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Yahoo Password Hacked? How to Avoid It and How to Remedy It

Updated on June 19, 2013

Early December of 2012 I received an email from “Yahoo” that said something to the effect of: Your account is reaching maximum capacity and needs to be verified. This did not seem unreasonable to me. I did have 8,000+ emails in my inbox, and my husband has been telling me for years that I am contributing to a clogged up system :). Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that Yahoo didn’t have a limit on the amount of emails, but I decided to just be safe and verify my account anyway.


The photo below shows a similar message I received recently. The grammar is worse, but the message is the same. Notice it says that “Yahoo” is the sender.

I received this email from a would-be hacker earlier this month.
I received this email from a would-be hacker earlier this month. | Source


When I clicked the link to verify my account I went to a page that was the same as Yahoo’s login page (see the photos below), typed in my email address and password and was directed to "Yahoo’s home page". I thought that was weird. There was no place to really verify anything.

Hacker's Home Page Compared to Yahoo's Home Page

Fake Email Sent Out in My Name


Little did I know that it was not Yahoo, but a hacker obtaining my password. I'm sorry about the size of the pictures, but if you look closely, you will be able to see that the "Hacker's Home Page" has a non-Yahoo web address (which I did not notice, unfortunately). Within 12 hours of "verifying my account" everyone on my contacts list received this message:

------- Original Message --------


Subject:

Awful Trip............

Date:

Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:09:17 -0800 (PST)

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Manila, Philippines for a program. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sightseeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had. Now, our passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of $2,000 Usd from you. this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much..

Best Regards,
Ginger


I am thankful that I have great friends. Within minutes of this email being sent. I received a dozen texts, 2 phone calls, and multiple messages on facebook. I am so thankful my hacker had bad grammar :). However, many friends, especially ones who are not native English speakers, were worried about me and asked how they could help. Others replied to the email to let me know that I had been hacked. That leads me to the second level of my hacker’s efforts…

More Spam Sent in My Name, Contact List and Emails Deleted

The hacker created a Hotmail email account in my name, and forwarded all of my Yahoo emails to it. Then he began to spam these friends. My friends received email messages with links in them. To my knowledge no one clicked on the links, but we are guessing that viruses were attached.


Also, he deleted all of my Yahoo contacts. This prevented me from sending out an apology email, and has caused some annoying inconveniences. And he deleted my emails from the previous year. What a pain.

What To Do If Your Email Account Has Been Hacked

  • Change your password immediately. I changed the passwords of my other on-line accounts also, but maybe that was just paranoia.
  • Alert your contacts by whatever means you have available. I sent out a facebook message and texted those who aren’t on facebook to let them know about the spam email. I still missed many people.

  • Check your email settings to make sure they are still yours. Every email provider is different, but Yahoo! has a “tools” button just to the right of your name at the top of the page. Under “tools” choose “mail options” and then “mail accounts”. The screen will look like the photo below. My hacker had typed in a newly-created Hotmail address so that my emails would be forwarded to him.

Use this screen to make sure the hacker is not forwarding your emails to himself.
Use this screen to make sure the hacker is not forwarding your emails to himself.
Click on "Account Info" to check your primary and alternate email addresses.
Click on "Account Info" to check your primary and alternate email addresses.


  • Yahoo! suggests also checking your alternate email settings. These can be accessed by clicking on the purple “!” toward the top right of the screen, choose “Account Info”, and then make sure that the primary and secondary email addresses are the ones you want. My settings on this page had not been changed.


Restoring Deleted Contacts and Emails

If your email contacts or your messages were deleted, there is a form you can fill out and Yahoo! will attempt to restore them.


This link will take you to more information about that. Your messages had to be deleted within the past 48 hours and your contacts within the past 10 days. Unfortunately, I did not find this information until I started writing this hub. But hopefully it will help someone else!

Reporting Abusive Email Account

If someone has set up a false account in your name, good luck with changing it. I have scoured Hotmail/Microsoft FAQs and have written multiple questions on their 24 hour virtual agent trying to find a way to report and shut down the fake email address. It has proven useless.

I hope you don’t get hacked. And if you are a hacker, I hope you change your childish ways :)

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    • profile image

      Owais 2 years ago

      Great information! Such sort of information is vital for our survival on internet these days! I also share such information on my blog: hackread.com Anyone who want to learn more about such incident kindly read my articles I hope the content would help!

    • profile image

      Rene valerian 3 years ago

      This it's not helpful and I m still not unsdestand was said how they didn't help me when my account was taken

    • kevinbernard31 profile image

      kevinbernard31 4 years ago from Oregon, USA

      Thank you for writing a beautiful and detailed post about the phishing and hacking of yahoo accounts. This post is not limited to yahoo account hacking but also addresses to the issue of hacking of bank accounts and other user details.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image
      Author

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      srsddn - I'm thankful for thoughtful people like you. I am sure your friend appreciates that you warned him, and I'm glad you weren't fooled by the would-be hackers! Thank you for your comment.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Thanks for this useful information. Twice I faced situations of fake emails. Once it was with PayPal account. Luckily, I could detect it and forwarded it to PayPal. The other one was an email from a friend of mine, it happened three times. On finding something fishy I rang him up and found that no email of that type was ever sent to me. I think your Hub serves as a caution against such attempts. Thumbed up.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image
      Author

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Vinaya, I'm so glad your message from Google was real! I should have noticed when I clicked on the link to "verify my account" it took me to a non-Yahoo page. That would have saved me a lot of stree. Thanks for reading.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Recently, I received a message from gmail saying someone tried to hack my account. The message asked me to reset my password. I did what I was asked. Luckily, the message was not fake. I will be serious when I receive similar message in the future. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image
      Author

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      I also have a gmail account livewirez. And I did not realize there was a phone verification method. I'll have to look into that; it sounds interesting. Thank you for the suggestion.

    • livewirez profile image

      Romel Tarroza 4 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Sea

      Google has now phone verification method before you can access your email account and I am using that one. Whenever I login, it will ask to verify using phone verification in that case it would be much safer. You can also try that one.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I agree, I said the same thing!!!! :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image
      Author

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for reading ladies. I hope you won't get hacked (or hacked again)! I am so annoyed that people actually spend their time attempting to sabotage others. They should find a different habit :)

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Great hub, very helpful!!! I was recently hacked through yahoo! It was an email address I've had forever.

    • SimoniniKid profile image

      SimoniniKid 4 years ago from Beautiful Glen Ellyn, IL

      This was EXTREMELY helpful!!! Thank you for the huge amount of time and effort you put into explaining all this in language I could understand with great print-screens to boot!! I can't tell you how very much I appreciate you taking the time to do this for us "been hacked" people!!