Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?

The outlook is grim if your email account has been stolen, but there are a couple things that you can try to do to recover it.

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Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?

I’ve actually received a couple of reports like this in recent days. The scenario is this: one day you find that you cannot log into your email account. Then, to make matters worse, you find that someone else has been sending email pretending to be you to people you know.

Sometimes damaging email.

Remedies are few, but you do need to act quickly.

First, I definitely want to point out that this is different than the scenario I outlined in my previous article Someone’s sending from my email address! How do I stop them?!. In that scenario you can still log in and send email yourself. And typically because it’s virus or spam related, the email seen in that scenario is often nonsensical.

The situation we’re talking about here is when someone has changed your password so that you cannot log in and send email, and you’re getting reports of email to people you know that you know you didn’t send, saying things you know you didn’t say.

Remedies are few, but you do need to act quickly.

Call your ISP immediately and tell them what is happening. They should have some way of identifying you, after which they should be able to reset your password. This is typically the approach for pay services – they may verify your identity with your credit card number or some other piece of information they collected at the time you signed up.

Reset your password. Free services may or may not have customer service numbers you can call, but they typically have a “forgot your password?” function. These will either confirm your identity with a question / answer that you provided when you signed up or will reset and/or email your password to an alternate email address you provided when you signed up.

Get a new account / address. Changing or resetting your password through the service is really your only recourse to recover your email account. If that can’t be made to work, then get a new account, and let your friends know that your old email account has been compromised and to disregard anything they get from the old address.

Prevention. It’s tough given the number of accounts and passwords we all need to remember, but the fact is choosing a hard-to-guess password and changing it regularly are important steps you can take to avoid this situation. Similarly, make sure “remember me” is turned off if you’re ever using a computer in a public place to read your email.

And as always, scan for viruses and spyware regularly.

IMPORTANT – Please Read: Since so many people seem intent on asking: I cannot and will not change your password for you. I cannot and will not email you your password. It’s simply not possible, and even if it were, it would not be ethical for me to do so. Requests to do so will simply be ignored. Sorry.

There are 116 comments:

  1. Scott Turner Reply

    I think I was hacked friday july 2 now I can’t open my e-mail from excite. Any chance you can help me out the e-mail I want the password is [Email Address Removed]. I tried to e-mail excite 5 times and only get their automated e-mail service reply.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. Leo Reply

    No, I cannot. I don’t have any special access Excite or Hotmail, or any other ISP, I’m afraid :-(. All I can offer are the steps I’ve outlined in this article.

  3. beLIEve Reply

    Heh seems like people just don’t read your responses and keep posting to get your help. What a surprise that you can actually tolerate with them ;)

  4. Leo Reply

    That’s commercially available spyware and will only help capture someone’s password in use, it will not *recover a lost password*.

  5. Vikki Reply

    hi i have recently had my msn account hacked into and my password and my secret question answer changed does anyone know how i can get my account back?????

  6. garry Reply

    someone has hacked my yahoo account which was [Email Address Removed] and although i can correctly inout my personal details it keeps saying my scret question answer is wrong which indicates thats been changed how can i get pass that please

  7. Leo Reply

    To the best of my knowledge, you cannot. The steps outlined in the article are the only options I’m aware of.

  8. Leo Reply

    IMPORTANT – Please Read: Since so many people seem intent on asking: I cannot and will not change your password for you. I cannot and will not email you your password. It’s simply not possible, and even if it were, it would not be ethical for me to do so. Requests to do so will simply be ignored. Sorry.

    I’m closing comments on this article because people don’t seem to get that even though it’s stated very clearly in the article as well.

  9. Rob Paulno Reply

    My hotmail account has been compromised! It appears that the person that hacked into my email account created an alternate email address. when I request that the new password be sent to an alternate email address I cannot enter in the new email address that I want the new password to go to.
    Hotmail is a joke

  10. rev. nino Reply

    i had an occasion where whenever i sent e mail, i never recd. answered. I found out that a hacker had reset my return to address in hotmail. i tried to contact gmail to tell them about this crud, but getting word through to him is like getting to meet with the president.t ciure, check the return to address and make it as it sshould be.

  11. jessica Reply

    i tried to sign in and i was told that my windows live hotmail account is temporary not avilable. what can i do?

    Wait, and try again later.

