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11 Responses to Recycled Yahoo email addresses still receiving messages for previous owners - passwords included

  1. joefer · 741 days ago

    Can't they just leave the inactive ID remain inactive? just purge the records of those ID to save disk space.

    • Paul Ducklin · 740 days ago

      The idea, presumably, is to attract new users by making groovy usernames (before there were 57 varieties of "cooldude") available again.

      Same reason that the motor vehicle registries in many countries re-sell old number plates when cars are scrapped.

  2. Someone · 741 days ago

    I'm guessing this has more to do with trying to force users to stick with yahoo mail than opening up new addresses.

  3. I had a weird situation come up with a hotmail address years ago. I grabbed an email address to use for a spam account. Unbeknownst to me, it was a recycled email address. Later, I decided to set up a PayPal account with that address. PayPal said I already had a PayPal account with that email address. Okay, perhaps I had forgotten setting it up? So I did the password reset to regain access to the PayPal account. Turns out, the person who had owned that hotmail address before me had set up their PayPal account using that email address - and they were STILL using that PayPal account. Suddenly, I had access to all of their banking info and credit card numbers. Yikes.

  4. Shiela C. · 740 days ago

    Why they can just deactivate the inactive accounts? Why they have to do the recycle?

  5. Nita · 740 days ago

    I dumped yahoo years ago. I was getting too much spam even with their filters. it was so bad I worked with a concierge from Yahoo for a year trying to get my spam cut down. She finally gave up telling me that people pay Yahoo to let their company's email come through. I did reopen with another name that I only use for newsletters and the spam has gotten much less, Hotmail too has a bad issue with spam. Gmails spam filters are too good I don't get mail from people I want it!

  6. MitchellT · 740 days ago

    Why would anyone expect this experience to be any different? The systems sending the emails to the recycled addresses has no clue the email address was recycled. Besides, aren't these dead addresses anyway? The (former) address owners shouldn't care if they had taken ownership of these old email addresses anyway.

  7. MikeP_UK · 740 days ago

    A wait of a month is far, far too short. I still get messages sent to an address that was linked to an old ISP and closed two years ago! They still forward the messages despite being asked to completely delete the account.
    Plus, I had a message on a currently used account from a recruitment company asking why I was not responding to messages from them on an account that was closed eleven years ago! They were using a very old CV from 25 years ago! Thing is, I never registered with them nor sent them a CV as they only started business 3 years ago! So they must have 'bought' an old database.
    That shows how things can hang on and means the Yahoo approach is seriously flawed.

    • 3caster · 740 days ago

      Lucky you, to have an old ISP forward emails to your new one.
      The main reason why I keep the same ISP is to avoid the hassle of changing my email address. I once lost one through no fault of my own, and it was not a pleasant experience. Many emails vanished completely when I thought they had been archived. Others that I thought I had saved to my own computer were only readable minus the HTML and attachments.
      I think email addresses should by law be transferable to a new provider, just as mobile phone numbers are.

  8. Loraine · 740 days ago there any way to get rid of your account without risking this?

  9. Be careful, I managed to get the inactive address of my choice myname @ added to my Yahoo account as an alias. I used it for over a year for sending and receiving mail, had it registered with social accounts, eBay etc.

    Then all of a sudden, without warning, Yahoo changed it from to which has since caused me a lot of problems. I can no longer send mail from the address but still receiving mail from it, and going by the mail I'm receiving, it would appear that someone else is sending mail from their own account with the address as some of the email is quite personal.

    I tried to contact Yahoo regarding this but have not been able to contact them.

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About the author

Lee Munson is the founder of Security FAQs, a social media manager with BH Consulting and a blogger with a huge passion for information security.