Google AdSense is the best program for small as well as large publishers that allow them to make money from their websites. It is also one of the primary sources of income for ARWebZone. I have been using AdSense since the last two years on my different blogs and never faced any problem. You might have noticed that I had removed AdSense ads from my blog last month. The reason behind that was my AdSense account was hacked by an anonymous person and the hijacker successfully removed my email ID from AdSense and became the Administrator of my account.
So, I was no more able to login to AdSense dashboard with my own Email ID. I contacted AdSense support team and got my account back from the hijacker. One of my payments was also withdrawn by the hijacker but with the cooperation of AdSense support team and Western Union, the payment was also recovered and credited back to my account. Here in this article I am going to tell you how my AdSense account was hacked and how I successfully recovered it from the hijacker.
How I Recovered my Hacked AdSense Account
Timeline of Events
This was the day when the hijackers successfully logged into my Google account and then into AdSense. First he granted access to himself as a user by adding his own email address. After that he changed the access level and became Administrator of my AdSense account. Finally he revoked my access. All this was done in just a couple of minutes and the hijacker also deleted the emails from my Gmail account. Luckily I had already enabled email forwarding to my personal account. So in the evening when I checked my email, I came to know that I was no more able to access my AdSense account. Sigh!
I instantly changed my Google account password and also enabled 2-step verification on my account. From the settings panel, I also checked whether any type of suspicious email forwarding is enabled or not. After that I checked recent activity from the security panel and found the IP-Address of the hacker who logged into my account. The time at which the hacker logged into my account was the same time at which I received emails from AdSense about account changes.
I searched over the internet and found the email ID of AdSense support team email@example.com. Without waiting, I sent an email to them and notified them about my recently hijacked account along with the IP details and the email ID of the hijacker. It was 20th July and normally payments are processed on 22nd or 23rd of each month in Pakistan. I was quite sure that the hijacker will change the Payee details and withdraw the payment to his own account. But at that time I was more concerned about account recovery instead of payment.
The whole day I kept on tracing the email ID of hijacker and found some of his blogs as well as social profiles. I reinstalled Windows on my laptop and changed the passwords of major accounts. At night I received positive reply from AdSense support team. Hazel from AdSense support ensured me that their specialist team is investigating the whole situation. In reply, I sent them all the details which I got including the IP address, location as well as the blog links of the hijacker.
I received second reply from AdSense support, indicating that their specialist team was still investigating the issue. So I had to wait untill the investigation process gets completed. In the mean time I posted a question about AdSense recovery on Google forums but response was not well.
In the evening I received another email from AdSense support. It was mentioned in the email that my access to AdSense account was restored & the hijacker’s access was revoked. I also came to know that one payment was made to Hijacker and Hazel assured me that they will cancel it and refund it back to my account. I was pleased!
I logged into my AdSense account & there I found all the details of Hijacker including Name, Address, Phone number etc. A temporary hold was also placed on my account in order to avoid further payments to Hijacker. I was also asked to send my Full name as well as Address so that the support team updates the info on my account after confirmation. Thanks to ALLAH, It was really a great day for me!
This day Hazel confirmed my account details and asked me to update my Payee name as well as Address on the payee profile, which I did instantly. I also asked the support team about the last payment that was sent to the hijacker.
Got Reply from Hazel that they are going to contact the payments team to credit the payment back to my account.
This day, Hazel told me that their system shows that the last payment was made to my name. The reason behind was that once I updated my Payee profile, AdSense started showing my name as well as address on all the previous payment receipts including the last one. So I assured the support that that that payment was not received by me.
Hazel informed me that they have contacted the Payments team to credit the payment back to my account.
After waiting for six days, finally I got another reply from support team. Attached to the email was Western Union Payment receipt along with the signature of Hijacker. I assured Hazel that those signatures were not mine.
I got notified that all the details have been sent to payments department of AdSense.
This day, the payments team confirmed that the payment will be credited back to my AdSense account. It was really another good day for me and hold was also lifted from my account.
I logged into my AdSense account and got pleased to know that the payment had already been credited to my account.
At the End I can say that AdSense support team is really great and provides quick support to the publishers. They answered my each and every query during the whole process and ensured me that I will get my payment as well as account back. I recommend you all to keep your AdSense account secure with strong password as well as enable 2-step verification on your account. You should always have a good antivirus installed on your PC in order to get protected against threats, phishing websites and key loggers.
At the end, I pray that may Allah give courage to all of us to choose the right path!