There are different types of hackers, but the worst ones are the ones that use your personal information in a way that costs you money. These hackers usually discover your password and want to use it to buy things or transfer money from your bank, etc.
When hackers successfully break into one of your accounts they want to hide their activity. They don’t want you to see emails that tip you off that your account has been compromised. One popular technique is for a hacker to sign you up to hundreds of email newsletters. That causes your inbox to fill up. While that’s happening, they are doing their dirty work.
Here’s my story:
Suddenly I started receiving hundreds of emails. Newsletter sign-ups mostly. As I went through all these emails I discovered a few important emails concerning my amazon.com account.
I found refund requests for recent orders. Why would I have refund requests? It turned out that a hacker had discovered my Amazon.com password. They logged in and requested refunds on some recent orders. The refund would go to amazon.com gift card credit, which he then used to place an order. That order was for an unknown name and address. Fortunately I caught it before the order shipped and was able to cancel it.
I discovered all this because of the amazon.com emails that were buried in the middle of all these junk messages. Had I been less diligent I might have missed the important notices and the crime would have been successful.
I contacted amazon.com immediately and we stopped the pending order and canceled the refund requests. No harm done. But that was a close call. Of course had the crime been successful, Amazon.com would have refunded me any lost money. But what I wanted was for the crook to fail. That’s what I call a success. Further, I requested Amazon.com to block that shipping address in their fraud alert system to prevent any other accounts from being compromised.
If you start receiving a bunch of emails suddenly, then someone might be trying to cover their tracks. Go through your email carefully to see if any banking emails, online store emails, or other important messages are buried in the middle of all the junk. Don’t ignore the problem. These junk emails are a warning sign that someone may be attacking one of your accounts.
To unsubscribe from all those newsletters, I used a free service, https://unroll.me/. I’ve used it for years. They provide a super simple way to reduce email and it’s especially useful when something like this happens. I use it regularly to unsubscribe or block unwanted messages.