I have mentioned the story of my hacked Skype account in one of my earlier articles about the aftermath of a relationship with a man that likely has either narcissistic personality disorder, or psychopathy, or both. However, I want to dedicate a separate post to this topic simply because I want it to be publically recorded. I reported the incident to Microsoft, who were not able to do anything with it – why? They claimed that I wasn’t able to prove that the Skype account was mine. Now, I don’t really know what that person did and how they did that. It was someone who at that time had access to my computer and whom I at that time believed was a good person (you can read all about the manipulation of the narcissistic love bombing phase here) and had no reason to suspect anything bad from. I was very trusting with the person about everything including my passwords (I know, stupid me). Essentially, knowing my password and having access to my computer at that time, this person did something with my Skype account that they essentially became an owner of it.
I figured that out when I bought a new phone and wanted to install the Skype app. I couldn’t log in so I figured I forgot my password. When I tried to reset it, I was shocked to find that the recovery email address was an address of which I knew belonged to my by then ex-boyfriend. How did I know? It was a Greek Yahoo email address and the first two letters were P and R. I remembered that in the early days of the relationship, this man showed me a cryptic email address starting with the word prophitis and told me it was his secret identity and to remember that if I ever see it again. I know, it sounds super odd and super weird. I felt that too. But being a normal person that lives a normal life and does not engage in any hideous activity, I just brushed it off as some sort of a personal quirk.
I tried to recover my Skype account using the standard Skype recovery form but wasn’t successful. The account, however, was still somehow connected to my email address, which I used to create this account many years before even meeting the narcissist. However, when I received a response from Microsoft telling me that they were not able to verify my ownership of the account, the account appeared by owned by yet another email address belonging to this prophitis person.
Microsoft simply told me I couldn’t prove it was my account and that was it. I logged out and started a new one. Before I did that, I sent a message to every single person on my contact list telling them to block this account as it has been hacked. The only other explanation would be that my Skype was hacked by a third person pretending to be my ex, which I find unlikely (I was able to trace this email address to some of his social media accounts, all of which of course exist under fake names).
Now, why am I concerned about Microsoft’s attitude and refusal to really figure out what happened? I am a journalist by profession and do interview a lot of people via Skype. That means that on my contact list, there weren’t just my friends and family members. There were many people with whom I dealt with professionally. Now a person of an obviously dubious character has access to this account, which used to be my legit account and could potentially use it to harass or scam people in my name. I am obviously not happy about this. Since I officially don’t own this account, I can’t close it. My hands are tied. I did report the incident to the UK police via their online reporting form but never heard back.
When I first discovered that there was something off with my Skype account, I was still in denial of the fact that I used to be emotionally involved with someone so highly toxic and emailed that person about the issue. That was already well into the discard phase (check my previous writing on the phases of the narcissistic relationhsip cycle). I was a garbage that this man wouldn’t even talk to so my query remained unanswered. The person continued the silent treatment of me and the rest is described in my previous article.
I want there to be a public record of this incident. Of the fact that I did spend quite a lot of time and effort trying to have Microsoft seriously look into that, reporting it to police – just in case someone is ever in the future scammed in my name. Perhaps there are more people out there whose accounts have been so weirdly stolen. I can’t do anything about it but I feel it is my responsibility to make it known. If more people who experienced such an issue report it, hopefully, Microsoft would eventually take it seriously.
Anyway, guys, the world is a weird place and there are toxic people who pretend to be your best friends and who could be dangerously persuasive in their game. Be careful who you trust and protect your digital accounts with two factor identification (In fact, I do have a suspicion that that person may have been spying on my Facebook too in the past because they knew some information I never shared with them. I was so dumb that I used the same stupid password on all my accounts. Don’t repeat my mistakes and don’t think it couldn’t happen to you because you have such a good instinct when it comes to people. I used to think that too).