How to Regain Control of Your Lost Yahoo Account (Part 1)

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After spending the day with family last Thursday I arrived home only to receive an email from Yahoo saying my Yahoo password changed. Since I had spent the day without computer access I was surprised to see such a message. So I tried to access my Yahoo account. Sure enough I couldn’t log in. My password wasn’t working.

Had I been phished? I doubt it. I never respond to phishing type emails. It’s best practice to never share your logins and passwords with strangers via email (or any other medium) just because they look like they are from the company with whom you have the account. If you ever receive such an email and thin it is genuine then go to the comapnies website in your web browser and look for the information there as opposed to clicking the link in the email. If the company really has a reason for that information it’ll be easy to find related information on their actual website. But I digress.

I went to Yahoo’s login help page and followed the instructions to reset my password. The process requires you to put in certain verifying information that you entered when you created the account and it sends you an email to an alternate, non Yahoo email address (which has been previously set in your account settings). Seems like a great feature but for some reason I never got the email with the new password.

On the same login help page there is a feature that triggers Yahoo to send you an email with your Yahoo ID to the same alternate email address. When I used this feature I got an email in seconds. So obviously there was a problem with the password reset feature.

After spending the bulk of my time over the weekend browsing around Yahoo and other sites for helpful information I had made no headway into getting the issue resolved. So on Monday morning I decided to call the companies main line. Since I’m on the east coast it was still early at Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, California but the outgoing message on the voicemail system gave me a phone number for support (408-349-1572, no 800 number so have your wallet open to pay for the long distance fees).

I called the number and got a native English speaking human on the phone pretty quickly. She told me that I needed to send an email to a particular email address reporting the issue. I should expect to get an automated reply within 15 minutes that would ask me for some specific account related information. I was to reply to the email with the requested information (being careful not to change the subject line) and then wait. It could take 12-48 hours to get a response, she said.

I followed the instructions and sent an email to the specified address. The email bounced. So I called the support number again. Another person said the process was right but the email address was wrong (duh). So I made this person wait on the line while I sent the email and waited another couple of minutes to be sure this one wouldn’t bounce. Sure enough I got the expected response and am now in hour 6 of my 12-48 hour wating period.

Part 2 coming soon.

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Comments

[…] More Yahoo Madness […]

my Yahoo password is fine…
but i get the message
“temporary problem” and to log off and on again, or refresh, or close and open browser

none of this works.. and it’s been a full week now that i cannot access my yahoo email account.. and when i try to send mail to it.. from other accouts.. it says mail not deliverable

and i cant’ get yahoo to do anything for me.. they just say to log off and on again.

very very frustrating.

Sad but true
just came back today after a week’s vacation to find that the password and the account details have been changes.
I have been using this id for almost 8 years now and to find it gone is sad…
am really not sure if this calling yahoo writing them emails is going to help or not :(

What have you got to lose? It helped me. Maybe it will work for you too!

Someone hacked my yahoo-account a couple of weeks ago. I tried to contact the yahoo helpdesk by e-mail, but never got an answer, and as I was pretty desperate I called the UK-office in London.They were very nice and asked me some questions e.g. my postal code when I registered, my secret question etc. and because I answered the questions correctly they reset my account and gave me a new password right-away. You should try to do that. If you have forgotten your secret question they will be able to verify that you are the owner of the account from other data. Try it! I got acces and a new password over the phone and regained immediate acces to my account

I had my yahoo password stolen in a phishing scam sent by a geocities user!! Talk about Yahoo’s own user being able to hack their own email service user’s passwords!

To get help, I emailed yahoo security. Someone replied to me but was unable to help because the answer to secret question doesn’t match. I exhausted all possible answers, but none matched the one in their system. I had to email security instead of going through their password recovery page because the hacker changed the zip code, so their online form was useless. I guess I have given up now and resigned to thinking I have lost my email permanently.

I tried the password recovery page in Gmail. It was much better! It sent instructions for password recovery to my alternate email address. Yahoo mail on the other hand does nothing with the alternate email address other than to notify you that you have been screwed. I called Yahoo customer service. I got even a dumber response that “once lost, nothing can be done”. Now why would anyone want to use Yahoo mail service?? I guess this is the hacker’s original intent. To expose yahoo and its crappy email service.

If you finish reading my Yahoo trilogy you will see how I got my account back without having to know the answer to my secret question.

As for the “once lost, nothing can be done” line it makes perfect sense. They have no way of knowing that the person who changed your password and other information is not the owner of the account. That’s why they make it so hard to get a new password. The person calling or filling out the form may not be the owner of the account. And if that’s the case and they let the person change the password so easily then things would be alot worse than they currently are.

The important thing to remember is to not get too frustrated and be resourceful. That’s how I got my account back and if you follow what I did you should be able to also.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for replying. I read about how you got your stuff back. BTW, I tried the same thing – offering to send them a copy of my CA driver’s license. No, they said that wont help and that I have to go through answering the same set of questions which the hacker has changed. How did you get them to try this method? I would be willing to do the same.