    Leo
    26-Aug-2009

  12. Cindy Reply

    Someone has hacked into my email. Not only that, they have hacked over 7 sites, deleted 4, and now are stalking me. They have been threatening me, but I really don’t know what to do. What can I do?

    Contact the authorities.

    Leo
    13-Sep-2009

  13. joyce Reply

    does msn ever respond or help ppl whose email has been hacked??? im mean some people use their email for business , professor have their students work and info you know…i really need my account back and fear they will hack into more of my account since the passwords were sent to my old email (the one that was just hacked!) email me at citytwin89@hotmail.com if anyone has sugesstions

  14. jean Reply

    someone did steal my my account………and they r sending messages….rude messages…..so i told all my friends about this to let them know it isnt me!!!

  15. Jessica Reply

    Please help me! I have recently had my email hacked (literally 20 minutes ago). I have changed my password numerous times and it still isn’t helping to fend off that hacker! I’m nervous, I don’t know what to do! The computer I use is a shared computer between family, I’m scared that their emails and other accounts have been hacked. Should I phone the police or should I contact my internet provider? If I do contact them, how would they help me? Thanks!

  16. Shadmin Reply

    If your changing passwords and they’re still getting hacked then you probably have a Trojan or keylogger infecting your computer which is sending your new password info to the hacker? So you should definitely get a good AV program or several as Leo has suggested in another article and do a complete scan of your computer before you change anymore passwords! Then make sure the passwords you are using are not systematic where someone who knows you or a hacker can easily guess them? Alphanumeric passwords using different cases is one way of creating a stronger password. If you are receiving threats then you definitely should contact the authorities otherwise this type of behavior will just continue to propagate. Some of these hackers are not just garden variety guys sitting in their garage bored, but are international criminals who use compromised computers and email accounts for nefarious activities like scams and DoS attacks. Anyway hopefully you get your email account issues fixed! Happy Computing! :)

  17. Joanne Owen Reply

    How can your ISP help when it’s the hotmail account that’s been hacked and password stolen? The culprits are making up stories and asking for western union money transfer saying that I am in trouble and need money. There MUST be a way of closing the hotmail account or contacting MS to close on my behalf as the HELP in the hotmail can’t be accessed as the hackers changed the password.

  18. kathyconstant Reply

    My email was hacked and is sending messages to everyone in my address book. I can’t recaim my hotmail because they change everything and I can’t get to my account.

  19. vkannanp Reply

    Since it is a free mail microsoft took it easily instead of solving this type of problem.Asking for secret question’s answer is absolutely ideotic as the person would have forgotton what was the answer since he is using the mail for the past five or more years and he would have forgotten the answer for the secret question.Now it is vey high time for microsoft to think about the alternate way to find the real owner of the email in this case of stolen password.After all they have done so much about this e-mail and they should find a way to stop this type of stolen password in order to get them right.The can decide the owner form the internet provider and ips of the server incase the answer to secret question is not given.This is very idealistic.

  20. Jillian wilson Reply

    2 days ago someone name is margery clark who stolen my email,msn and facebook by they text me a mob .. how come they got my mob i never any put my phone number on email or facebook… i want it all back.. i am scary cos i am deaf person i dont want they got mine everythings photos in facebook…i got other new email …. how can my old email into my new email address…

  21. Enrique Reply

    I read some of this articles. I got the same problem awhile ago and after dealing with all the hotmail tech, finally I got the help to restore my hotmail accounts from the Billing Department. I didn’t now that they were able to help me.

  22. Ahmed Ali Reply

    inspite of raising fault to hotmail selp desk but they r not helping

  23. belinda Reply

    MY I.D WAS STOLDEN AND I THINK SOMEONE MADE A MSN IN MY NAME. EVERYTHING WAS STOLDEN MY BIRTHCERFICATE.ETC…

  24. Leena Azreen Reply

    My boyfriend email has been hacked by someone and that hacker.. and this is serious! He asking for money from all contacts that he has… But it is so frustrating when he called the support centre for a report and he was told to go to webdsite and do fill up the form… It is shocking as there was no “sense of urgency” from Hotmail people.. Shouldn’t they help him over the phone to reset the password??? Up til now this issue has rectify and that hacker still hanging there!.. Could someone please help me here?????

