We received this report from one of our readers.
Her account was hacked, and the scammer was using it to sending a distress email to her boyfriend asking for money.
Some quick advise to protect your email passwords:
1) Do not use the same login password for your social networking accounts and emails. We recommend that you use different passwords for each site.
2) Treat it like a bank account, only login using SSL pages (i.e. httpS://)
3) Try not to use public computer to access your primary emails (e.g. internet cafe).
4) Do not reply to phishing emails that ask you to click a link to access your email account. They might “scare” you by saying that if you don’t react now, your account will be closed.
5) Install anti-virus on your computer and becareful about attachments from spam. Do not click on these attachments, including picture files.
I discovered today at noon that hours earlier my email account
had been phished and was sending out scam emails.
I quickly got onto yahoo to resolve the matter, to discover that that every
folder on my mail account had been purged of all information. This
includes my website joining history, family news and updates, work and
financial related info was all gone. My trash folder, spam folder, inbox
and outbox were “spotless”.
I went and also discovered that the hacker had attempted to remove my
alternate email addresses and replace them with their own. Unfortunately
for them, they were unable to access my alternate email accounts in order
to officially take over my account.
On top of the alternate emails they placed, they attempted to remove my
security questions and replace them with fake new ones.
This was the email my boyfriend received from my hacked account:
(Boyfriend’s Email Account)
Message Status: Opened
To: undisclosed recipients: ;
From: (My Email)
Feb 3, 2010 10:07 AM
Hi, I really don’t mean to inconvenience you right now but I made a
quick trip to London UK this past weekend and had my bag stolen
from me in which contains my passport and credit cards. I know this may
sound odd, but it happened very fast. I’ve been to
the US embassy and they’re willing to help me fly without my passport
but I just have to pay for my ticket and settle some bills.
Right now I’m out of cash plus i can’t acces my bank without my
credit card here, I’ve made contact with them but they need more
verification. I was thinking of asking you to lend me some funds now and I’ll pay
back as soon as I get home. I need to get on the next available flight.
Please reply as soon as you can if you are ok with this so i can forward
the details as to where to send the funds. You can reach me via May field hotel’s desk phone if you can, the numbers are, 011447024051771
Sent from my BlackBerry(Circle R) on the MetroPCS Network
I noticed it was odd that the email was sent from a blackberry.
Finally, here is the email that they tried to use to replace my alternate
A backwards search showed a Facebook user named Anny. Another search
result showed the original residence to be Sunnyvale, CA. I reported the
profile on Facebook and it seems to have been removed as of this moment.
I was wondering if this site could possibly warn people of the dangers of
online phishing and the loss of personal information that could ensue.