And by the way, I understand the fact that yahoo makes password recovery so difficult and it is not possible for them to know who tampered an account. But why wasnt the alternate email address used as an authentication level? Who else in the world would have two different service emails stolen at the same time? I am only saying Yahoo could follow Gmail’s (and other online services) footsteps. Even if a hacker got hold of your account and changed the alternate email, you still have to go through and answer the secret question.

Once again, my point is, make it as difficult for a hacker to change your personal information without *proving* that it is *you* that is changing the account details. The only way to do that is collecting information and sending a cryptic link to the alternate email address and asking the user to continue from there. As simple as that. Otherwise, there is a high chance the original user will be locked out. Yahoo must fix this problem, else you will only see more blog topics like this.

I still haven’t lost hope. Lets see where this takes.

Let me correct this line:

>>Once again, my point is, make it as difficult for a hacker to change your personal information without *proving* that it is *you* that is changing the account details.

Yes of course, you can allow minor things to be changed such as your name, zip code etc, because these can change over time, including your name. Verifying this data from an alternate email may be an overkill and unneccessary. *Only* those that are critical in the password recovery should be authenticated from a different email by the user.

If you can let me know how you got Yahoo to accept your driver’s license as an authentication document, I would greatly appreciate it.

My Yahoo ID has been hacked.
The hacker has changed all the contact/account
Information,so i am not able to change my pwd too.
And this ID is being used for spam,used for sending junk
sites to all my conatct list , contact list has lot of
offical contact which is causing problem,
The Mail box has some important contact list and mails.
It has my CV which has all my oersonal info …the hacker
has access to my Phone Numbers / residence details i am
getting lot of abusive calls and sms …its really
frustrating !!
Pls suggest me how to recover back the password.It
is of utmost urgency.Pls help me out in this regard.

Thanks ‘n’ Regards,
SS

It’s all in the post. The short version is as follows: I called them at 408-349-1572 and explained the situation, they gave me the email address of their security team (I’m not sure if they called it their security team or something similar), I emailed the security team about the situation, they replied with some questions, I answered them, they replied asking for even more information (including a photo ID) for me to fax to them, I got my account back.

SS – Read the whole post (all 3 parts) and you’ll see how I did it. I wrote the short version in my previous comment.

Hi Dave,

Looks like the problem you are facing is not a phishing attempt, but someone who knew your details resetting your password. Because you say

>>
On the same login help page there is a feature that triggers Yahoo to send you an email with your Yahoo ID to the same alternate email address. When I used this feature I got an email in seconds. So obviously there was a problem with the password reset feature.

How my password got changed is irrelevant. The point is that I was in the same situation as you are right now: my password was changed by someone else and I had no way to recover it.

Hi Dave,

I wrote a lot more stuff in my reply but it got cut in your blog.

Let me tell you why I think your situation and mine (and so many others) are different. You said:

>>On the same login help page there is a feature that triggers Yahoo to send you an email with your Yahoo ID to the same alternate email address. When I used this feature I got an email in seconds

Try not to use characters like >> when you quote from me. whatever you’re using after you quote is cutting off your message.

Hmm, once again the blog cut down what I wrote.
Hopefully I had Ctrl+C, so I didn’t lose what I wrote.

Your and my case are different because I went through the same process in having my login name sent to alternate email address. Alas, the system couldn’t verify! Why? the hacker changed my zip code. Sloppy thinking on Yahoo’s part to have Zip code for password recovery.

You were clearly not phished. Had you been, *then* you would be in the same boat as I am.

Oh! thanks Dave for letting me know about cutting off characters! I sent my reply.

I don’t think it really matters how similar or different our situations are. You still have nothing to lose by trying what I did and seeing where it goes. If it gets you your password back then you’ve succeeded. If it doesn’t then, as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained. You will never know if it will work for you or not unless you try it.

Hi Dave,

I apologize if I strayed from your topic. I had registered a complaint with FTC (ftc.gov) on Yahoo’s lack of protection of the consumer (even though it is a free service). I urge others to do the same if they are a victim.

My complaint with Yahoo is that anyone can change my account details without *me* authenticating it. I could have been at least notified at my alternate email address saying “if it is you who changed the password, follow this rather cryptic link to continue…”. This authentication level was missing which is currently exploited by these phishing scams. There is a high possibility that users are locked out of their own emails without the original user knowing about it.

On the other hand, try forgetting something in Gmail and go through their password recovery. This is the reason why you dont see Gmail users venting their frustration.

Dave,

I have tried the system and failed. Which is why I am writing all this.

Hi Dave,

Could you please send me the email address of the yahoo security team? I’m also having the same situation…that I got an email to my alternate email address saying that my yahoo password i changed..which I never did.

In my friends cirlce itself I’m hearing from 10-12 memebers saying they too lost their yahoo accounts.And I’m not sure whether its true or just a co-incidence..all the users who lost their accounts/passwords are using the Yahoo Beta Version Messenger.

Send me the yahoo security team email-id.

-Ramesh

Ramesh – I have emailed the address to you. Please use it with discretion.

– Dave

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reply, but I haven’t recieved any email from you.Could you please send it again.

