Friday, October 12, 2012

Blog Hostage

Apparently, my blog went dark on Oct 10-11, and web-surfers were treated to a "This blog has been removed" message when they tried to access it.  When I opened Google, I received a message that due to "unusual activity" my acct had been suspended.  If I wanted my acct unlocked, I had to provide them with my phone number -- "or the blog gets it!"  Mwahahahaaaa!


In the past, I've provided them with a non-gmail acct to send any acct recovery info to -- but that was no longer enough for them.  I didn't see any reason for them to have my phone number, but Google-beast refused to let me have my blog or my gmail acct back until I gave them my phone number and waited for an SMS to confirm it.  So I that's what I did.  Now my blog and gmail are back.

I found nothing out of the ordinary in either of them when I checked.  No odd sent mails, no weird comments, no spammers, no trace of hackers.  So what was that all about?

The blog hostage thing really worked for them. What will they want next?  My SS#?  My credit card info?  My first born? 

Has this happened to anyone else?

49 comments:

Kate Larkindale said...

How weird! No, that's never happened to me. But if ti does, at least I'll know what is going on.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thankfully, it hasn't happened to me. When they start asking for too personal stuff that's when I'll have to decide how much I want them to know. Hope everything's running smoothly for you now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hasn't happened to me, but Google did want my phone number one time when I had to log in. i reluctantly gave it to them.
Sorry you blog went down, but at least it's back.

Tamara said...

No, hasn't happened to me. But, earlier today my blog did tell me I wasn't following a single other blog. I was like, "Whhhaaat???" But when I closed out the window and came back, it was fixed. Glad you got it straightened out!

Dr Blood said...

Interesting. Google have been doing this phone number thing for a while now. I think the idea was slow down the number of spam accounts created, but it's annoying for those of us who just want to set up yet another anonymous blog to test things out on. On the plus side, you don't have to give them your own phone number. Any phone number will do as long as you get to see the text message and grab the code from it.

unikorna said...

wow Lexa, mister Google is playing hard ball with us...Nothing like that has happened to me yet but I do hate their decision to change the url to country specific, it threw my blog out of the traffic. Anyway it's great to have your blog back in one piece :). Kisses.

Elise Fallson said...

I've had to give google my number in the past too...hate that. Makes me want to change my phone number now. BUT, glad you're back up and running! (:

Stephen Hayes said...

Yes, this stuff happens to me all the time. This is why I'm moving to a new web host on Monday where I have more protection, control and ownership. I hope to see you on Monday.

Kelly Hashway said...

This happened to my email account recently. They wanted my phone number for security purposes. Blogger hasn't asked for one yet. I'm wondering if I should just add it before they shut me down. LOL

mshatch said...

I have heard of that happening to other people but thankfully it hasn't happened to me yet.

L.G.Smith said...

Yahoo just did that to me. Wouldn't let me get to my e-mail until I gave them my phone number. Have no idea why they'd want my phone number, unless they plan to sell the info to some telemarketer. Blah. They better not.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I don't like the trend developing here. Especially if there was no suspicious activity.

Heck if they want my phone number, they should just head over to Facebook. FB gives away all your personal information at least once a week. They probably even know what's in the dicey looking container at the back of my fridge.

shelly said...

No this hasn't happened yet. But every now and then they do request my phone number. I haven't given it to them yet.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Annalisa Crawford said...

Seems like they used it as an excuse to get extra info from you. I'm always startled by how much information I have to give away just to do basic things on the internet. Facebook is the worst, but looks like Google are catching up.

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

BRUTAL! So glad you got it back! I think my heart would fall out if my blog just disappeared- ugh! Thankfully you were able to get it up and running again- thank you for posting this. I will definitely keep an eye out for any funny business with Google!b~ Jess

Jess said...

Man, that stinks! I usually avoid giving them my phone number, but I'm glad you got your blog back!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

That's very peculiar, Lexa. Almost creepy. I think I would look into this further. Something doesn't sound right. Glad you got it back. Backup would probably be a good thing right about now.

Peggy Eddleman said...

It hasn't happened to me, but I'm pretty sure I would freak out if my blog suddenly showed as being deleted! Glad it all worked out-- more or less-- in the end.

Cathy Keaton said...

What a crazy experience! I think I've had experiences where Google wanted me to give them my cell phone number, but nothing like my blog being shut down. That's awful! Glad it's all straightened out now.

tfwalsh said...

So strange... never happened to me. Scary to have your blog go down. So glad you are back on.

Medeia Sharif said...

I recall giving my number to Google once, which I wasn't comfortable with.

What a terrible experience. We put so much time and effort into our blogs. Even if it were to reappear, I wouldn't like it if my blog disappeared.

