I had 3 gmail accounts (where I had the same generic random first name and other words and random letters that I was made to put in to get them). None of them contained no personal information of mine. I was logging onto one of them 2 weeks ago when I accidentally made a typo and a message came up that said “there’s something unusual about the way your signing in..... we’re going to disable prompts” I then realised this was someone else’s account and pressed back without entering a password. (By this time I had realised I couldn’t remember the username of my account so I had lost access to it) Then I created the second account to email the stranger whose email I typed in to apologise for the mistake of accidentally logging on and tell them there was no malicious intent behind it but I simply done it because we had a similar email address. I also offered to email google if it caused them any problems. I then created a 3rd email address to replace the one I had lost access to using the same generic name as the first however on second glance I also realised this was quite similar to the strangers email (it was one letter away). I received no response from the first email I sent so a few stressful hours later I wrote another email this time I went on an apology rampage reiterating that it was simply a mistake and even told them I would delete both accounts (the 2nd and 3rd as I lost access to the first) because I didn’t realise how similar they were to theirs. I received no response again so I decided to go on the gmail support forum and give a proper explanation of what happened, that support forum reassured me by telling me it was a non issue and then I deleted my account. Then I reactivated when I realised that I didn’t give a proper explanation to the stranger and instead went on a stressed out, apology filled rant so I emailed the link of the support forum question to them and apologised for overreacting and worrying the both of us. I then deleted my account permanently. Then I started scrolling through the support forum and saw the person whose email I accidentally typed in ask a question about how to identify the person whose been sending them emails (although the date of the question indicated that they asked that days before this whole fiasco took place) the response said the only way to do that would be to get a court order. The worst thing is the person whose email I accidentally typed in was using a personal name which was 1 letter apart from the generic random name I had as my email address. What’s going to happen to me? Can that person take a court order out to compel google to reveal my identity over something like this?

Someone on a different forum told me that I will end up sounding like a scammer because I sent those emails apologising, Despite me stating over and over again that there was no malicious intent and that it was a simple mistake. The FBI have a tip line dedicated to online scams. Will I get in trouble with the FBI for something like this?

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    This was already addressed in the 2nd paragraph of this answer. You are getting stressed for basically nothing. Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 19:12
  • Sorry, my anxiety was playing havoc with my brain and I needed confirmation. Thanks for all your help!
    – Jane doe
    Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


It is not a crime or a tort to accidentally sign in to an email provider with an incorrect email address, even if that address is actually held by some other person. Not attempting to enter a password or repeat the attempt makes it clear there was no intent to obtain unauthorized access, and the emails make that even more clear.

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    @Jane doe glad to help. Court orders to reveal private information are not granted without good reason, and it would cost legal fees even to ask for such an order. If an act is neither a crime nor a tort (a civil wrong for which a person might sue) it is hard to see why a court order would be issued, and nothing in the question suggests that one would be. Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 19:34

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