~Ramesh

Be sure that my email wasn’t caught in your spam filter.

Hello; I lost my account also by hackers.. could you also send me the email for the security team so i can send my photo id etc.. thanks dave

Done.

Again sorry for ranting. Everyone who have had their Yahoo accounts hacked – Do something about it. Complain to FTC (ftc.gov) Write about this in your blogs. Spread the word. Talk to newspapers if you know.

We see more and more Yahoo users in this situation. Google it if you don’t believe me. Why, look up some “password hackers” in the Web that will get back your password for a price(will not name them here), they boldly advertise they can hack Yahoo and Hotmail (I don’t see they can hack gmail yet – no I don’t work for google). Does this fact switch on a light bulb somewhere?

I don’t care to get back my account. If someone hacked once, thats it, I am not using that account. Whats the point anyway, someone already saved all my information. I don’t see why you guys even want to get back a hacked account. Only if you need something from there you haven’t backed up, then yeah. But consider all that lost. Once hacked, *stop* using it.

I suggest we stop using Yahoo’s email. Boycott them. Discontinue from their paid services if you do.

hey dave; i dont have any email from you.. could you please send me the email at anights_shadow@yahoo.com with the email of yahoo security so i can send them the info on getting my account back..

thanks dave

I emailed it to you upon your first request. If you haven’t gotten it then check your spam filter to see if it’s there. Otherwise try calling like I did. I have found that their tech support people are usually ok. You may not make alot of progress on the first call (just as you may not make progress on the first call to any vendor) but be patient and explain your issues calmly and you’ll be surprised at the results you’ll get. Yahoo (and other similar vendors) do not want to keep your password away from you. But at the same time they can’t just hand it over. They’re going to make you jump thrpough some hoops to prove that you are in fact who you claim to be and not a scam artist as the person who stole your account was.

dear dave,

i badly need ur help. my yahoo accounts too have been hacked. i rarely use it lately, but there are few emails that are very important to me. i am willing to jump the hoops, faxing all the way to the US (btw, i’m in Malaysia).

would u mind emailing me the yahoo security email address? it would be a great help. thank u very2 much.

Caza –

Sent. If you can’t find it in your inbox then check your spam filter.

– Dave

Dave, I am encouraged by this conversation. Last night I had a similar thing happen to me. Went to bed it was working fine, woke up and I was unable to log-in to Trillian. Checked my account and now I can’t login! And I have a fantasy football draft on Saturday!

If you could please send me the email address, it would be much appreciated. Thank you sir.

Andy

Hi Dave ,

could you mail me the yahoo support center email ID as my yahoo Account is also hacked..
chandra.qat@gmail.com

Thanks in advance.

my yahoo ID has been hacked by someone and changed the whole information (name, region, zip, alternate email etc). I have no idea on how to proceed. I shall appreciate if someone could come to resuce. I do remember the folders, emails in my account and also old passwords.

On hotmail you can write to them and provide some necessary information, they verify it and if they think you are right, they help you out. But here on yahoo I do not find any such thing, which is so frustrating.

It may be highlighted that hotmail have an option of setting your security key, hacker can not change it without answering three questions answers. You can write to hotmail customer support and inform them about it. There is no such thing on yahoo.

Dave could you mail me the yahoo security team email address, i would appreciate. I have read all posts here, why don’t you write email address here? in the forum or you want everyone requesting you for the email address everytime they are in need:).

Hello Dave,
I am in the same situation as you were in with your yahoo accounts. I dont know what happened but am suspecting some hacker or phissing.
Anyways I have been contacting yahoo help for the last one week and they told me nothing can be done if I cant provide the correct security answer. I opened my account 10 years ago and dont remember that answer. I gave them all my other details that my prove my validity. But they still disagree.
Can you pls give me some ideas as how I can get back my account. It is my primary account.So without i am totally handicapped.

[…] As I say in the original post on how I got my account back the security email address was given to me after explaining my situation to someone on the phone. Instead of asking me for the email address you should be calling the telephone number I gave. For all any of us know the email address I got may have changed since then, been repurposed for a different use or may not even be the one you need to get what you need. […]

To all those requesting the Yahoo security emaill address: Please read my latest post on the issue.

Hello Dave,
Thnxs for the info. Since I dont live in the US I was hoping an email address would help me out. I didnt mean to irritate you in any kind of manner. Your blog is the first that comes in Google search which means it is the most helpful and you have described the entire story in a very helpful manner.

Anyways, thanks again.
Zita

Hey there,

Just as you all have said, I too have been hacked. I have a friend with the problem in common. I did receive from him (without his doing it) a website with a title involving the word photos. I went to look, because we are both photographers, and I thought perhaps he’d sent me a new site. Nothing was there. I thought nothing of it, until about 5 days later when, viola, I received a 1:39 pm email on a Sunday stating that my password had been changed. I jumped through hoops, got a reply, answered the questions… and now it’s been a week with no response. Sooooo… yes, Dave, I’ve read all your posts, can’t believe you’ve been so patient as to involve yourself in all this. But thanks for the number. I IS now an 800 number – 866-562-7219. So, I’m callin’ in the morning when they’re open.

