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sayling
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Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

For about the sixth time since Virgin switched to the new email platform, my account has been locked for apparently sending Spam.

I first become aware of it when I get a message on my phone's email client advising 'unable to sign in' and my wife (the main account holder) gets messages that my account has been locked because of Spam reports.

I believe these Spam reports may be being generated because I am one of the many, many people who - since the platform was switched from Google - who are suffering from their account being used for sending spoof emails. I regularly get bounce back messages where my Blueyonder address has been used as the sent from address and the reply to address is some scammer or phisher that has somehow got hold of my address. Certainly, there are no records of any Spam in my Sent Items or Trash and I certainly haven't sent any, and I'm confident that my account has not been hacked.

I can live with the spoofing, accepting there is very little I can do about it - I'm annoyed that my address, along with many others apparently, has fallen into the hands of the scammers/spoofers/phishers around the time Virgin switched platforms, but that's for another time.

I'll come back to the issue of the account getting locked shortly, but first want to address - or have addressed by VM - the issue of dealing with it once it has become locked.

If I try to login to My Virgin Media using my account to reset my password and unlock my account, I get stuck in an indefinite loop of either picking pictures and declaring I am not a robot and/or being told - in Chrome and IE11 - that cookies need to be enabled in my browser (which they are, and the message does not clear even after flushing my cookie cache, closing and reopening either browser before this gets suggested as a fix). Perhaps I am supposed to select Forgotten password at this point, I don't know - it's never suggested. Once my account has had the password changed, I don't get these problems, suggesting it is not my email account that is getting locked, but my whole account - and, if that's the case, may I suggest the error message being given is wrong and needs to be changed to better guide the user?

It might be even better if the login process actually worked and, if required, redirects the user to a page that advises their email account has been locked (and gives a reason!) and the password must be reset to unlock it - I'm sure it used to do this. It would also be useful if an email was sent just prior to locking the account, I think, as that would still get delivered to mobile clients before the account gets locked - or perhaps have the facility for secondary addresses to be associated with the account that can have notifications sent to it.

Now, back to the issue of why my account was locked. Surely VM can tell if my account has been used to send Spam messages? You must be able to tell if the account has been used from a strange IP address (though I appreciate that this can be disguised - it's unlikely it will be masquerading as one that I use frequently or indeed my VM assigned one), and for sending massive amounts of email? Neither of these things have happened, so why block my account?

And why must I use my wife's account to unlock my own account?

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sayling
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Message 2 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

For the second time since posting the above, I have had to reset my password again. Last time, I received a text advising my account had been locked for sending spam emails (again), which I still refute and would love to see some evidence of this.

This time, nothing. I become aware of it when my phone advises that sign in to my email account has failed. Since getting the text last time, I realise there is a process to follow to change the password that is a little less convoluted than stated above, but it still doesn't address the concerns I have raised in my initial post above.

Can anyone from Virgin media help or advise, please?
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Message 3 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

Hi sayling, 

 

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry to see you have been having trouble with your email account getting locked. 

 

It may help you take a look at this thread. 

 

As you mention that this keeps happening do make sure that you run security checks on the devices you are accessing mail from.  If that is more than one device then do check them all for malware. 

 

When you change your password it is also important to change the security question as well. 

 

It may also help to clear your cache and cookies. 

 

Let us know how you get on. 

 

Emma

 

 


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sayling
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing


Emma_K wrote:

Hi sayling, 

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry to see you have been having trouble with your email account getting locked. 

It may help you take a look at this thread. 

As you mention that this keeps happening do make sure that you run security checks on the devices you are accessing mail from.  If that is more than one device then do check them all for malware. 

When you change your password it is also important to change the security question as well. 

It may also help to clear your cache and cookies. 

Let us know how you get on. 

Emma 

 


Security checks are frequently run on all the devices I use, Emma - but that wouldn't help if I am being spoofed anyway, would it?

What I would like to get established is why my account is being locked. The text I received last week stated it was because my account may have been used to send spam.

If we assume this is the case, and let's just say it was me sending it, changing the password wouldn't help as I would just carry on as before. But I'm not sending spam.

So, let's assume my account has been compromised and someone is physically accessing my account and sending spam. Whilst I appreciate it is not difficult to for a spammer to clear out a Sent folder after sending out their hundreds of messages, it's unlikely they would bother, and there is nothing in my Sent items to indicate that spam email has been sent from my web account. And, having changed the password a number of times of late, to Good and Strong variations, it seems unlikely that a spammer would continuously hack my account successfully anyway. So this assumption seems unlikely, too - unless there is evidence I don't have to contradict this.