  25. L Hoy Reply

    I found out today I had my hotmail account hijacked by someone, I had a new mobile number yesterday and emailed my fiance my new number and today I got 2 of the most revolting texts from persons unknown only found out about the hotmail account afterwards> I work opposite a Police Stn so went in there to see if anything could be done and the answer was no, so much for internet theft being on the agenda, and as I remember the stupid answer to the question asked years ago someone out there is proably reining havoc under my name. One hopes there is justice in the afterlife as there sure doesnt seem to be anything down here.

  26. Andrew Reply

    someone has hacked my hotmail my facebook and my skype.. cant get on any of them, they are posting porn to me facebook and sending messages to family members saying that my girlfriend is pregnant… and i cant get my password changed… what can i do? why is there so many sad people around

  27. Christina Reply

    After trying to sign into my email account, I found that I was not able to access my account anymore. Everything is gone, my bank information and all my charge accounts were in that email account. I don’t know if I have been hijacked, hacked, or stolen…

  28. j davis Reply

    My hotmail account was hacked after I opened an email claiming to be from the hotmail support team. I sent a reply saying ‘nice try {edit for languate]’ and the next day my account was hacked. I changed my password and I have had no more problems. Unfortunately whenever I send a new email I must delete the following message–
    ~hey dude.I find a place for iPhone ,blackberry 9700 SONY ,Laptop even HONDA Motorcycle ,price incredible low as wholesale&retail business.all are original quality with international warranty. if you like you can have a look : [link removed]
    E-mail : [address removed]
    MSN: [address removed]

    Does anyone know how I can get rid of this??

  29. Lauren Reply

    My Hotmail account was hijacked so I reported the emails and deleted the account. Will this resolve the issue?

  30. f begano Reply

    My hotmail acct. was hacked on 4/9/10 as I was answering an e-mail from a friend. Supposedly I was stranded in England and asked all my contacts to send 2000 US dollars to help me out After reading what was sent, I e-mailed my contacts to apologize for any inconvenience. Imediately my computer froze up, shut down, and since that day I have not been able to get back on to my hotmail acct. Password has been changed and I’ve had this acct. for ten years. Guess I’m pretty much s——.

  31. pramod Reply

    my hotmail stold some one and that is not nice for that because i have all the things in this mail and my all the friends what i can contack posible now now giro nothing i lost this mail because there is stuped peoples who did that anyway i would like to back my mail so if posible to get back than i will be very happy for that
    thank you who did this and who will helpfull too,
    contrack me in this new hottt mail ..[email address removed]

  32. Vinny Reply

    My email account was stolen and emails/posts made to a variety of horrific websites. I’m trying to clean up this mess but it has really freaked me out. I actually closed the email account and I don’t use it anymore. I hadn’t used it in years since it was more or less a backup email account that I used when I would register for newsletters online etc and I would direct all the spam to this account. So I never monitored it. My advice is to keep only one email account and monitor it closely and you have the best chances to prevent something from happening. As far as dealing with identify theft, there isn’t much you can do. The only thing you can do is on the financial side which is to change your credit card account, monitor your credit history etc. But there isn’t “ONE” place to go for help or to even report that your identity has been stolen. I’m lucky the financial impact has limited impact to my credit rating and I subscribed to a few credit watch services so I’ll know if something happens again much sooner.

  33. vincopp Reply

    To add on to my previous message the credit watch service that seems to be the best is LifeLock. I subscribe to a couple, but they appear to be the best. The extent of my identify fraud needed a more active monitoring service (not simply a credit report that is run quarterly). Good luck.

  34. Vikram Reply

    My Hotmail account is hacked [link removed]
    somebody change my security question also i am not able to get back my id and i have so much important stuff in that plz help ……..!!!

    Please read the article you just commented on.

    Leo
    09-May-2010

  35. paige Reply

    my hotmail account has not been stolen (i have two) but i forgot the password to my other one, and i cannot remember my secret password and my alternate email address is the same one i can’t get into :( and i am desperate to get into it as i am awaiting an important email that most likely would have come today.. and from what i have just read there is nothing i can do, which majorly sucks… grrr

  36. ceva Reply

    Someone accessed my Yahoo account only yesterday and sent out emails to all my contacts saying I was mugged while on vacation and needed cash. I couldn’t access my account when a friend alerted me about the email supposedly coming from me. I rang Yahoo mail at 1-408-349-1572. They were helpful and after a few identity checks, reset my password and I recovered my account. You can also email them at account-security-help@cc.yahoo-inc.com

  37. vg Reply

    My friends told me today that they received spam mail from me and I couldn’t log into my yahoo account because it wouldn’t accept my password. Turned out someone hacked into my account and changed all my personal information on the account, including the password and the secret questions. I called yahoo mail at 1-408-349-1572 and they were able to reset the password for my based on my previous secret questions that I have originally set up. They were very helpful.