Ravena Guron said...

I'm always asked to give my number to google whenever I log into my email. That's never happened to me before, and that must have been so scary! I bet we could come up with a really good conspiracy theory as to WHY google needs to know what about us :)

Suze said...

Yikes. Girl no likey.

Heather Murphy said...

That's pretty scary. I've never had anything like that before *Knock on wood*

Christina Farley said...

Oh no! So sorry this happened to you. Glad things are all fixed now.

Nickie said...

:( I haven't had that happen yet, but now I'm thinking I should find a way to backup my blog. I did have blogger do some funky things last night, though -- it removed all of my Google stats, which hasn't happened before. They popped back up this morning, but it was weird enough to concern me. Glad you were able to get everything back up!

nutschell said...

Hasn't happened to me, but maybe it's because I'm on wordpress. :S

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Sherry Ellis said...

That's crazy! I hope it never happens to me!

DMS said...

Thanks for sharing this story! It hasn't happened to me- but at least I will know what is going on if it does happen. How crazy! I think if I hadn't read this and something like that happened to me that I would have been so scared and worried about my blog.
~Jess

Jackie said...

I haven't had this happen, and I hope it doesn't.
Sorry you had to go through that, but thanks for sharing your experience so we're informed. :)

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, this happened to me and I had no choice but to give them my number. Can't say I was happy about it.

Jimmy Fungus said...

Yes, it did happen to me. I thought they already had my phone number though, so I don't know if it was a trick to get my phone number. Here is what I think it was. For whatever reason, some of the comments I made at that time, ended up in people's spam folders, although they weren't spam. So somehow that triggered some kind of spam filter. Sometimes I copy and paste some words into my comments to make sure they are spelled correctly. (I mean I look something up to make sure it is spelled correctly..then instead of typing it out, I just copy and paste). I think the copying and the pasting, must have triggered the spam filter. Then my account got shut down. So, like you, there didn't seem to be anyone messing with my account for real,... it was just some weird freak thing.

Ella said...

This is so scary, creepy~ WTH? I can't imagine-
I am happy you are back and thank you for sharing your experience
with us~ I hope all is well in the rest of your life!
It feels like a Halloween trick....
You deserve a treat!
So sorry this happened to you!

Cynthia said...

I'm really glad you got your blog back...I hope this doesn't happen again!

Sylvia Ney said...

Not for a phone #, but I have had problems with them in the past. I still think they are better than a lot of other providers though. Glad you were able to get your account back. New follower here and I look forward to visiting again.

Sylvia
http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Tara Tyler said...

that stinks!!!
i wonder if a virus hopped on...hope it doesnt happen again!

Adrianne Russell said...

That's so strange! I'm on Wordpress and they don't require actually phone numbers. I did have a message from Google asking for more info based on my gmail account, but I declined. At least it let me do that - FOR NOW. Creepy.

Tammy Theriault said...

I think i would have screamed like a school nurse, too! Love your blog!!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh man, this happened to me two years ago. Someone hacked my email and started sending emails to EVERYONE in my contacts. EEK! Then my blogger went down. I swear it was horrifying. It took me a full day to get things straightened out. How traumatizing:)

Cecilia Robert said...

Oh yeah, I visited your blog twice, sometime last week and got that message. Crazy and scary. It hasn't happened to me - yet - but they did ask for my phone number, I didn't send it to them. mmh hope they don't cut me off.

Gina said...

I haven't had any problem with my blog, yet. Sometimes Google gives me the creeps, though. I hope you don't get strange calls with hidden messages that will turn you into a killer a la Manchurian Candidate...

rebeccabradleycrime.com said...

That's odd. It would really eek me out as well, having to give my phone number like that. I'm glad to see your blog is back up though.

AmyMak said...

Yikes! Google taking my blog scares me...I might die if I lost everything....glad it's back!

Jocelyn Rish said...

That is weird and must have been very disconcerting. Glad you're back up and running!

Nick Wilford said...

What a worrying experience, hopefully everything will be smooth from now on. Something odd happened to me recently - I got a phone call claiming to be from Windows, purporting they could upgrade the performance of my computer. Lord knows I could do with that, but I've never received any such call before and found it a bit fishy so I hung up.

nutschell said...

just dropping by to say hello!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

michelle said...

Crikey! That's scary. Hope everything is on track!

Catherine Stine said...

Yoicks, that's never happened to me, and I hope it doesn't! Though my checking acct. just got hacked last week, and I had to suspend activity and open a new one. Don't you hate the feeling of that?!
Catherine Stine’s Idea City

D.S taylor said...

yikes! never happened to me but I don't host with this blogspot crowd so maybe they are strict on content or something .... what were you writing????

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