Good luck to all of you… and please wish me the same!

Christine

Best of luck to you, Christine. Please let us know how it turns out.

my password was changed by some one i can’t get access to my yahoo acount i will be happy if u will send me the password to this email viconyy@gmail.com thanks viktor

Hi Dave/Ramesh,

Can you send me the Email id or the Helpdesk Phone number to contact yahoo…

I have a similar situation as Ramesh…I had installed yahoo beta some weeks ago & now i’m not sureif my id has been compromised or thereis ome issue.

Thank You.

Victor, Kishore –

I no longer send out the email address for reasons outlined above. As for the phone number, read what I wrote in the post and you’ll get the phone number.

Hello all,

So who or where do I call in case i had my accounts phished and i live in Africa? Kenya to be exact. I lost my ID in a phishing scam but i dont know when exactly i just logged on one morning and could not access anything. I have tried endlessly to email Yahoo! with my substitute email which Yahoo! should be resetting my password and sending it there but no help there.

What to do?

Please HELP !!

Hello Dave,
I am in the same situation as you were in with your yahoo accounts. I dont know what happened but am suspecting some hacker or phissing.
Anyways I have been contacting yahoo help for the last one week and they told me nothing can be done if I cant provide the correct security answer. I opened my account 10 years ago and dont remember that answer. I gave them all my other details that my prove my validity. But they still disagree.
Can you pls give me some ideas as how I can get back my account. It is my primary account.So without i am totally handicapped.

Abubakar –

I don’t mean to be rude but you need to figure that out for yourself. My story was meant to be empowering. To show you that without any information on who to contact I was able to figure out how to get my account back and that if I could do it so can you. But I’m not here to do your research for you. I have no clue what the phone number is that you need toi call. You need to do a little searching to find out. I do not work for Yahoo nor do I have any inside knowledge. Do some web searches centered around yahoo, look at their corporate page, search phone directories, be industrious. Just as I figured it out so can you.

– Dave

Ateeq Khan –

The only ideas I have are in my post. You can try calling their coporate headquarters and work from there (as I did). But that’s all I’ve got.

– Dave

Guys, I am surprised to see so many out there with the same issue. In my case, I dont remember my DOB, so yahoo neither wants to reset the password nor close the account. I am trying everyday. I have joined a complaint petition at http://www.tecross.com/yahoo_inc/complaints/5/details/1157681969614681.

Hopefully this complaint at Tecross will help all of us. If you are a victim, please take a moment to signup for this petition.

wow-so many victims –

Put yourself in Yahoo’s shoes for a moment. They need to establish a set of criteria to try to ensure that the person trying to change the password is actually the account holder. In the case of the phisher changing the account Yahoo assumes the phisher is the account holder because they already have the password. We might not like it but it makes sense. Any other assumption on Yahoo’s part would prevent anyone from ever changing their password.

Then you come along and ask if they can reset the password. Since you don’t know the current password Yahoo is going to assume that you are not the account holder until you can prove otherwise. This also makes sense. If anyone could reset anyone else’s password just by requesting it then this system would have fallen apart on the day it was introduced. Most websites that require accounts have similar policies.

This is where things get kind of tricky. What information should Yahoo accept as proof that you are the account holder? To be honest, in your case if I were Yahoo I’d be doubting you too. I mean, who forgets their date of birth?

The petition you mention is uselesss. It will not change anything. Yahoo’s policies in this regard are designed to restrict phishers from getting people’s account information through Yahoo’s own system. (What a user writes in an email or phony website is a different issue.) The policies actually do protect the users as well as Yahoo’s shareholders and satisfies law enforcement guidlines. A petition will not change these things. However, if signing a petition makes you feel a little better and gives you some hope then go for it.

What have you actually tried to do yourself? Have you only tried the password reset page? If so then you need to go further. Try calling them and seeing what you can get done that way. Think outside the box and try to figure out ways you can prove who you really are and present them to the people you get on the phone or (email of fax or whatever). Don’t just resign yourself to signing a petition. Empower yourself to figure out a way you can prove to Yahoo who you claim to be and work it from there.

Dave,

You don’t understand the real problem because you aren’t affected as much as we have been. We have lost our access and emails!

Yahoo needs to fix a problem with their password recovery without losing any of their security crap – period.

Here is what gmail does, and see how they have fixed this problem. Go through their password recovery:

“We’ve sent instructions to the secondary email address you provided during signup.

If you don’t have a secondary email address, or if you no longer have access to that account, please try the ‘Forgot your password?’ link again after five days….blah blah”

Note the word “PROVIDED DURING SIGNUP”. Now of course only I have access to that email address. Yahoo is crappy in allowing even the alternate email address to be reset by the hacker. So I dont get any damn emails there. Gmail even allows you to try answering their secret question if you don’t have access to their emails.

Dave, don’t sympathize with Yahoo but try to understand their loop hole. Who knows someone inside Yahoo could have done this to teach them a lesson.

