Ok so, we've got a situation here that sounds a bit hopeless, but it's happening right now and we could really use some help. Please bear with me here as I try to explain...

Recently, my wife and I were on a vacation abroad, and had the fortune of being victims of a pickpocket, which stole only one item - her Android smartphone.

As if that wasn't bad enough, she never remembered any of her passwords, instead she wrote them down, on, you guessed it, her phone.

Effectively, this has locked her out of her gmail and yahoo accounts, and since the pickpocket has the phone where all the passwords are written down, if he/she figures that out, they'll be able to take control of her accounts and cause some serious damage, hence we're pretty much in the race against time here.

Facebook is also compromised, but for the time being she is not locked out of that as she can still access it via auto-login from her laptop, but since she doesn't have the password, it's only a matter of time before that is lost too.

We have tried so far to recover her gmail, but had no luck using any of the recovery methods they provide, including:

"Last remembered password" - we tried a few she could kinda remember, and by kinda I mean it was a while ago she used it and we're unsure if we spelled them correct or not. I assume we did as gmail recovery did proceed after we entered them, and we received a verification code from google, but inputting that code simply says something in the line of "thanks for verifying successfully, but we are not going to give you your account back"

"Security question" - same result as above, it was set up over five years ago, so we're pretty much unsure whether we got the answer right or not anyway

"Month and year of account creation" - Here I'm just pretty sure we got it wrong since we could only pinpoint when it was created to a timeframe of approximately 24 months, so yeah, not gonna happen.

At the moment we haven't tried yet to recover yahoo account, but considering that account is even older than her gmail and password is just as lost, our hopes are pretty low at the moment.

So here we are, hoping somebody here can help us out further on, in order of importance: How to recover her gmail account How to change her facebook password How to recover her yahoo account

Thank you in advance.

(and yes, I'm fully aware of how silly we've been with our security before the phone was stolen... so if you found yourself laughing at this whilst you were reading it, that's perfectly understandable)

1 Answer 1


Contact Google and Yahoo directly, and explain the situation. They should have a way to prove your identity by proxy (presenting your ID at the wireless store where you purchased the phone, that sort of thing) that they will accept.

You aren't the only people to have been in this situation.

You can find contact information for Google by googling for "how to contact Google". There is a wikihow page that provides their customer service number. Or, you can select Google's contact us page. There is a pull down to select "Account (login)", which takes you here: https://support.google.com/accounts/?hl=en#topic=3382296

  • 1
    I'd be surprised if Google have the required agreements with carriers to allow them to be used to authenticate users.
    – jrtapsell
    May 27, 2018 at 22:25
  • 1
    But how to contact Google directly? I can't find anywhere to contact them, but I can find "Unfortunately, Google does not offer live support for the free Gmail product". There seems to be a gmail help forum, but nobody from Google seems to be there, it's even said on there "This is a user-to-user help forum". I don't mention Yahoo since we haven't tried much to recover that yet, but I have a feeling we'll run into the same wall there, especially with Yahoo changing ownership recently.
    – FoxEM
    May 27, 2018 at 23:08
  • About your edit - I'm afraid I found all that before as well, the phone numbers listed are in only 7 countries, none of which I'm in at the moment, so calling them is not an option at the moment. As for the link, I found it as well, but it all boils down to trying account recovery options that we already tried. So for now, we're back to trying those and hoping for the best..
    – FoxEM
    May 28, 2018 at 20:25
  • Does your home PC share her Google account with her Android? It's possible she's been cloud syncing her passwords with her PC's Chrome browser; this may allow you to recover them from the PC at home. Otherwise, about all anyone can do technically is wish you "good luck" at remembering them. :-/ May 29, 2018 at 19:24
  • Well, the bad news is that of course, there was no cloud sync. But the good news is we've finally managed to find an old gmail password, written down over 4 years ago, put that into google's account recovery and it worked, google informed us that due to suspicious activity the account is temporarily locked and we'll be contacted in 3-5 business days on the email we provided by a support specialist. So guess we actually got some of that good luck anyone wished us :) either we'll be getting back in the account, or nobody, which isn't too bad for damage limitation. Thanks for all the help :)
    – FoxEM
    May 29, 2018 at 20:20

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