When you find that someone is sending emails from your account on Gmail or other providers, that means you should take action immediately. That’s better than letting scammers do what they want with your Gmail and pretend to be you when the truth is different. So, in today’s guide, I’ll show you the reason behind that. Then, you’ll find what you can do to stop spammers from sending emails with your own email.
Find out who’s the person who uses your email
This is crucial if you really want to protect yourself against any fraud that a mysterious person may cause. So, first, try to identify the person who uses your email by looking closely at the details he sends to others. You can check your email for “sent” emails and read them.
Remember that tracking the IP address behind any email won’t help a lot here. That IP is not the personal one but the one, the Google servers use. So, even if you click on the “show original” in Gmail, you may see the IP of the data centers and not the scammer one, unless they’re using a custom email and server.
Another trick that you can try is to look up your email and see if there are social accounts associated with it. If the scammer is using your email, they could also be using that to create fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Thus, if search engines find these accounts, that makes the search easier for you.
Once you find online accounts behind that unknown person, keep note of that. That’s because every piece of information may bring more details about the real name of the scammer and where he lives.
How did that happen?
Many scenarios cause your email address to be used by others without your permission, of course. One of these scenarios is when your email is being compromised in data leaks or in other similar ways. That happens a lot these days because many companies around the world struggle to fight data leaks. In 2022, there was a big data leak with WhatsApp, and millions of users with names and details were exposed. The same could happen with Gmail, MSN, custom email servers, and more.
So, there could be hackers who sold big data of emails and passwords in the dark web containing millions of accounts just like yours. Unfortunately, if that’s the case, you can’t reverse it back. But you can change your password and add a new phone number for verification.
Other than that, you may ask yourself if you share your email logins with someone you don’t trust. Or see if you clicked on a suspicious email link you received and never verified. That hidden link could expose your login password and email used for logging on to fake pages that hackers create, especially for that purpose.
That’s not all; many scammers used those emails pretending to be representing PayPal or other companies. So, users just follow the steps in these emails, which can collect the login credential.
Secure your email account immediately
When a stranger uses your email, that’s probably because you only use the password and username to access your Gmail, which is not enough for security. So, always enable two-step authentication with your cell phone number or an app you need to install on your device.
That app gives your 10 backup codes to save and use if you lose access to the devices for any reason. Meantime, you have the authenticator app that changes the code every 60 seconds, and it’s what can secure your login every time.
Also, change your password and use a strong one with different letters, numbers, and even symbols if the system accepts that. You don’t have to remember that password if you have a password manager tool. There are many of these options.
Report the person behind your email hack
This sounds easy, but how do you report someone you don’t know who’s stealing your email credential and spamming others? And What if that person is trying to scam others with your Gmail address?
Now, if you’re one of those who received an email from their email address demanding money or other things, you should report that to federal agencies as soon as possible. If that happens to you, that could be the same with others who lost their emails when the same scammers tried to steal their money. So, first, use the following sites to report that scam:
Of course, you can report that email to Google. They’ll take action against the user if you provide them with other details you found online. The Google team can help you to stop spoofing emails from your email address, which is not easy to achieve if you do that yourself. The same tip is valid for Outlook, Yahoo, and other email providers. You have to send them details about the spam as that can help to fight it and prevent further issues.
Before filing the report form, make sure you have the following detail to help the investigation further:
- Your email address
- The last location you accessed your account from
- Any information about the scammer (name, username, or photo, if possible)
- Examples of emails they’ve sent etc…
Neglecting the security of your email account can cause real issues, and when stagers access that account, you need to think about that first. So, use a strong password for all your accounts. Next, never share details with emails you don’t trust or devices with public WiFi connections.
Additionally, you need to enable two-step verification and report any scam email you receive. These are the most important things to keep in mind. So, follow the above tips, apply the right recommendations and try to search for the real identity of the scammer who used your email. Finally, try to learn more about those guys in order to report them to governmental agencies.