Need Help Regaining Custody of Hacked Gmail Account

My Gmail account was hacked two weeks ago and Google locked down the entire account 12 hours later due to suspicious activity. So while the hacker is no longer a threat, unfortunately I cannot access the account either. (The hacker ported my SIM card, transferred my cell number, and took advantage of the 2FA I have in place to reset the password.)

Before the hacker was locked out of gmail, however, he removed my phone # as an account recovery method and added his own. Consequently, I am unable to sign into my account to access Google’s Account Recovery Form to prove I’m the rightful owner, and I’ve been stuck in a Catch-22 where I can’t prove I’m the rightful owner because my account was hacked. I’ve informed Google of the situation numerous times, but I have not received a response.

How can I break this logjam and begin a REAL conversation with someone at Google? I am willing to get legal help if necessary. I really need to recover this account because so much of my data, dropbox, evernote, etc., are dependent upon this one particular email address.

Please remove this post if it’s inappropriate for this forum, but I can’t think of a more knowledgeable or helpful group of people to ask.

This is where you use one of the backup codes you were instructed to save when you enabled 2-step verification on the account.

See the following article about how to recover a lost or compromised account:

Basically, start at and follow the prompts.

Thanks, bowline, but unfortunately I saved the codes in Evernote, which I’ve lost access to because it uses my gmail information. Lesson learned for next time to keep hard copies someplace safe.

None of the recovery methods have been successful since the hacker either deleted or changed my phone number and backup emails, so now I need to get in touch with Google directly and am looking for guidance or wisdom on how to approach it.


@F-14_Dave - Impressive problem, not in a good way. My sympathy.

How about backups of Evernote files or of old gmails? I’m assuming you are a Mac user. Do you have any Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner or Backblaze backups that might help? I’m not sure how you put the information into Evernote - did you use a text editor first, or just type directly into Evernote? Any temporary or work files that might have the information (backup code) you need?

Any backups of Google’s “All Mail” folder? Did Google send you the backup code by email? If so, maybe a backup of the All Mail folder might allow you to recover old emails without actually logging in to Gmail. Do you use the Mac’s Mail app to receive your Google emails? If so, maybe there is a backup of old email folders somewhere. In my iMac buried deeply in the Library-Mail- folder there are Gmail emails.

You have me thinking, Arthur! Never considered that one of my backups would contain it because I do so much of my work in the cloud. I’m going to search this weekend!