General Question

augustlan's avatar

What the frak is going on with my Gmail account?

Asked by augustlan (47701points) July 13th, 2011

All of a sudden, I’m getting a ton of old emails popping up in my inbox and my spam folder. When I signed off yesterday, I had about 150 emails in my inbox, and zero in my spam folder. When I got back on last night, I had 2300+ emails in my inbox, and 600+ in spam. Looking at the spam, it goes back to at least May. I clear it out every day, and gmail says it will automatically delete spam after 30 days anyway, so why is this happening?

I’ve cleared the spam folder multiple times since I signed on, and it just keeps pouring in. What the hell?

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14 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Have you ever used any of those old utilities to pull and push email to and from your gmail account? If so, is it possible this thing is running again on some pc you have? just a thought

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My android has not received any old emails from Gmail.
Have you added Google + or made any change to your Google webpage?

augustlan's avatar

I am on Google+. I wondered if that might be related.

janbb's avatar

I am too and it’s not happening to me.

tom_g's avatar

@augustlan – I am using Google+, along with most of my coworkers. Just checked with them. Nobody has experienced this.

I would be very concerned about this. Do you use a strong password? I would suspect that someone has hacked your account??

augustlan's avatar

Also, I do have email forwarded from an old AOL account, but usually it’s delivered within minutes.

I don’t think it’s been hacked, as all of the spam is familiar spam. That is, I typically get spam just like it.

JLeslie's avatar

I heard Google keeps searches forever. Maybe this shows it keeps emails also. Kinda scary.

trickface's avatar

@JLeslie I agree! This error on gmail highlights that they must be keeping their own private copy of everyones emails. What else could explain how this is even possible? Now you wonder why they would even want to keep all these emails? Is it purely for market research?

I’ll stop speculating now! Can’t let this revelation haunt me too much.

tom_g's avatar

There is much speculation here. But to be honest, this appears to be an isolated incident that has some plausible explanations. I work in an exclusive Google/gmail environment, and have used gmail since it was launched back in 2004 with no problems at all.

We don’t know the details, such as:
– non-gmail accounts (he mentioned AOL) being forwarded to his gmail account. There are many configurations that are possible that would cause this to happen that would only be related to gmail because gmail is being used as bucket to accumulate mail from other services.
– We don’t know if he archives or deletes his mail or both. If the concern is that a bunch of archived email now appears in the inbox, this would be possible if someone had access to his pc, and could be done with 3 clicks.
– We don’t know if he uses a weak password or has been hacked. If someone gets into your email, they can do all kinds of crazy things.
– We don’t know if he had ever used a mail client with gmail (outlook, thunderbird, etc). Related to this, we don’t know how this was configured (IMAP, etc). Using mail clients can be a great way to screw up your email.
– We don’t know if he had ever used one of the gmail data retrieval apps. These are notorious for screwing up data. And if the app is still on a pc, it could still be doing damage.

Check out the gmail’s known issues and contact google if you have exhausted the other possibilities.

heresjohnny's avatar

You said you were on Google+. Could this have been the problem?

It says it’s notifications on the service, but if your email settings were so that you got emails for G+ notifications it could explain the spam.

augustlan's avatar

For whatever reason, it stopped happening, so that’s good. :)

@tom_g I both archive and delete. Also, I’m a she. :p

@heresjohnny I did experience that a few days ago, but that was really minor (like, 17 repeat G+ notification emails).

tom_g's avatar

sorry about the “he”.

Plucky's avatar

I found two possible reasons:

Hiccup at AOL


I know you aren’t having the issue anymore ..but maybe those two links will help you understand what happened.

augustlan's avatar

@Plucky I think you’ve got it. The AOL hiccup is the likely cause. Guess I have a lot of cleaning up to do. (I use POP but not IMAP, so that seems ok.)

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