Travails of a lost ID!!!

I returned home one night after a harrowing day at the Uni, consisting of 4 hours of nerve racking work, 2 hours of a boring lecture and 1 hour of a tute by a stupid tutor, all back-to-back, only to find an offliner on my Yahoo messenger from my bro.
Now this was something interesting, as my bro is someone who responds to a “hi” with a “ya?” and a “what’s up?” with a “nothing” and contributes just about nothing towards an online conversation!
The offliner said something like: “Hi, what’s the news at your end. Check out this interesting link: http://www.geocities.com/xxxxx.html”..well..something like that except that the xxxxx was some arbit n-digit number. Coming from my bro, I was a bit surprised and made the cardinal mistake of clicking on the link! It took me to a page asking for my yahoo ID. I promptly signed in and was taken to a “pink” page! Realising there was something wrong, I logged out, but a tad too late.
Next day, I found my brother on Gtalk, something he hardly uses, inspite of my trying to convince him to use that to save me calling card charges. He was a bit livid at me, asking me why I had changed his Yahoo password. Since that was the last thing I intended to do, I told him so and he gave me the bad news…he had lost his ID. This came as a bit of shock to me and with a fair amount of trepidation I tried to login only to face the now familiar, Incorrect ID or password entered page.
The next two days I tried everything, like filling out the same form a zillion times, only to be told that my password has been sent to my alternate address. Well, I remembered I had an alternate address with indiatimes and after logging into that after close to an year I found a message which said “Your Yahoo password has been changed.” which only meant that my alternate ID had also been changed.
Well, I knew one thing for sure..whoever had done this meant business!! The next best step I decided would be to cut my losses. All my credit card statements, savings account statements and cell phone bills are forwarded to this ID. Thankfully Citibank does not print the card no, account no or other details in the e-statement. I managed to change my email address with 3 and citibank, but not before being annoyed by Citi’s insistence that I provide a 10 digit cell no and nothing less. Next thing I was worried about was my Australian Permanent Residence application confirmation communique from my lawyer which was sent to this ID. A call confirmed it wasn’t important enough to cause damage!
At this juncture all I can say is Thank God for Little Mercies we still haven’t reached a stage where hijacking an email address can have serious consequences. But I believe its just a matter of personal choice on the amount of data you have stored in that ID.
Some pieces of advice to any person:
1. Never store important data like credit card statements etc in a free web-based email ID. If its cracked its next to impossible to get it back. There’s no way you can authenticate yourself. All the hacker has to do is change your personal details.
2. Never follow a link from your messengers. They provide more information than necessary. Even if you follow, never login with any passwords!

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3 thoughts on “Travails of a lost ID!!!

  1. duh…dont you read the url in the address bar?
    I recieved a mail from paypal today…same case of fraud, thanks goodness I havent fallen till now. Why cant people work hard and make money (like our umesa) πŸ™‚

    1. numbered URL..fell for it…!
      never used to do it…always my policy..never follow a URL..
      guess my ID was destined to be lost…a moment of madness as they say πŸ˜‰

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