I suggest every victim to sign the petition openend by wow-so many victims. Yeah its not going to help, but who cares. I lost my email. I lose nothing by signing it. Lets see if that works.

Dave,

Dont be naive saying “who will forget their date of birth”. Remember not everyone gives out their date of birth or any personal information when signing up free emails. The only thing they will willingly give out is their alternate email address, because 1. its not a ticket to their personal info and 2. Only the original user has access to it. Answer to a security question is the second level to authenticate. Only you know the answer.

KK –

You posted 3 replies to this space on Friday afternoon. I didn’t have the time to read them fully so I moved them into moderation until I would have the time to read them and reply to them intelligently. After all, that was one of my goals when I posted my story – stimulate intelligent discussion that will hopefully help people.

Unfortunately, after I moved the comments to moderation you sent 2 more replies that were uncalled for. I didn’t mind when you said “Thanks for deleting my reply. And go work for yahoo.”. I realized that you were upset about your Yahoo situation and misundertood your reply being removed from view to mean that it was deleted. The part that I minded was when you ended the last reply with “you ass”. That was uncalled for especially since I had never said anything that could be considered less than constructive to any of the people who have commented to me either here or via email.

If you want people to sign the petition that’s fine with me. My opinion about the affect it will or will not have may differ from yours but I have no problem with you signing it and asking others to sign. (If I did I may not have approved the reply that contained the information about the petition.)

When I sat down to read your first 3 replies I saw that you had left the last 2. I took the time to respond to those with this reply because I felt that the good faith that I have shown in allowing my website to become a place to discuss these issues was being violated and felt the need to say something about it. I may not have the time to read and reply to the first 3 replies again until late tomorrow. But as a continued show of good faith I will read them and reply to them as soon as possible even though you insulted me.

One more thing, when you leave a comment here please leave it with a real email address where I can contact you. That way we could have discussed this issue privately instead of in a place where anybody looking at this page could read it. It’s embarrassing for both of us.

– Dave

KK,

In response to your comment of 8. September, 2006 at 17:15.

To take your arguments in the order you presented them:
1 – Yes, I do understand the real problem because I had been affected just as severely as you. Though I never used Yahoo as my primary email provider I did have some very important emails in the accountas that I lost total access to and thought I’d never see again. I also has some pictures in my account. And I used the account for fantasy sports leagues and lost my access in the middle of the American football season.
2 – I agree that Yahoo needs another solution to the password recovery problem but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Especially when there’s shareholder and legal concerns that are paramount to the issue.
3 – The point about the alternate email address being changeable is interesting. Google seems to have taken into account the worst case scenario that an account may be phished. Asking the user for the secondary email address at signup and not allowing it to be edited afterward helps ensure the security of that email address. But what if you stop using the email address you put in at signup? What if you change ISPs, for example, and can no longer access that account? It would appear that you’re hopeless to get your Gmail account back. Yahoo allows the secondary email address to be change for just this reason. The downside to this, of course, is that if the account is phished the phisher can easily change that secondary address and cause the actual account holder no end of misery. I’m not saying who is right or wrong (that’s a subjective question) but I’m sure you can see the argument for making that editable.
4 – I’m not sympathizing with Yahoo. I don’t work for them, I don’t own their stock and I don’t have anything to gain by defending them. Most of what I say here is aimed not at defending Yahoo but at trying to get people to think outside the box. It’s not easy to get help from Yahoo so I’m trying to convince people that they need to help themselves.
5 – Yes, there are loopholes to their system that can be taken advantage of. I would tend to doubt that your thought that a Yahoo employee would take advantage of such loopholes but it certainly could happen.

In reponse to KK’s comment on 8. September, 2006 at 17:26.

wow-so many victims said he/she forgot his/her DOB. That’s what I was responding to. He/she did not say that he/she forgot the made up date they used for DOB.

Perhaps the only part of the DOB issue that I may be guilty of assuming anything on is that someone would use a made up DOB. The personal information they ask for is usually not anything so personal to reveal very much about your true identity (unless you answer every one of the questions (including the optional ones) as detailed as possible). We can also learn from wow-so many victims that the information is very important in the password recovery process. So if you’re going to use any made up information you better keep track of it. (That’s not a criticism of wow-so many victims. Merely a lesson learned from his/her experience.)

And, by the way, alternate email can very well be a ticket to people personal info. There is just as much risk that your alternate email address can be phished as there is that your Yahoo or other free email account will. In fact many people use free web based email addresses as the alternate email to their accounts on other free email providers. Just the fact that you have so much personal email that’s been lost to the phisher should tell you that much. Personally, I don’t use web based email for any financial or legal matters and avoid it for anything so personal that I want to keep it private. Especially since I had my run in with losing my Yahoo account.

Sorry Dave. I was mad at the reply offered by you. I was so frustrated with Yahoo’s take on the whole thing, I took it out on you. This time, I have left my email address on the page. We can correspond in pvt if you like. You can remove all of my comments if it scars your blog.

On the alternate email address issue – Gmail *does* allow one to change it – because I changed mine because it had my phished yahoo account. However, you still have a second chance when you no longer have access to that account to. After 5 days, Gmail will provide an option to answer a secret question.