  38. Faith Reply

    The same thing happened to me — with the I have been mugged in London story — except now the deman is for 1,500 pounds. I have an msn hotmail account, and it took 24 hours to have msn verify who I really am and get my email/identity back.

    My question — if these thieves had access to my email, do they now know all sorts of things about me that they can use — such as access to bank accounts, codes, etc.? I changed all my online banking account passwords, but should I do anything else to protect myself?

    Anything that is visible in any message that was in your account – in any folder – is at risk. Any account for which this email address was the password recovery address is at risk. Any information that you keep in the account like secret answers, phone numbers, etc. is also all at risk. Changing your password is a common response to security breaches. Unfortunately, it may not be enough to recover.

    Leo
    10-Jun-2010
  39. Abdon Ledoux Reply

    I feel so sad because my email has been used for some body else and that person is talling evey body that i need money, please be carreful when you receive any email from [email address removed] now. Thanks and be sure that I’m not asking ro the money from any body.

    Thanks again

  40. Eva Reply

    My Email was stolen and I got it back, changed my password and secret question on another computer. Have not logged into it on this computer since. I think it is a virus because it is spending mass emails to people, repeatedly. Why did the password change again? I have scanned my computer for viruses, Spyware and Adware, they all came up negative. Suggestions? How do I stop this?

    It’s very unlikely that this was caused by a virus. What I’m seeing a lot of is that people’s accounts are getting hacked. The hacker then has access to the account and even after you change your password back he uses something you didn’t think of to hack the account again. More here: Is changing my password enough?

    Leo
    12-Jun-2010

  41. Alyce Reply

    Hi my email address has been hacked and they have changed my password and secret question too. I am backpacking and i now don’t have any information for contact friends and family. i also have my travel information from the travel agent in my old email.
    Please help! Please email on my new email [email address removed] if you can help me.

  42. Yvonne Bobb-Smith Reply

    I have been the victim of cyber crime since 24 May 2010. I am unable to use my account. I consider my folders to be intellectual property. However, I am disconcerted that the help from people like yourself underscores the fact that I and ors. like me will not get our account back. After 10 years with hotmail!! Why is the service provider so under-agressive??

    In short: because it’s a free service. YOU have to take responsibility for managing your data (your intellectual property) in a manner that is consistent with your own needs. That probably means backing it up somewhere, and not relying on free email services as a critical storage location.

    Leo
    18-Jun-2010

  43. Bea Nelson Reply

    I received a text message from an email account from yahoo that I do not know. I was told I should not have opened it. I was also told that people can steal my accounts, email or phone,or try to fish for info from other accounts. Have you heard of this and what are solutions to resolve this.

  44. Alexandra Forbes Reply

    My account was hacked today by someone begging for money sending mulitple emails to all my contacts. My password and secret question were changed and I cannot log in. I have notified hotmail at abuse [email address removed] however Im wondering if I can ever recover my emails or my account again??? Im also worried because it was linked to my gmail account and I dont know if tchanging my password is enough to stop them from hacking that also. Please help!

    Changing your password is not enough, and yes everything accessible from your Hotmail account might be at risk. Is changing my password enough?

    Leo
    19-Jun-2010

  45. sheilla mae yabes Reply

    hi, i really need to get back my email account because someone change the password. i really need it and some important files regarding private conversations. please beep me back at this account [email link removed] (my brother’s account)

    hoping for your kind consideration.

    Did you read the article? Or the instructions for commenting? I cannot recover accounts.

    Leo
    03-Jul-2010

  46. Jess Reply

    Yes, I am very frustrated with hotmail support team because they can not help me to get my password back since my hotmail account get hacked few days ago. The hacker changed my password, alternative email to his, my secret question and secret answer.

    Is there anything we can convince to hotmail support team that we really need their extremely help? This is very frustrating… they will lose customer business because they are not able to help us about our hacking email accounts.

    Not that I’m aware of. It’s a free service and you get what you pay for.

    Leo
    14-Jul-2010
  47. Amber K Reply

    My email account got hacked into about 4 months ago, and the person is pretending to be me. Switching my display pictures, writting and adding people. I tried to report them, but nothing has been happening…what should i do? i either wanna try to get the account back or to cancel the whole thing….

