What Do You Do When Your Hotmail Gets Hijacked?

Richard says his wife’s Hotmail account was hacked, and now she can’t get into her email or fix the problem via Microsoft’s customers service online or over the phone. He writes:

Some time this morning (10/21) my wife’s Hotmail account was taken over. We’re not sure how they gained access to the account as she avoids all forms of spam and doesn’t visit any illicit sites. Maybe it was this fiasco? Anyway, I found out about it because I received an obvious spam message from the account (so did several others in her contacts) and called her about it. She then found herself unable to log in (her password has been changed) or reset the password (her security answers have also been changed). Sounds like time for customer support, except there is no phone customer support directly available for Hotmail (unless you know one I don’t).

I tried the identification validation page they have but that is not super useful as it also requires a security answer but doesn’t say for which question, and asks for an IP address from when the account was created over 5 years ago in a different house with a different ISP. We honestly don’t know what to do here, but the idea of someone controlling her account due to no fault of our own (other than choosing Hotmail, I guess) and getting no help from Microsoft other than access to a page where many people are complaining about the same thing and being asked for information we know has been changed, really bugs us. So I guess I’m asking HELP! Is there an exec level CRS line? Does anyone over there no how we can get hold of a real live person so we can tell them that asking for security information that can, and has, been changed is pointless?

Richard says he and his wife have been using Gmail for more than a year, so they’re not completely e-paralyzed by the theft, but it would be great to get that Hotmail account back. Is there anything you can think of for Dave and his wife to try?

(Photo: dirtyblueshirt)