I have lost my yahoo password to phishing? please can anyone send me the email address of yahoo help desk where I could get my password reset.
Thanks a lot in advance

Hello again. After our last contact I communicated with Yahoo several times over telephone and email. Each time got the same reply– provide your security answer, if not can’t help you..
I tried with the recommendations you mentioned. Couldnt convince them eitherway.
If you have any other tips would be great. I am still holding on that I can revive my original account. But hope is fading really fast.

Zita

I have Lost my Yahoo ID , hacked by someone. tried so many times to get it back , but never got it back. how can i get it back ???

Hiren –

There are 3 parts to this post (hence why the title ends with Part 1). Read all 3 parts to see how I got mine back. The process that worked for me may or may not work for you.

Good luck.

Hi All,

I’ve been phished. Am in email hell with Yahoo Security (what a joke). They keep insisting that I answer the secret question. I don’t rememeber what I answered 10 years ago. I’ve offered to provide them with any form of ID they would like…license, passport, birth cert, whatever. They said that the only way I can regain access is to provide an answer that I don’t have. All the info that someone would need to steal my identity is in my account…..credit report, ss#, dob, resume, home address and phone….probably even my mothers maiden name. Am I screwed? Any suggestions? Would taking legal action be worth while?

John B

John,

Legal action probably wouldn’t do anything. They are looking out for the security of their users. They don’t know you from Adam. For all they know you’re the phisher trying to get into that account.

When I called them when I was in a similar situation and also when I emailed the security email I volunteered information about the account to them. Things like the fantasy leagues I was participating in, the names of photo albums I had, when I established my account, the various alternate email addresses I have on my account, the names of Yahoo groups I was a member of. As much as I could remember off the top of my head about the account to establish that I was familiar with the account and the hopes that I could tell them things about the account that only the owner could know.

In retrospect that may be why I was so lucky to have them restore my account to me. Among the things I needed to fax them was a copy of a photo ID. They may have asked for that in case it turned out that I wasn’t who I claimed to be.

As time passes and I hear more and more of these stories I have trouble understanding why I was so lucky to get my account back while so many others struggle with even trying to get Yahoo to answer them. If I ever get an answer to that question I’ll write about it here so others legitimate people who have become victims of phishers can have some more to go on. Until then all I can give you is the details to my experience and the comments on this page. I hope it helps.

Hi Dave,

Someone at 408-349-1572 felt sorry for me and told me to call 866-492-4664. I got a women who actually gave me the answer to my secret question. This was on 7Oct. I email them the answer and am still waiting for a reply.

I’ll keep you posted.

John

Great topic.

I believe my account was phished recently–all of a sudden, my password didn’t work.

My story had a happy ending. I called the toll free # for Yahoo, and luckily I used my real birthdate when I signed up–it was 8 years ago, so I didn’t recall if I used a fake one or not.

The other question the customer service woman asked me was where I was born. It took me three tries (at least they give you several chances to get it right). First I gave her the city, then the state–wrong, wrong. But then she reread the question, “The city or place you were born.” I had a blink moment and remembered I used the name of the hospital.

A few minutes later I had a new password sent to my alternate email.

My email was compromised for about 3 hours early on a Sunday morning while I was in a panic, trying to figure out what to do. I thought I’d have to sweat it out to monday, but at 9:00 am on that SUNDAY, I talked to a live human.

I think the moral of the story is PREVENTION– finding out what personal info. you supplied when you signed up before you lose control of the account.

Question: Is there a way to find out what personal info you gave when you signed up? I looked through my yahoo profile and I was going to post here where everyone can look up theirs, and I can’t find it.

I don’t believe there is a way to look up this information. As hard as that is to believe I think it’s a security issue. If a phisher were logged into your account and had access to that information he’d know more about you than you’d really like him to have and may have enough (between that and the contents of your email, etc.) to steal your identity. I could be wrong about this so if someone knows how to access this information for your account then please let me know.

– Dave

Am I correct then, that the only way to see if you have your correct info. is to try to reset your own password? If you didn’t remember the info., you could try to remember it through trial and error. I don’t see how this could backfire–you can’t get locked out of your account for trying unsuccessfully to reset your password too many times, can you?

(Warning: Before trying to reset your password, MAKE SURE YOUR ALTERNATE EMAIL ON FILE IS WORKING. [You can find out the alternate email address they have on file for your account on your Profile page]. You don’t want your new password sent to an email you no longer have access to. Well, maybe that’s not an issue, because the only way they would send you a new password is if you did indeed know your personal info., then you could just call them to explain what happened. I’m just trying to cover all the things that could go wrong).

Yahoo sent me a feedback survey rating their service.

Here are the comments I left:

My reason for contacting yahoo was that I lost access to my account, I believe due to phishing. I had to call to get a new password, since the alternate email yahoo had on file was no longer operative. I thought it was wonderful I was able to contact a live human at 9:00 am on a SUNDAY morning…WOW. I believe my account was phished around 6:00 am, and I was in a state of panic thinking I’d have to wait until monday. Bravo!