  48. steven Reply

    Why do so many people think Leo can recover passwords? Despit the fact that he keeps saying he can’t, they still ask.

    One word: desperation.

    Leo
    15-Jul-2010

  49. Lisa Reply

    Someone has hacked my account and is using it to send viagra ads. Is there any official advertising body that i can complain to? This can’t be legal?

    I don’t think so. If there were such a body they’d be SWAMPED this is so common right now. Regain access to your account if you can, and move on. Read this too: Is changing my password enough?

    Leo
    20-Jul-2010

  50. toni Reply

    Referring to “ALL” questions and “ANSWERS” shown above. I have changed my “password” so many times I lost count. It does not matter or work for me. Whoever has hacked my account knows every password I have and knows when i change it. And comprimises that password too.

    Yep. Read this article and you’ll quickly see why, and what to do about it: Is changing my password enough?

    Leo
    30-Jul-2010

  51. brit Reply

    if the alternate address has been changed and i dont know their email password or secret question then how do i change it back to one of mine?

    You don’t. You can try to contact customer service but I’d expect your account to be gone forever.

    Leo
    14-Aug-2010

  52. Help Reply

    My ex change my password in my both account yahoo email and facebook, he change my security question and i don’t have any access in my alternate email and mobile number and i cannot also locate my ex to ask him regarding m account, that’s why i cannot open anymore my both account. Is there still a way to retrieve my password?

  53. Rami Reply

    My account has been stolen. The password has been changed. They claim that I lost my wallet in Spain and I need mony.

  54. Josh Martinez Reply

    I think somone may have hacked into my hotmail or maybe i simply forgot the password and the secret question but i did have that email adress hooked up to my xbox 360 account and i set it up and my credit card set up too… does that help any?

  55. pam Reply

    Rami, I to have the same problem, that my contacts were informed that I was in Spain and needed money. MSN will not except my password. What did you do??

  56. Chris THompson Reply

    i cannot access my [address removed]@hotmail.com. It tells me that my password has changed. i have not done so. also its been so long since i have this account i dont remember the information that i put in the account for the passport. what do i do

    I know of no way to get it back. This is why it’s critical to remember and keep active the alternate email address or other information associated with the account.

    Leo
    25-Sep-2010
  57. Nicole Reply

    Hi I have had no issues with my account, but now I can not access it at all, Its now on lockdown, i have a linked email with this account, and no passwords are being sent to this back up email. Can I still access my account, or is it lost forevder

  58. Angelo Reply

    There is another person that has the same email account as mine. they are in Canada I am in the Sataes. How do I get Yahoo to investigate?

  59. fuad Reply

    i need help please help me cz someone changed my paasword and i forget my secret quastion but even i dn’t hv alternate email address thn how can i gt back my email plz hel me

    Please read this article which discusses your recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

    Leo
    02-Oct-2010

  60. Helen Cooper Reply

    I also have another email account with emails attached to both but someone has tried to hack my spare email account how can i send a report to msn and how do i find out where there are when there are trying access the account… PLEASE HELP!!!

  61. Shashanka Bhattarai Reply

    HELP!! my hotmail accounts have been hacked, I could not managed to get back my Hotmail Account , I have been in touch with hotmail/microsoft, filled in the on line forms as best i can, but I am still waiting for a reply. is there any thing I can do to speed up the process of reclaiming my account? I’ve had the account for something like 8 or 13 years so you can imagine the number of contacts i have built up! the email address that was hacked is {removed by moderator}@hotmail.com.
    Can anyone help?
    thank you

    Please read this article which discusses your recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

    Leo
    02-Oct-2010

  62. Husna Reply

    My hotmail has been blocked, hacked , stolen whatever. ! I cannot sign in my hotmail. I don’t wanna lose my friends contacts. Please help me get back my mail soonest possible.

    kind regards.

    Please read this article which discusses your recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

    Leo
    28-Oct-2010

  63. olif trumbly Reply

    There is another person that has the same email account as mine. they are in Canada I am in the states. How do I get Yahoo to investigate? I’ve changed my password on every 3 days. and my friends still say that they are getting emails what can I do? Ive changed my email 05 times already.

    Aside from contacting Yahoo customer support or their support or help forums, I don’t believe there is anything you can do.

