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How do you recover a compromised GMail account?

A friend has gotten himself in a jam...



4:03 am on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm asking here because a friend is in a jam, and need a bit of advice...

This person organizes almost their entire life through their google account (gmail, calendar, etc...) and had their account compromised a day or so ago. I didn't find out about it until today.

apparently, whoever compromised the account has changed the password, security questions, etc., making it difficult for the real owner to "verify" who they are and get the account back.

And it gets worse, this person has left a lot of information "hanging" in their gmail account, including the hosting password for a site he owns, his paypal account, and other things. As we speak, whoever compromised the gmail account has been "rolling up" much of his existence.

The financial liability is limited. I've gotten him to get on the phone with his bank and hosting company, the paypal account has already been suspended for suspiscious activity.

He doesn't need a lecture on the idiocy of leaving passwords hanging on an online e-mail account (he got that lecture from me last night), what he needs is info on how to retrieve his gmail account.

Everything else we've managed to mitigate, (for which he owes me many, many beer), but he's not gotten any response from Google by trying to contact them through their online forms and such...

If someone could point us in the right direction, it would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


5:14 am on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

grelmar, I am afraid this is going to take time for you to solve. Cases like this are usually solved between 4 to 15 days. There are a number of threads at Gmail support threads. You might want to lok at this HELP - my gmail account has just been hijacked [groups.google.com]

It is a indeed a reminder for the rest of us who solely depend on an email or two to find a way to keep you going at times like this and keep sensitive access info safe. We might also need to consider changing passwords periodically, and not to access important accounts from public computers.


5:27 am on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's both sad and frustrating - if this was a client, and not a friend, I would've fired him ages ago. Certain aspects of security and safe computing are just lost on him, and it ends up causing me grief because I'm the one he turns to when things go wrong.

Hopefully, this will be a good wake up call for him


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