeks later. Don't know why the delay. But I will be sending author signed copies to those registered on my site and you'll get a 10% discount.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

What a horrible experience! This is so scary! Just to think there are people out there able to hijack my email account gives me the shivers! Lynda, I am so sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve it. Now how does one prevent this kind of nightmare? Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us – without charging us (lol). I’ve bookmarked this with the hope that I will never need to read it again. Take care, dear friend :))) You are respected and loved by many.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Hi Lynda - I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!! I got one of those eMails and absoutely was amazed. Asked a couple of fellow hubbers about the eMail - did they get one, too? The contents of the eMail were as you wrote, above, and what it said was so unlike you that I did not believe the eMail was from you. I couldn't figure out how someone could have accomplished it without somehow altering your eMail address at least a little bit, but, sure enough, they did.

Thanks for the very fine article, Lynda. Sorry you had the problem, but you helped everyone by detailing it all so well.

Gus :-)))


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California

Lynda, Ditto on what everyone else is saying. So sorry this happened to you. Having my laptop stolen a few years back with over two years worth of writing projects in it was devastating to the point of sending me into a state of depression. In other words, I feel your pain. :-) Yes, I had backups - in the same bag the computer was in! Duh! I only protected myself from technical issues, never considering someone might steal from me.

My question to you now is, did you learn any ways to prevent such an occurrence as you've just experienced? Should we use stronger passwords or other tactics to prevent hacking like this? Thanks to you for an outstanding and informational hub.


Nan 5 years ago

You have recovered from the cruel hijacking of your e-mail account. I have three computers in my house, and I am connected to a router through Comcast. Someone stole my son's information and locked up his computer. We had to repurchase parts for about $300 to fix the situation replace parts for the main frame I think it was called. With a router outsiders can use the link and steal your information. They can be down the street, etc. People are really dirty and will try to look at your work and see what they can steal. You are exposed a lot with your work and your hubpages that you write. I had someone say to me that I must make a lot of money. No I am not making any money, but it is none of their business! Be careful and limit your contacts.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Martie, Thanks for the commiseration. I don't think anyone deserves this, except perhaps for the SOBs that did this.

Hi Gus, Everyone who knows me would realize I didn't write this, but I did feel bad for those expressing profound regret at being unable to help. Would you believe even the above mentioned Senator called the friend who introduced us to ensure I was okay. Kind of a warm fuzzy to be sure.

Hi Nan, Limit my contacts? That would be counter productive to everything I'm trying to accomplish, but your thoughts on the use of the router is very useful. I wonder if that's how they got in.... Hmmm.

To everyone: as far as prevention, all I can offer is what Google suggests. Use a strong password; never give it out; be aware that any email asking for your password is a scam. I would add, check you account as often as possible to make sure everything is allright. The sooner you get on it, the less damage you'll have to contend with. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

Thanks all. Lynda

Thanks Susie, There's quite a few free sites where you can upload back-up of your writing projects free. I use them and I also email every version to my husbands email account.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I am so so sorry for you. That is just what needed before your book being released. Is it possible to find out who done it? I am sorry to worry you but I hope there isn't more to it. Hope you can find out and ......................................


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Hello,

The only possible ongoing consequence can be if they downloaded my email history, and there is nothing in any of them that can hurt anyone. All I have is the IP address of the computer involved, but they have the ability to route their signals anywhere. Besides, Google won't do anything about it. I'm one of hundreds of thousands who've had the same experience.

All there is left to do is suck it up.

Thanks for you comment. Lynda


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

What a nightmare. Thanks for the directions on how to rectify the situation.

My son's email account seems to have been hacked. People who have received what appears to be emails from him report their computers developed viruses after the emails were opened. There seems to be no reason to do such a thing other than to cause people trouble and to make him unable to use that email account to communicate with his old contacts.

Simple mindless miscreants manufacturing mayhem.

CP


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Christopher. Thanks for the comment. The perpetrators don't deserve your lovely alliteration. They are simply sons of bitches who deserve to rot in hell. Lynda


itakins profile image

itakins 5 years ago from Irl

Lynda -A truly horrible ,annoying, frustrating experience-but I honestly believe that not one person who knows you, or indeed who lives in the real world, would be taken in by such an email(or believe it to be from you).The idiots who perpetrate these scams seem to rely on a very overused formula and limited linguistic skills !

My husband discovered he had been (passively) flogging 'erectile dysfunction' products to all of his email contacts a few weeks ago!!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

OMG - that was terrible - I thank you so much for this info.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hey itakins. Nice to hear from you. It was a terrible nuisance but no real hurt to anyone has been done, so now I can smile over it. Your husband is flogging stiffy pills is he. I know hubber respencer has been trying to sell my computers for the past several months and I wonder if he's aware of it. This sh** goes on all the time. Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Neil. Your very welcome. I hope it never comes in handy.

Thanks all, Lynda


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

I'm so sorry you had to go through this miserable mess at such an important time! I got that email, but I am one of those who don't check my emails regularly. At least I have been. This hub is a wake up call, and I will be more diligent.

I like that you gave us the step by step instructions in case it ever happens to us. I'm like you - I know how to use the internet, but not how it works. Thanks for sharing your pain. Hopefully others will benefit.