    Leo
    08-Dec-2010

  64. Disgruntled Reply

    I have a yahoo email account. Someone has gone into it, changed all my information including password, and my security questions. How can I get it back? Or am I just going to have to accept that it’s been nicked.

  65. mohammad ali salehi Reply

    some has stolen my account changed my user name and password, now I have no access to my informations, he also changed remembered questions to get back in to my account,
    I created new account removed@yahoo.com
    I would appreciate any assistance that could give me

  66. Anthony M. Valeo Reply

    I can’t get into my original email account anymore. All of my contacts, missed messages, and all other info that I can’t recover are in it. When I try to get help in yahoo they ask me questions that I know they didn’t originaly ask me, or they say that my answer is wrong. The last name of the best man at my wedding? Please, I think I would know that answer. Can someone please help me?

  67. mojtaba ahmady Reply

    dear manager.it is about 2monthes that a person hacked my email adres[{removed}@yahoo.com] and have changed all email adres registerations informations with the password.now what should i do or will yahoo security help me to obtain it?

    You need to contact Yahoo customer support. I can’t help you.

    Leo
    04-Feb-2011

  68. i lost my password Reply

    i forget my password from last week now i’m not able to log in i traied many times still i’m not able to access please your help

  69. compromised email Reply

    my email was recently hacked. i got ahold of yahoo and they did help me recover it despite all the changes that had been made to my account. i believe i know who did it but cannot do anything without proof. is there anyway to track who hacked my email?

    Nope. Law enforcement might be able to if it’s important enough to them, and they have the time and resources.

    Leo
    10-Apr-2011

  70. ibtesan abdullah Reply

    hi am facing problem in mail id that some one stole my mail id i can change the password but i cant open with it can you please advice me on this case plz

  71. Jorge Reply

    Hi Leo, I got in a weird situation today, I received an email in my yahoo account, saying that if I want to reset my gmail password (I once opened an account but never used it).

    Dunno why I did reset the password. I checked the inbox and the first email is when I opened my account, then it was used by some guy in Costa Rica with my same name.

    Then it was used by a guy in the States, then by a guy in Mexico, then again some doctor in the US, then a guy from Mexico city. So weird because the contacts on the left side are old friends when I opened the account (2004).

    I was thinking to reclaim my email and just delete everything there. What do you think? It would be an ethical dilemma if the account were used by one guy, but somehow was used by 4 or 5 guys. Should I contact google for this? Let me know :p

    If the account’s yours and it apparently always has been, then I see no problem in reclaiming it and removing things that aren’t yours.

    Leo
    04-May-2011

  72. Jorge Reply

    I recovered my email because my alternate mail was still there when someone did a password reset. Let me know what you think.

  73. mildred glavin Reply

    they ask me to change my email address–so I did but I wanted to keep this email address.

  74. george gulzar . Reply

    hi am facing problem in mail id that some one stole my mail id i can change the password but i cant open with it can you please advice me on this case

  75. Debra Bergeron Reply

    Someone is posting on the internet that I have drugs for sale using my email. What can I do to get the posting removed.

  76. David Shields Reply

    Leo,

    Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but I think my particular issue may actually be a combination of some of the problems you’ve previously described.

    For the last few months, people have been receiving email “from me” that I did not send. It all seems to have started innocently enough, about the same time as I foolishly opened an email from a family member, which turned out to not be from them at all. It was exactly the same type of email that is now impersonating me. I have multiple firewalls installed, as well as current anti-virus and anti-malware software installed, but I ran them again on demand just to make sure I hadn’t been infected. It didn’t appear that I had.

    The odd thing about this is that once in a while I will get an “Undeliverable” message back which contains an addressee to whom I may have sent one email, one time, several years ago. I should point out that I use a well-known ISP, which downloads my email to Outlook. I do not store email on my ISP’s servers; as soon as it downloads to my machine, it gets deleted from their server. I also do not store addresses on the ISP site. However, many of the “Undeliverable” messages I received are for persons who are not in my local Contacts (.pab) list, nor are they in my Shortcuts (.nk2) file; I simply may have sent them an emai in the past. I have a password on my Personal Folders (.pst) file, and I even scanned to see if there might have been a saved ‘sent’ copy of any of the emails that I’ve sent to these individuals (I don’t save sent copies by default) – there were not.

