Alabama Man Tricks Women into Changing Their Email Passwords – A Cautionary Tale

(Photo: Getty Images)

A former Birmingham, Alabama resident will be spending six months behind bars and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to illegally accessing email and cloud storage accounts of more than 50 women to obtain personal information, including explicit photographs.

The perpetrator created fake accounts posing as administrators of multiple email providers, then requested and demanded the women’s log in and password information.

Once given access, the con artist spent countless hours trolling the accounts for additional password information, birthdates, places of employment, and college affiliation. He then used the information he had gathered to try to guess the victims’ passwords or answer the security questions to reset them.

To help protect yourself from phishing attempts, consider the following:

  1. Always be cautious of suspicious emails asking for confidential information. Never respond to any type of email request with your username and password.
  2. Be careful of the information you put online. If you post information that can be connected to your password, anyone can take a guess and hack into your accounts.
  3. Switch up your passwords. Make your password for each account different. If all of your accounts have the same password, once someone obtains it to one, they have the ability to hack into all of your accounts.
  4. Log on to the official website instead of following a link. Any hyperlink can be changed to a different location, so make sure to go to the direct website to be sure it is correct.
  5. Contact the business to verify they contacted you. Reach out to the business provider over the phone that is contacting you via the internet to verify the email is genuine.

Source: BBB Northern Alabama, FBI.gov, Justice.gov, IC3.gov

For more details, check out Former Shelby County Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Accessing Women’s Computers for Personal Data and Explicit PhotographsMan Tricked Women into Giving Him Passwords to Access Information and Internet Crime Prevention Tips.

BBB Press Release: Alabama Man Tricks Women into Changing Their Email Passwords – A Cautionary Tale

To report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.