Woke up this morning to an interesting email from my mother's address:
Pls reply me back
Happy New Year...
I'm sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it's just because of the situation of things right now, i'm stuck in London, I came down here on vacation, i was robbed, worse of it is that bags, cash and cards and my cell phone was stolen at GUN POINT, it's such a crazy experience for me, i need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good thing is i still have my passport but don't have enough money to get my flight ticket back home, please i need you to loan me some money, will refund you as soon as i'm back home, i promise.
Thank you Rand Winton
Hmmm. No. That's not real at all.
I replied to it and the hijackers further prompted me to provide help. So they are actively using her account. Great.
After texting her (she's been bombarded by all her contacts checking whether she's OK or letting her know she's been hacked) I tried to login. Of course her password didn't work. I tried the password retrieval mechanism and it said it was sending the change request email to an address that looks like ******@y****.**.uk -- also not my mother.
So, I have reported the problem to Google and am waiting for their response.
It looks like these people also deleted an announcement I posted to Mom's Facebook wall, too, so I assume they are in there also.
Sometimes the internet is such a jerk!
Update: She has managed to wrangle her Gmail out of the clutches of the baddies. Her Facebook account is currently locked down, but she's barely concerned about that.