    In short, I don’t think my address book was lifted from my machine, because many of the recipients of these emails are not in my Contacts list. But, I think it’s also unlikely that my entire Personal Folders file was lifted, because A) it’s huge, B) some of the recipients are not anywhere in it, and C) it’s password-protected. Not only that, but I was out of town recently, with my PC shut off, when one of the mass-spams was sent. That suggests that it isn’t coming from my machine.

    I understand how easy it is to spoof the senders address, but I don’t understand how the spammer could have gotten ahold of addresses that are not stored anywhere on my machine.

    One additonal question: Is there any way the ISP can backtrack the audit from the “Properties” window on the spammed message (I had a friend send one of “my” emails back to me)?

    Advice / Suggestions, please?

    Thanks.

  77. Michka'el Reply

    Hello Leo and everyone else! My Tax rep just had a problem and this information will be very helpful for him.As always…Thank you for All the post’s and information on this great site.Lord bless.

  78. shelby Reply

    I will give you ALL of my information if you can PLEASE get me my account back. I desperately need to get it back. My own sister hacked it and i don’t know how she did it but please help me.

  79. Mark J Reply

    @Shelby
    Read the article

    Leo Can’t Recover Lost Accounts

    We cannot recover hacked accounts, lost or forgotten
    passwords. Please see this article for more information on your options:

    http://ask-leo.com/would_you_please_recover_my_password_my_account_has_been_hacked_or_ive_forgotten_it.html
    http://ask-leo.com/C2724

    If you have a Hotmail account this article may be of some
    help:

    http://ask-leo.com/what_are_my_lost_hotmail_account_and_password_recovery_options.html
    http://ask-leo.com/C4445

  80. jo Reply

    my husband got an email from windows live saying if he doesnt disclose his password his account will be closed so we did, now we cannot access his account. is there anything we can do??

    Unfortunately your husband fell for a common scam and your account has been hacked as a result. This article discusses recovery options for the various ways that Hotmail accounts can be lost or compromised: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

    Leo
    23-Sep-2011

  81. ASMA Reply

    actually few days back i reset some other password…but nowfor4got what my password was so could you please help me…and even 1 thing i also forgot my secret questions answer…please help me out..

  82. Connie Reply

    @houssein

    Please read the article and references here carefully and you’ll get your answer. Above all is the need to learn internet safety. Never post your email in an online forum. Every website on the web is crawled by robots that harvest email addresses with nefarious purpose in mind.

    Your email has been removed from this post for your security.

  83. tim Reply

    my ex-business partner emailed my client base asking them to come to a competing establishment, from my business email account.
    Then deactivated the account after stealing all the contact information.
    Does my business own that account, like property?
    4 years of customer contact and correspondence is lost except to my ex partner.
    What are the legal terms of email account ownership?

    You need to speak with an attorney, I can’t provide legal advice.

    Leo
    08-Oct-2011
  84. Mark J Reply

    @Tim
    That question is more a question for a lawyer than for a tech website.

  85. Jessica.V Reply

    Someone hacked into my boyfriends emails on yahoo and gmail and facebook and myspace. I want to find out who did this because they posted damaging stuff to his page. Now i am worried for his safety and my childs saftey. Being that we are separated. And I would rather got information on how to do it myself instead of going threw a hefty financial burden to find out.

    Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to get this information on your own. If warranted, I’d contact law enforcement.

    Leo
    09-Oct-2011
  86. Ardyce Oman Reply

    How do I change my email address, someone has hacked my address.

  87. lupita Reply

    i cant go on my facebook i wont to gett it bacckk plzzzz can u change my psword back how to it was

    I am not Facebook, I cannot change your password. The article you commented on has what I have to offer.

    Leo
    29-Nov-2011
  88. kat Reply

    My problem is that I changed my email log in for facebook because i forgot my password, however, when i did that, i had to click “that my email was no longer available to me”. Now, i try to go log into that old email account which was once my facebook log in, and it will not work. Did i cancel the email account? And if so, is it possible to get it back?

  89. ameen Reply

    the person who hacked my email changed every single information that i used and put his own
    so when i submit my old information, obvioulsy it will be different from the one available right now
    i dont know weather hotmail can go back to the old information and check them with the one i submitted, if they could it would be exactly the same
    but then they send me an email stating that the information i provided was not enough
    using common sence why would the hacker keep my old alternative email and mobile number and secret question the same ??
    of course he would change it to his own, so keeping them as an option to retrieve my email is totaly useless

  90. Ronell Reply

    My yahoo mail was stolen, and all the details changed to that of the hacker, who at the same time stole my Face book Profile. As he now is me, he uses my mobile nr to harrass me, and has given my nr out to numerous men, who often call me. FB Admin has been sending me backward and forward over the last month. Even the local police in SA is not doing anything about my problem. Seems like if you are a FB user, you have to be prepared to lose your profile to hackers any time, and never get it back?

