A Strange Google experience.

Gremlyn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
A friend of mine recently upgraded from El Capitan to Catalina, and promptly had her gmail account disconnected by Google who said her account had been "compromised", and demanded £120+ to reconnect. Is this legal? Any comments/advice on how my friend should proceed would be warmly welcomed. Please accept my apology if this message has been directed to the wrong forum.
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,537
1,249
tokyo
A friend of mine recently upgraded from El Capitan to Catalina, and promptly had her gmail account disconnected by Google who said her account had been "compromised", and demanded £120+ to reconnect. Is this legal? Any comments/advice on how my friend should proceed would be warmly welcomed. Please accept my apology if this message has been directed to the wrong forum.
updating from a pervious version of macOS to a newer version of macOS has nothing to do with whatever you are claiming.

what appears to have happened, but you are not saying, is that the person forgot a password, and had no way to recover her account.
in which case, creating a One Drive account that has enough space to need a monthly payment may have triggered some kind of fee from google to get back the account. its possible that that is what happened.

but in any case, it has nothing to do with macOS. and, yes, google provides multiple ways to recover an account.
 

Ruggy

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2017
297
169
I'm pretty sure it's a scam.
It's a variation but the, 'your gmail has been compromised' is a known scam.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,222
2,756
A friend of mine recently upgraded from El Capitan to Catalina, and promptly had her gmail account disconnected by Google who said her account had been "compromised", and demanded £120+ to reconnect. Is this legal? Any comments/advice on how my friend should proceed would be warmly welcomed. Please accept my apology if this message has been directed to the wrong forum.
A screenshot of how the demand was made would help. Google, for any reason, might initiate a verification process but they are NOT going to be demanding a sum of money towards "reconnection".

What has most likely happened is that this demand just happened to coincide with the upgrade, that's it.

1. Is she able to access her Google account?

If she is, there is no reconnection needed. Just ensure she changes her password and sets up two-factor authentication that uses the Google authenticator or any other authenticator, not the phone-based OTP.

2. Is she unable to access her Google account?

If she is, then there are two steps that can be followed.

First is to try "Forgot Password" option and if account access is restored, move back to step 1 and change the password and setup 2FA.

Second is to contact Google about the inability to access the account and take their help to restore the account.
 

Gremlyn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
A screenshot of how the demand was made would help. Google, for any reason, might initiate a verification process but they are NOT going to be demanding a sum of money towards "reconnection".

What has most likely happened is that this demand just happened to coincide with the upgrade, that's it.

1. Is she able to access her Google account?

If she is, there is no reconnection needed. Just ensure she changes her password and sets up two-factor authentication that uses the Google authenticator or any other authenticator, not the phone-based OTP.

2. Is she unable to access her Google account?

If she is, then there are two steps that can be followed.

First is to try "Forgot Password" option and if account access is restored, move back to step 1 and change the password and setup 2FA.

Second is to contact Google about the inability to access the account and take their help to restore the account.
The demand came when I phoned Google on behalf of my friend. The person at the other end of the phone informed me the Google had disconnected the gmail account because someone had gained entry into my friend's computer and compromised her gmail account. (unlikely) He said the only way to reconnect was for her to purchase something called "Internet Security" (I think). I protested and said the account should be connected free of charge, at which point he shouted "It is not free", and slammed the phone down. And that was the end of that.
With regards to the suggestions in the second part of your message, I will certainly pursue the matter.
Many thanks for your helpful comments.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
6,228
3,424
The demand came when I phoned Google on behalf of my friend. The person at the other end of the phone informed me the Google had disconnected the gmail account because someone had gained entry into my friend's computer and compromised her gmail account. (unlikely) He said the only way to reconnect was for her to purchase something called "Internet Security" (I think). I protested and said the account should be connected free of charge, at which point he shouted "It is not free", and slammed the phone down. And that was the end of that.
With regards to the suggestions in the second part of your message, I will certainly pursue the matter.
Many thanks for your helpful comments.
That’s a scam for sure.
 

Gremlyn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Did you phone a number provided by them? I'm intrigued as to how this all went down.
The phone number I used was 08081 962 053. This number was obtained from the internet.
I cannot remember exactly where I got it but it could have been provided by one of the many
You tube videos that I viewed while trying to find a way to recover my friend's gmail account .

At the time, I was led to believe the phone number belonged to Google bot I have just
discovered that it does not. To make matters worse, the person I spoke to used the opportunity
to gain access to my friend's computer, and I now fear for the worst.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,706
408
He said the only way to reconnect was for her to purchase something called "Internet Security" (I think). I protested and said the account should be connected free of charge, at which point he shouted "It is not free", and slammed the phone down.
Couple of clues here. You have to purchase Internet Security - that's a rather frequent scam tactic. I receive up to 3 calls a day saying "Your Apple ID has been compromised" with the Caller ID Apple.

Shouting, hanging up on you is a possible cause for eventual dismissal at most technical support organizations.
 

Gremlyn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Couple of clues here. You have to purchase Internet Security - that's a rather frequent scam tactic. I receive up to 3 calls a day saying "Your Apple ID has been compromised" with the Caller ID Apple.

Shouting, hanging up on you is a possible cause for eventual dismissal at most technical support organizations.
It seems I'm not the only one with this problem.