The other thing that added to my stress level, was that I wasn’t sure if I remembered the personal info I supplied when I originally opened the account, some 8 years prior. Luckily I remembered my info., even though it took me several tries to get it right.

I’m aware of the fact that I’m sure you’re aware the fine line you must walk with regard to giving assess to individuals who call in-how do you know if you’re talking to the real person, or someone with bad intentions. I was lucky because I remembered my correct personal info., but at the same, I hate the idea that I could have lost my account of 8 years and everything in it forever if I didn’t remember what I had supplied that many years ago.

Again, I’m sure you’re aware of this situation, but I don’t know what measures you may have in place to deal with it. For the benefit of others who, unlike me are not so fortunate, I would urge you to come up with an effective system that returns control of the account to the rightful owner, who is locked out for nothing more than a faulty memory. Thank you.

i lost my Id, email adresses, and friends list, all Yahoo will tell me is i have to know another email address. i am so sick of trying to get my thinkd back ,i hate yahoo.

heyy guys..my yahho has been hacked into again for the second time..so could you please mail me the yahoo security adress at this id :anognya@gmail.com. thanks

I have said it many times and will say it again now. This is not a forum to recover passwords. If your password was hacked only you can get it back. My story (all 3 parts) is here to show you how I did it. The same process may work for you or it may not. Either way there is no way for me to recover your account for you so please stop asking.

– Dave

suman93460@yahoo.com is not opening from 2weeks, i dont know it whether somebody hacked it, i forgot date of birth and security questions also can u tel me wat is the procees to my yahoo id

Suman –

You should read the comments before asking questions like that here. This is not a service to hack passwords. Read the posts to see how I got my account back. Maybe what I did will work for you. Maybe not. Good luck.

– Dave

Hello Dave,

I have read your advice, and I am one of the many with lost access to Yahoo and DOB not matching issues. I am trying to think outside the box and trying my best to convince yahoo it is me. I called the 1-866-562-7219 number, but they aren’t helpful. Its correct DOB or nothing. Is the number you provided for the security team still correct? I will be trying corporate numbers also but wanted to check with you first.

Atleast i take solace in the fact that I am not alone.

Thanks
Sumeet

Sumeet –

I do not know if the number has changed. I have been fortunate enough to not have to call it since 2005.

– Dave

Dear sir,,somebody ook and misuse my yahoo mail and too my password,,please need your help,,what I have to do,,best regards,,Mohamed Abbas.
my yahoo mail is:
abbaszayed3567@yahoo.com
please send me your eply to:
abbaszayed3567@hotmail.com

Read all 3 posts and all the comments. That’s the best I can do.

hi, i have lost my ID in the same way as well. it s very painful thinking about it becouse it was my first yahoo ID. i have emailed to sg-mail@yahoo-inc.com, hope it s the right mail address. becouse yahoo regularly changes his service mail adresses, i dont know why. plz notify me if it is wrong…….. lots of thanx.

Hi Sanjay,

I accept this is a big problem and yahoo, it seems, has yet not come out with a remedy. It’s shocking to see people suffering from others’ mischieves and yahoo sitting pretty duck. The less said about yahoo, the better it is!

i am absolutely feelin very bad why i can’t enter yahoo id yea8sme2@yahoo.com. i have observed that someone must have changed my password therefore i would kindly like to ask u to help me with the new one this person is using for me to be able to enter my id again.

thanks in advance as i hope hearin from u positively

jo-ts –

I cannot do this. Read all 3 parts of my story to see how I resolved my issue. This approach may or may not work for you.

– Dave

Dear Dave,

I have using my mail id: msmhibrahim@yahoo.co.uk nearly 10 years. I am suspect somebody phised my id and password by sending mail to me and getting details from me.

I have problems in signing in for the last 16 days, I have tried many ways, by sending password not working to yahoo and also I didn’t remember answer to my secret question, what is the pet’s name.

Please forward any mail id from yahoo to report this, I will very glad to you get out of thhis worst situation because id has lot of personal details and also I suspect somebody misusing my details and incoming mails.

KIndly advise me through my new mail id: mstmibrahim@yahoo.in.

With Thanks and Regards,

MOHAMED IBRAHIM MST

Mohamed –

I cannot help you. My 3 part post tells exactly what I did when I had this problem. Maybe my story will give you an idea to try. But I do not work for Yahoo or have any inside information that can resolve the issue for you.

– Dave

I am in different country and I was using yahoo account. The situation is exactly same. I am just waiting for them waiting they will find our real identification. I am so fraustrating. Did you solve the problem? How can I do? My English is short to talk & fight with them. I am really helpless. I could check still somebody is reading and sending message from my account. Please give me some ideas.

Sun –

There are two more posts about this that finishes telling my story and how I got control of my account back. I can only offer you what is written in these posts. I do not have any more information on how to regain control of a lost account.

– Dave

hi dave
my friend has stole my email for fun n i wana kick his for it what can i do to get back i mean i made my email in 2006 i cant rember wat i worte at that time

If he’s really a friend he’ll give it back to you.

thanks for your very helpful post … i managed to recover my account and prevent phisher from lightening my friends’ pockets.