The next assumption seems to be one that you have also come to, judging from the link in your reply - spoofing. I would concur with this assumption, as I have been receiving bounce-back emails (not so much lately, thankfully) where the sender address is supposedly mine, but the reply to address is totally different. More recently, bounce backs have been coming from the remote mail system for mail.ru with the below message:


The remote mail system said;

 550:Access from ip address 81.104.62.36 blocked. Visit http://help.mail.ru/notspam-support/ipblock/rus?ip=81.104.62.36


Note - there's no real problem quoting that IP address as far as I can tell - it's VM's, not mine.

So, if Spoofing is the issue, there's no point in locking my account as it will not stop the spoofing - will it?

Is it possible to look into what is triggering the locking of my account and, if it's because of spoofing, change the process or procedure so it doesn't keep doing it?

 

Please?

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Message 5 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

Hi sayling, 

 

Thanks for getting back in touch. I am sorry to see you have continued to have trouble with this. I have been conferring with one of my other colleagues on this issue. 

 

Please double check that there are no auto-forwarding rules set up that you do not recognise as this can also be a way spammers get around security. 

 

Let us know how you get on. 

 

Emma


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sayling
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Message 6 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

No forwarding rules set up, Emma.

Are there any real records of spam being sent from my account, then?
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sayling
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Message 7 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

What on earth is going on, Emma?

We've just received a letter (reference VMIS42-F004534966) with a heading in bold, red, upper case, stating "YOUR ONLINE SECURITY IS AT RISK - PLEASE TAKE ACTION" and referring to "further alerts" <received by Virgin Media> "to say your Virgin Media email accounts may have been used to send spam emails. This is likely to be because at some point you've inadvertently accessed a website or clicked on an email link that had been compromised ".

I work in IT, so am extremely cautious about clicking on email links or accessing compromised websites and have my anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-bot software up to date and regularly used - particularly as I'm self employed and to fall victim to any of these would be severely detrimental to my business and my reputation.

But above all that, I very rarely use my Blueyonder account to sign up for anything anyway.

But the biggest 'gotcha' of this letter is IT IS DATED 21ST JUNE! 😠

22 days ago. You locked my account and took 22 days to write to me about it.

That's disgusting.

In any event, can someone investigate these alleged further alerts and ascertain if they really are for spam sent from my account, or if it's a case of spoofing. And if it is the latter, please stop locking my account.

Please.
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malsiluk
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Message 8 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

It would be interesting to know just how many of these stupid letters VM have sent out in the last few months. There must be thousands! Don't you think if anyone who worked there had a brain, they might start to wonder why so many of their customers are allowing their email accounts to become hacked - as that is what they think the reason is.

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misterdog
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Message 9 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

Same here received mine today dated 20 June.

The security of VM mail system is as watertight as a colander, their security team seem to think we are all retarded. 

This is all part of their litigation limitation strategy supported by this forum.

 

"Please call back and let us know how you have got on"

Have you tried changing your password, oh and your security question ?

Are you really so dim ?    the spam is being sent from remote sources that happen to be using our email addresses and those of anyone we have ever been in touch with. This was proven months ago, yet you still churn out the same old drivel. 

Where did they get this information from. ??

Maybe if you could get Open-Xchange to divert some of their energy away from their litigation in the USA with Open Wave they could re-brand themselves as SECURE X CHANGE  ??

 

We know there has been no breach from VM side, after all their security systems are so antiquated Donald Duck could bypass them.

I wonder why Google asked them to leave, without the Google security systems the whole VM mail platform has been shown for what it is.

Just my opinion of course, and maybe those on the Facebook group, also possibly also those of the 12000 views to the spoofing sticky  the 150 complaints on ISP review  need I go on ?

Please call back with some credible solutions, and stop treating us as idiots.....

Best regards. 

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Speechwriter
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Message 10 of 24
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Re: Email account locked; can not log in; sending Spam; address being used for spoofing

I have had a torrid 10 days or so with Virgin e-mail, the little box that pops up with user name and connect has popped up literally thousands of times as I attempt to work. Today the 15th I have received a letter dated the 5th, advising that my account is temporarily blocked as it has been used to send Spam.

The reasons they give such as clicking on a link or website to cause this problem are nonsense, my pc is fully protected and suggested scans reveal nothing.

10 days of hell, thank you Virgin.