Somebody "hacked" my old Yahoo! email account

My mom asked me if I sent her an email the other day which linked to some sort of online advertisement. Of course, I never did, so I asked her to show it to me.

My parents still primarily use our SBC Global email accounts provided to us by our ISP (which are Yahoo! email accounts), despite my repeated attempts to try and get them to switch away. She logged into her email and showed me the message in her inbox. The sender was listed as "christopher horton" (the email address actually sent from was not immediately visible), and the subject simply said "from christopher horton". It was sent to everyone in my old account's contact list, and simply said "Hi!", followed by a link with no explanation given.

I advised my mom to send it to the spam folder, and then tried to log in to my old Yahoo! email account to deactivate it. It told me it did not recognize my ID or password anymore. Trying to get the password reset resulted in AT&T (our "new" ISP we were transferred to a while back) showing me the following error message:


Fantastic.

I also got a similar message in my Spam inbox in my current Gmail account:

Notice now the email address: taradol@tsdmag.com. This is not the email address of my old Yahoo! account from which the address book was taken, hence why I say my account was "hacked". Whoever is behind this is sending spam using my real name and all of my old contacts, but not from my actual email account. Interesting.

At any rate, this is what I want to make clear:

  • These messages are not coming from me. Not even from my current email address. Not even from my old email address! My actual contact name doesn't even show in all lowercase, nor would I use "from christopher horton" as the subject line. Both things are just stupid.
  • I would never send you a link in an email without at least explaining what it is, and probably telling you about it in advance. Please don't click the link in this email if you have received it.
  • AT&T/Yahoo! don't seem to offer any easy ways to get this cleared up, but I'll be looking into solutions.
If you have received one of these emails, I apologize. Spam sucks.

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