On a personal level.....can't wait until the 27th...and...do you have a link to the interview you did. I was working late and missed it.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 5 years ago from Sydney

I had no idea this could happen. Thanks so much for writing this Hub and giving such clear instructions on what to do if it does happen. I hope I'll never need to use it!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Duchess Thanks for dropping by. THe link to a recording of my interview is here: http://www.joconquerall.com I'm told it may be up to a week from release date before the book is actually up on Amazon, B&N, etc. I'll keep you informed.

Hi Marissa. Yes, I hope this information is never useful to any of you. Thanks for the comment. Lynda


"Quill" 5 years ago

Hi Lynda... when I arrived home and found your email I knew something was not right... completely out of character for you... thanks for the hub and all the information.

Blessed to hear you are back up and running... you are a keeper as a dear friend and I so love the way you take things on girl... you are an inspiration.

Blessings and Hugs


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you, Quill. And thanks for emailing me to find out if I was all right. It is a wonderful, warm feeling that so many expressed concern for me, even while doubting that this was true. Thanks to all my friends. God bless. Lynda


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I learn from looking over your shoulders.. Thanks for sharing. Flag up and awesome


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks Dallas, and my you never need the information. Lynda


Scott_Grigg profile image

Scott_Grigg 5 years ago from Midwest USA-Southeast

This was a GREAT article. Thank you so much for sharing. As for those people who broke into your email account...I'd have a buddy of mine hunt down that ip address and fly down there...


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks for the compliment, Scott. Unfortunately, I don't have such buddies, nor money to spend to send him. However, my husband did grow up in New Orleans, and has connection that can put a good "gris-gris" on the bastards. They should be afflicted with boils and deep in a plague of pubic lice by now. Thanks. Lynda


suejanet profile image

suejanet 5 years ago

This is one I have never heard of. Thanks for sharing and I admire you tenacity.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you suejanet. AS I wished all the others, may you never need this information. Lynda


Trinsick profile image

Trinsick 5 years ago from Cali

I don't remember a time where I got more emails from friends from hi jacked accounts, whatever happened recently must have been one of the biggest hi jackings ever.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Trinsick. Yes, Scotland must be over-run with desperate people emailing their entire contact list for funds.... I understand it is a recent epidemic. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


Raja Mukherji 5 years ago

Yes, truly a useful hub. I have saved it. Thanks a lot.


rakoo profile image

rakoo 5 years ago from Midwest

I hope I never need it, but I bookmarked it. Thanks for taking the time to share


cceerpp profile image

cceerpp 5 years ago from Ghana

A well written and quite informative hub in case of a hijacked email emergency. Thank you.


Runway profile image

Runway 5 years ago from New York

Great advice! thanks!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Raja -- Thank you. May it never come in handy.

Rakoo -- Thanks. I hope you never need it.

Hi cceerpp -- Thank you. May you never need to use it.

Hi Runway -- Thank you for reading.

Thanks all, Lynda


ArcherDawn profile image

ArcherDawn 5 years ago from Las Vegas

WOW, thanks for the instructions on how to clear the problem. I have customers calling in almost daily on lost emails and no one has been able to offer assistance. But as this is for gmail, I will look for a solution for yahoo so I can direct them on where to go.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

You're very welcome and I imagine the process is the same for Yahoo. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


ekhalid 5 years ago

Truly a useful post. Thanks and best of luck for future


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you, and you, too.


BobBigWheel profile image

BobBigWheel 5 years ago from Toronto, ON, Canada

This has happened to me in the past, what a nightmare! Some great tips in here.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Sorry to hear that BobBigWheel. I know how it can mess up your life for a bit. And thanks very much.


dingdondingdon profile image

dingdondingdon 5 years ago

Bookmarking this - could be a real lifesaver in the future!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks dingdondingdon (what a name!) I do hope not. Lynda


Ragulkumar 5 years ago

Nice article.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks.


euclide 5 years ago

Nice post Immartin. actually many people suffer from email account hijacking like you and me. But your hub is a wake up call for all of the email users. I also created a post on email security http://euclide.hubpages.com/hub/Email-Security-Tip...


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks euclide. I'll check it out. Lynda


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Howdy Lynda - "euclide's" hub link did not work just now (10 Nov 11) but here is a good link to bunches of hubs on the subject:

http://hubpages.com/search/email+security+tip

I hope the world is treating you well and that, sooner or later, Florida might come out of the rain and dry out.

Gus :-)))


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks a pile, Gus. We're getting pretty dry now; the rainy season now officially over. Nice to hear from you. Lynda


Ladynoden 3 years ago

At least you got your's back, they won't give me mine back, I've lost everything and contacts, email, private stuff, I had this account for 8yrs, and all my life's work in there. I tried everything you said, and came down to a paki speaking man, who I thought was going to help me, he told me my computer is hacked into, that I cannot retrieve the account, that even if I make another my IP address has been hacked, and even said that if I brought a new computer, it would get hacked. This all happened in Sept, or around that and now, I just feel helpless and constantly thinking what is happening with my old account. I mean my password was so out of this world to hack, I just am dazed and confused about it all. :(

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