Please I badly needed to access to my account because of my email. I am not a smart computer user so I need to remain with yahoo website only.Now I am really in trouble and I could not able to contact and send honored respond to my email
addresses for last four weeks especially for Christmas 2009.

Please I need your help the sooner the better. Don’t let frustrate, Yahoo is my first choice and I will be that for ever.
Your Sincerely,
Siosaia K.M.Taulahi

Only you can get your account back. I do not have that kind of power.

IIf you do not have the power to regain my account , what shall I can do.

Siosaia –

The articles I have posted here explain how I was able to get my own account back. Read them and maybe the same thing will work for you. If not then there must be some information in them that can be helpful. I do not work for Yahoo and am not a hacker so there is nothing I can do directly for you.

– Dave

Really Great Post. Best wishes. Thanks.

About 5 months ago both my yahoo and gmail accounts were stolen. Of course the thief changed my passwords and recovery questions. Unfortunately the alternative email address for each of these accounts pointed to each other.

This basically blocked all my attempts to recover either account using the conventional on-line recovery tools. Ultimately, I gave up and started using a third mail provider.

A few days ago I discovered a new yahoo service that I wanted access to. However, I did not want to setup a new yahoo account. So I re-attacked the problem by viewing forum posts of people who had similar problems. One woman solved her problem by sending yahoo a registered letter. So I decided to try something similar. I searched Yahoo Help for security and found the following link.

http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/security/general.html

I filled out a brief form on this page and explained my problem. I received an email about a day later that asked for a recovery question I used when I originally setup this account. After another day I received an email which contained a link which allowed my to change my password.

Once I recovered my yahoo account, I went to gmail and had a password recovery request sent to my yahoo account and VIOLA I can now access both accounts.

I hope this information is useful to someone out there, as I only found this solution because someone else took the time to explain how they solved their problem. Our solutions were different, but she pointed my in the right direction.

gudevening sir,
i have the account of ur yahoo mail services.the problem is i can’t access my yahoo account above I mentioned there.I do not know the password also.some importent mails and attachements are send to the valid email id.can you survive the problem?
i don’t know the password and what are the curricular details are when i was mentioned there at the time of opening of an account.
please kindly take my problem eager and give the right solution to regain my id and password!
I hope you get received this email very quick and give the best solution when i get my account as soon.
waiting for u r replay……
my alternate e-mail id is
bharath_kumarc3@yahoomail.com
please kindly give the solution……….

Thanks for sharing these valuable inputs. I got to learn quite a lot of tricks to recover hacked yahoo email id from the below mentioned link:
http://www.hacked-email.com/

Thought of sharing it with you all.

Ruth

I have somany data in this my yahoo ID account please I dont want to lost it.

If this is truly the case then contact Yahoo.

Hi sir,

I apologize if I strayed from your topic. I had registered a complaint with FTC (ftc.gov) on Yahoo’s lack of protection of the consumer (even though it is a free service). I urge others to do the same if they are a victim.

My complaint with Yahoo is that id one joshloveall can change my account details without *me* authenticating it. I could have been at least notified at my alternate email address also change and also changed my questions my id is dil_jan022@yahoo.com i ll chat my friend i get sign out my id and joshloveall change my all information if i take my friend id if i m online.he or she using my id and cheating with my friend if i ask and request give me id so he r she abusing to me.so i ll under he ll hack my id and password and change plaything now i get my id and password?help me sir i m so sad full night i cant sleep what to do………

Read the posts and the comments. That’s all I can offer. I don’t work for or have any inside people at Yahoo. You’re on your own.

twenty hours ago I accidentally dellet my e-mails from yahoo and then I go to help .com and fielled all info but I still not get any answer from yahoo this is really weird.

hi,

i opened a new email account late last year to go hand in hand with a new business i’m starting and i have completley forgot the email address and password how do i find it???

Yahoo is completely worthless when it comes to helping deal with problems that don’t fit their scripted responses.

I set up a Yahoo account many years ago. The phone number I gave them at the time I no longer have (went to ATT). There is no way to change the number to my current cell. So there is no way for me to get an SMS or phone call with a reactivation code.

Likewise I closed my alternate email address out years ago when I left the job it was attached to. So they can’t send me any reactivation code there.

And, I can’t remember the answer to my secret questions for 8 years ago.

So I’m screwed. I’ve emailed yahoo, the only available option, multiple times and NEVER gotten a response.

So, I’m going to gmail. Which evidently has is a much more secure email provider.

Fuck yahoo.

Not to defend Yahoo but any email host could not act on information supplied that is different than on their records (for example if you tell them a phone number or alternate email address that is different than what you originally entered). There is no way they could be sure that the person supplying such information is the actual account owner and not someone trying to gain access to the account via social engineering. That is why they made me jump through so many hoops when I tried to reclaim my account. I got lucky that I was able to find the right people with the right information to enable me to jump through the hoops. Apparently many people are not that lucky.

– Dave

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