What to do when a scammer steals our password and email login?

This is something you need to be aware of. Cybercrime and phishing tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so unfortunately, there is a chance that a scammer may gain access to your email and create a dangerous situation that requires an immediate response. You need to act quickly and cautiously to minimize damage.

1. Run antivirus software

The first step to take if your account has been hacked is to run comprehensive antivirus scans to identify and eliminate all forms of malware and potentially unwanted applications (including trojans, spyware, and keyloggers that can track key presses even after identifying a breach). Logging in through Google is convenient. Is it secure as well? Hackers usually seek ways to extort money from you or commit credit card fraud. Therefore, the sooner you run antivirus scans, the better. It is important to ensure that the system is clean before changing any other confidential information to avoid restarting the cycle.

2. Change your email password

Once you have freed your computer from malware, the next step is to change your password. If you do not have access to your account, you may need to contact your email provider to prove your identity and request a password reset. Many providers now offer a dedicated account recovery page where you can answer security questions to regain control of your email. Next, you need to create a new password that is significantly different from the previous one. Never use your most basic information, such as name, surname, date of birth, address, etc. Hackers easily find such information and use it in the early stages of attempting to break into your account. The password should be unique for each login, complex (composed of letters, numbers, and special characters), and at least 12 characters long (preferably more). If you need help creating new passwords or managing all new complex passwords, use a password manager and generator to create and securely store them.

3. Change passwords for other services than email

Changing passwords for other online accounts is also crucial: payment-based accounts, such as Amazon, Netflix, or any shopping platforms from Allegro to Zalando, require resetting. It is tedious and time-consuming, but necessary for security. This step is very important, and you must remember it because these types of services are much more valuable targets for scammers, and by hacking into our email, they gain access to them. For example, a bank account can easily become the next target of a breach if a scammer finds information needed to reset the password. Make sure you use a unique password for each website: the risk of subsequent breaches increases if you use the same password for multiple services. Avoid simple logins through email or social media accounts to reduce the risk of subsequent breaches.

4. Notify people you know

You should also remember the need to protect your contact list. It is a good idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues about the breach. During the period when scammers had control over your account, they could send dozens, or even hundreds, of emails containing malware to everyone you know. This type of phishing attack, in turn, gives them access to a new group of potential victims. You should also notify your contact lists on other platforms: email may be just one way that hackers choose. If they have hacked into social media or messaging apps, fake messages can be sent from any of them. Warning contacts allows them to take steps to ensure that their own devices are clean and intact.

5. Report the email breach

Contact your email provider and report the breach. This is important even if the hacked email did not result in loss of access. Reporting the breach helps providers track fraud-based behaviors. By reporting the breach, you protect yourself and others from future threats, helping the provider improve its security.

Remember, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow these steps if you suspect that a scammer has stolen your password and email login. Taking immediate action can help minimize the damage and protect yourself and others from further harm.

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