Has my email been hacked?

Forum Forums General chat Has my email been hacked?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  orange 2 years ago.

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  • #477


    I’ve had a friend phone me to say that she has received 5 emails from ‘me’, which weren’t from me. She says my email account must have been hacked. I’ve never had this happen before. Could someone explain exactly what I should do? If I set up a new email for example, what do I do with the old account? How do I make sure all friends/contacts/organisations get my new email safely. Thanks.

  • #478


    Be aware you may not have been hacked at this point, but a similar email address with your name attached is being used and sent to your contacts. I saw quite a bit of this a few years ago. However it may be a hack – you need to look carefully at the headers of the message your friend has received. Regardless as a precaution change your password for your current email account immediately and if possible set up 2 part authentication (using a trusted device or phone) and you should be able to continue using it.

  • #479


    It’s a very old and simple trick to ‘spoof’ email. One can easily send mail that, on first glance, appears to be from president@whitehouse.gov or similar. Some spammers will forge the From: field, as it may get them through a spam filter and it has more chance of being opened by the victim.

    As has been mentioned above, get a geek to look at the headers to trace the path the mail took. (Received: from example.com by example2.com <date> <time>). There may be an X-Originiating-IP header giving the senders IP.

    If it’s a webmail account, you can check your sent mail folder. Change your webmail and / or mail server password. Turn on two factor authentication. Change the passwords of any other accounts if they use the same or similar passwords. Make sure your antivirus is from a well known brand and up to date.

    Look at the message content. It may just say “Buy this product”. Or, it could be part of a more elaborate con: “This is Mandy, My wallet has been stolen and I’m stuck in <some remote country>. Can you send me $$$ via Western Union money transfer to account 1234”. If it’s the latter, it may be worth texting people, saying your account has been hacked and to ignore any such requests.

    • #480


      I think an email from X to Y means X’s, Y’s or a shared friend’s contacts have been grabbed by a dodgy app rather than email hacking.

      Loads of apps have permissions that include access to contacts.

  • #481


    Thanks all. My gmail account doesn’t think anything is wrong, but I have changed the password. My Avast antivirus has given me a clean bill of health.

  • #482


    She says my email account must have been hacked.

    “Must have been”, no. Anyone with a modicum of programming skills can send email purporting to be from anyone.

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