Compromised accounts

Text Size

Compromised accounts

Your account has probably been compromised if…

  • Your Sent folder contains emails you didn't send.
  • Your Inbox contains mailing errors or MAILER-DAEMON messages, but your Sent folder doesn't show emails for those messages. In this case, your account may have been spoofed.
  • People you know tell you about email they received from you that you know you didn't send.
  • You're continually bumped offline when you're signed into your account.
  • Your Display Name has been changed or looks odd.

If your account has been compromised, you should…

  • Run a virus scan. Virus scans search for any spyware, viruses or other malware that may have found their way onto your computer. Make sure you have a recent version of antivirus software installed on your computer and run scans frequently. If you don't have any virus scan software installed, go to AOL Internet Security Central to see the latest applications available from AOL.
  • Change your password. This will help protect your account from unauthorized access. Make sure the new password is as different from your old password as possible. Use a non-trivial word with upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and symbols ($, *, &, !, etc.). Check out Tips for creating secure passwords and ASQs and then visit to change your password. If you need additional help, please see How do I change my password? for instructions.
  • Change your Account Security Question (ASQ). A weak security question can make it much easier for hackers to get into your account. Changing to a more secure question further ensures the safety of your account. Check out our tips to creating secure passwords and ASQs and then visit to change your ASQ. If you're not sure how to do so, please see Change or reset my Account Security Question for more information.
  • Check your Display Name. Make sure your Display Name (the name people see when you send them mail) doesn't contain the letters "AOL", "A.O.L." or "Aol". Spammers sometimes change an account's Display Name and that can cause you to see an error message when trying to send mail.
  • If you still can't change your password or security question (ASQ) after visiting, please call 1-855-622-4946 (Mon-Fri 8am-1am ET and Sat-Sun 8am-10pm ET) and we'll be more than happy to help you.

If you can't sign on with your current password…

If AOL thought your email account was tied to suspicious activity, it's possible we reset your password to protect you and your account. You can access your account again by changing your password. Please see How do I change my password? for more information.

Prefer phone support?

Contact us (paid members only) or upgrade your AOL plan to receive 24/7, live AOL technical support.

Related Articles:

I receive spam emails from my own email address
The sent folder or outbox contains email that I didn't send
Fraudulent billing pop-up
What is email spoofing and how can I tell if my account has been spoofed?

About this article:
Last updated: 06-19-2014
© 2013 AOL Inc.