Hi folks - Just putting out a call for any tips on Password recovery of an old gmail account.
Basically I've had a clients sister reach out for help that her email has stopped working. Basically she's had it since 2012, its a Gmail but she's used it with Imap in Windows live mail for many many years and its just stopped.
I asked all the normal questions and got "I've never had a password" because it was saved in Windows live mail. I've run MAILPV and extracted what was saved in Live Mail and it doesn't work online either (Was hoping it was just Gmail blocking Imap) - We've tried a password recovery but basically she's never had a recovery Email or Phone number loaded. The only questions we get asked are
What is the last password you remember - So we enter the one that was used in Windows Live mail.
"What was your first phone number" - So we've tried a few old phone number with and without country codes. Then we get asked to provide another email we can be contacted on so I've provided mine and entered the Gcode they email me.
At that point we are presented with the message We couldn't verify that you own this account.
Basically she may have put the password I've tried into Windows Live mail after it started prompting for a password when it failed to login forever losing the real saved Password.
She mail have fallen victim to a Phishing scam and handed her account over and they've changed the password.
We may have the right password that WAS being used but its been hijacked and changed and without other recovery info we are stuffed.
Has anyone had any joy getting any further in this kind of case as I can't see Google contacting me and most of what I read online is that when you get to this point throw a match over your sholder, watch the bridge burn and walk away and start again.
I don't need any "You should setup recovery information..." etc - I know this but this is the first time I've spoken to her and she's been using the account for the last 9 years and she's in her 60s. I did a haveibeenpwned lookup on her address and it doesn't feature which is a good sign that she hasn't been hacked by virtue of using the same password everywhere - She really doesn't seem to use many online services - Banking, email and paying bills etc - So its just the nuisance of contacting everyone and getting her address changed if we go down that path.
Basically this is just a hail mary that someone has found a way to get some traction with google but I can fully understand that they'd have to have a helpdesk of millions to be fielding constant assistance with lost passwords etc.