My Gmail Account Has Been Hacked!

By P Chong                                            Saturday, 18 September 2010

My Two iMac Computers

Nothing is safe from the computer hackers these days. Just when you think you have a magic formula, absolutely secure & sound, it hits you & left you wondering how it all happened!

Thought I didn’t have to worry about being hacked with the “Rolls Royce” of computers, certainly the most user-friendly Apple-system, generally free from viruses & all unwanted problems. I was using gmail for my emailing which I used in combination with the Apple Mailing System making it a system I thought would never fail. Gmail is generally free from spam & junk mails.

It was too good to be true. My romance with Apple & Gmail ended on the morning of 7 September 2010 at precisely 4.42 am. That day proved to be a day of very mixed feelings . . . annoyance, frustration, panic & distraught and even unbelievable laughter.

My son-in-law Darren was the first to ring me up just checking that I didn’t out of the blue landed myself in London, lost my wallet, broke & stranded needing money to settle my bills before getting home. It was laughable for he has just seen me & there was no mention of my going to London. Even then, I could not have been there that magically fast. The email which he received, purportedly from me, asked for help of 2,200 Pounds.

Several other friends in my email loop also called up to check whether I was in Perth and was really in London. One lawyer friend played along with the hackler’s request, requesting for address or bank account to which he could forward the money, same amount of 2,200 Pounds. Below as attached was what transpired between my friend Julian & the computer hackler (who was impersonating as myself):

Begin forwarded message:

From: Paul Chong <paul21chnog@gmail.com>

Date: 7 September 2010 12:16:33 PM AWST

To: Julian Chan <julian.yh@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Hello

Hello Julian,

Thank you for your concern and help. Please kindly help me to send the money through Western Union with my details below. Here are the details:

Name: Paul Chong

Address : 12 Cromwell Road

Zip code: SW5 OSW

State: London

Country : England

 

kindly help me to make the transfer as soon as you receive this email and once you have it sent, send me the money transfer control number with details used in sending it.

 

Thanks so much

Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

 

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM, Julian Chan <julian.yh@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Paul.

How should I remit the money to you? The fastest is by TT, have you got a bank account I can remit the money to you?

Julian.

 

Nothing further developed from there. But would any recipient of the fraud email be stupid enough to send the money? Just reaping 5% or 10% of the recipients would mean quite a substantial haul!

Up to this point in time, Gmail Administration just would not release my gmail correspondences back to me. As far as they are concerned, I am a suspect – a “suspect” whose privacy has been intruded upon and suffering from fear just how far will the perpetrator go! You fear about a host of other things . . . someone out there could be impersonating you all the time. What of your internet banking, internet share trading . . . what kind of security can you expect? Your bank deposits . . . credit card transactions . . . what sort of protection can you have?

Please just be warned about the way you use your computer. Time & time again, people have been advised about their forwarding of mails by deleting the sender’s name & address or using bcc (blind carbon copy) in order to protect people’s privacy & to prevent unwanted harvesting of email addresses.

Perhaps we have not been vigilant. I have been advised to turn off the computer when you are no longer using it. Imagine some smart alex waiting in his parked car outside your house waiting to bounce upon you. When in doubt & plagued with your computer problems, best to call in the experts.

Please don’t send any further emails to this dead address:

paul21chong@gmail.com