  91. Neo Reply

    I have a story which might be on the contrary. I didn’t have a Facebook profile before 2011. Starting Jan 2011, I started getting emails from Facebook that some people have added me as a friend. Most of them were college kids I haven’t even met in my life. When the emails increased, I checked in Facebook, and saw that there was a guy with the same first name as mine, who was using this ID – but instead of using his own email id, he used my mail id and all those notifications were coming to me. I tried to find out who this guy is and if I can contact and ask him to change the mail id, but I couldn’t find that guy anywhere. I sent messages to the people in his account asking them to contact and ask this guy to change the mail id. Waited for a month and repeated follow-ups with a couple of folks, but it didn’t work.

    Finally I owned it. I changed the password of that facebook account, messaged everyone in the account of this, took them out of the friends’ list, and started using that account. I never got a reply or a comment from anyone on that.

    Now I have a facebook account with about 850 friends, and I keep getting more notifications than I had when my identity was being used. :(

  92. Kyle Reply

    PLEASE HELP ME! *pants for breath in frustration*

    I am not sure if my problem may be related to stolen accounts or not as I lack intuition.

    My email says this every time I log in:

    Unable to send or receive messages for the Hotmail (kjh86xr) account.

    Server Error: 0x800488FB
    Server: ‘https://mail.services.live.com/DeltaSync_v2.0.0/Sync.aspx’
    Windows Live Mail Error ID: 0x800488FB

    Here’s where it gets weird!

    My Dad had to restore my computer (Windows 7) because I filled it up too much so Dad and I did a wipe and start windows 7 over and Dad managed to saves lot of programs including my email but it won’t activate even though Dad tried to set it up on my restored PC

    Is God punishing me for some of my stupid acts in public? Does God have no mercy?

  93. Kyle Reply

    I forgot in my frustration to mention I got a Windows Live spam captcha come up to recover my email but then it sent me to a Windows Live log in thingy which Dad and I don’t know what to do from there on.

    We don’t even know what it is.

  94. Skip Reply

    I think some one has been in my email account and read docs in their from work .can your email account be hacked from spy soft ware on my computer or my I phone ?? By someone else

  95. dolly Reply

    my eX hacked my id n changed its password as well as the recovry options he even hacked my facebook profile

  96. Jacqueline Rogers Reply

    Soneone has gotten into my e-mail account and is sending bogus e-mails to my addressees. What can I do to stop this and find out who is doing this?

  97. jaime Reply

    someone has stolen my e’mail account.
    the question is if you guys have a 1800 free to call and report that or another way to due please..

    thanks

  98. Heather Reply

    My ex-husband has stolen my yahoo account when I left him. I do not have any of my old contact information. He has been harassing my family and other people I know on yahoo. I cannot change the passworf because he has changed the alternate email and security questions. This happened over a year ago and I haven’t been able to contact anyone to help me. Is there any way I can get this account back or get it de-activated? Thank you.

    I’m afraid you’d have to contact law enforcement or an attorney versed in such matters.

    Leo
    13-May-2012
  99. Mark J Reply

    @Heather
    This could only be done with the help of a lawyer to obtain an order from a judge.

  100. Is there any means left for me to get back that account for i have very important info there that i Reply

    Or can i change the account and password but still

    return the info?
    Please i realy need you to help me out. Thanks Sama

    If you can recover the account whether there’s anything in it will depend on what the hacker did while he had access to it. That’s why I so strongly recommend you backup your email accounts before these kinds of things happen. More here: Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW

    Leo
    27-Jul-2012
  101. Seyed shahram taghavi tekiyeh Reply

    I think someone doing some wrong to mine fex
    I put my email and password then it does not work (your user or passwords is wrong)

  102. Jan Willem Willemsz Geeroms Reply

    Hi there, A friend of mine her email account is been stolen. She told me also that the person found out what her password was. Is there a law against it here in Las Vegas. Can the person be suit here in Las Vegas.

  103. Asma Reply

    hello,
    My account in hotmail is hacked by someone. I need to return to me . It has the important things.
    How I can return it?

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