So it looks like my gmail account was compromised yesterday and "I" sent a spam message out to not just everyone in my contacts, but everyone I've ever sent e-mail to from that account. I'd like to send a follow-up to all the people "I" spammed telling them to disregard any further e-mail from this account but g-mail will only let me select addresses from my contact list. I tried looking in my "sent mail" folder for the message "I" sent, but it appears it was deleted.

Is there a way for me to send an e-mail to everyone I've ever sent mail?

  • 3
    Can you see the spam in your sent mail? If so reply to all on that?
    – russau
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 2:29
  • If your GMail account was actually used, you should be asking Google how that could have happened. More likely is that some spammer's system gleaned your address from somewhere and used it as the "From:" address on their spam. I often get floods of rejected spam messages when somebody has used my domain as the "From:" domain for their spam. Mail server admins please note: sending automated rejection crap to the "From:" domain of spam won't reach the spammer, and can lead to your own mailserver being blacklisted. /dev/null is there for a reason.
    – NickFitz
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 3:37
  • its worth noting that recently a tool was released to make it easier for script kiddies to steal sessions over unencrypted wifi. That means that someone can send email from your account so long as you don't log out. Usually facebook is the easy target but gmail can also be accessed that way. (and I beleive it is one of the defaults) to prevent this try to always use https whenever possible. Gmail has a setting somewhere to use https by defualt.
    – WalterJ89
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 7:35

2 Answers 2


GMail is going to stop you from sending that many messages from their servers. They have spam prevention mechanisms

Likely, those messages did not come from Google's severs, as they won't let tens of thousands of messages go out in a day from your account through their servers.

Did you look at the headers people received?

  • I had this happen to me before and the mail headers (On an automated bounce back) indicate that the messages were in fact mailed by Google. The spammers chunk your contacts into sets and then send out only a few hundred emails as opposed to a few thousand.
    – sholsinger
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 14:30
  • So they know what the Google limits are, and are able to skirt just under them? Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 5:06

I would just go to your Contacts page, then export all contacts from all groups, even the "Other Contacts" section. This would give you a single file with all the contacts grouped together that you've contacted within the recent past. Those are the people I would contact to alert of your spam hijacking.

I think by now most people have received a spam message once or twice in their day and know when it's legitimately from one of their contacts, or from a spam program. They will probably ignore it altogether if the message was received by someone with whom you haven't spoken in years.

  • You can always dream. No matter how many times I explain to my parents that you can't implicitly believe anything you see on the internet, they come back for more. Likewise there are plenty of young people who aren't tech savvy nor suspicious enough of online solicitations from "friends".
    – SpecKK
    Commented Nov 6, 2010 at 0:10

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