ALEXANDRA SHULMAN: A hacker has stolen my ID … but the only thing that Google cares about is his rights

I left a friend's house when I received the first message, a voicemail from a photographer with whom I hadn't spoken for months that they were collecting that I was trying to contact. I had not been.

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A few hours later an American magazine editor called me who I barely knew while I was cooking with the same message. How can he help me? The next day I was contacted by many of the most talked-about names in fashion, media and film. JEP. I was the victim of identity theft via email.

It would have been hilarious if it wasn't that scary and awkward. The fraudster had had the good sense of presenting me as a Gmail account that I no longer knew I had, and contacted people with individual requests, many of whom were planning to make me look stupid.

The fraudster had been happy to present himself as a Gmail account that I didn't even know I had, and contacted people with individual requests (file photo)

The fraudster had been happy to present himself as a Gmail account that I didn't even know I had, and contacted people with individual requests (file photo)

Some made me go to work – one suggested a performance on YouTube that interviewed "fashion luminaries" (by the way, a term that silences me), another made me hope to request the editors of a French magazine. Several asked for personal telephone numbers.

Another let me offer a photographer $ 200,000 for portraits of Saudi princes. And in perhaps the most bizarre case, I would have requested a photo shoot with a famous Brazilian drag queen for British Vogue, a magazine that I haven't edited in two years.

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By the time an ex-assistant of mine was approached, instead of a famous name, I started to consider that this might not have been a 16-year-old in Belarus who got a kick from contacting celebrities , but maybe someone with prior knowledge of my life. What was even more disturbing.

Of course I tried to close the account, but I had not used it for more than ten years and had no idea how to get into it. The process of trying to figure out how to do that was hugely frustrating and sent me a mind-numbing Kafka-like path that ended in failure and despair. Finally I pulled a few strings and managed to get myself into the bill and, hopefully, the cheater outside.

Having your e-mail stolen is extremely unpleasant, but I was relatively lucky. I had not linked my contact list to the account (so the fraudster had to do his own dirty work to find people's e-mail addresses).

As far as I know, no money was stolen. No violence was threatened. But the idea that someone is trying to get into my head, infiltrating my life and working hours on working out problems for me and the people they think they know is disturbing.

I tried to close the account, but I had not used it for more than ten years and had no idea how to get it. I was relatively lucky. I did not include my contact list (photo of file)

I tried to close the account, but I had not used it for more than ten years and had no idea how to get it. I was relatively lucky. I did not include my contact list (photo of file)

I tried to close the account, but I had not used it for more than ten years and had no idea how to get it. I was relatively lucky. I did not include my contact list (photo of file)

Of course I am not alone in this event. Many people have compromised their e-mail – my hacker has targeted a starrier list of names than most. Yet dealing with the fallout is ridiculously complex.

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Despite having an account, the activities that take place on it are not your property. Of course I wanted to see who was contacted, but although I could access the account and see who answered, the messages sent were deleted and I couldn't get access without a lawyer.

Although I was able to discover a certain amount of information about the scammer (for example, where some emails were sent – a suburb of Athens), the only way Google would disclose their identity would be a court order.

Our barely-there style

Warm weather dressing is not the best hour in London.

In cities where temperatures often rise, people know how to dress stylishly.

Think of the men in an Italian piazza sitting under trees in short-sleeved shirts, cotton trousers and flat caps, the women in elegantly tailored linen or crisp cotton.

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They would never consider doing their business half-naked. And they know that in extreme heat you cover yourself, do not get rid of it.

But as the mercury rises, we think the solution is to take off as many clothes as possible and turn the streets into an endless construction site with a sweaty parade of naked flesh.

The anthropologist Mary Douglas defined dirt as "material misplaced." The same can be applied to bare skin.

Nice on the beach, not so good on the metro.

Nowadays, a large part of our lives is lived by e-mail. We rely on personal, administrative and professional communication. What we write is largely who we are.

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But when a fraudster appropriates an account in our name and sends messages that could cause real reputation damage or emotional stress, we are excluded from any information that may help to discover the extent of the damage or who could be the perpetrator.

60 … age of happiness and rocking parties

Last week I went to two hugely fun 60th birthday parties, I can guarantee that 60 is not the new 40 or another crazy slogan that is losing age. No. 60 is 60, the cumulation of a life that lived all those years. Both parties had a sincere appreciation for what that life had achieved, especially when it came to family and friends. As the man said in his speech: "We always thought it wasn't important to celebrate milestones, but now we have changed our mind."

Forty is very different. At that time, many of us are still focused on what else we could achieve: a bigger house, another child, a better job, a higher salary. It is sometimes difficult to appreciate what you already have if you have a covert feeling that you might get a lot more.

With 60 you no longer think in those terms. An acquaintance told me about a conversation with a younger woman who inquired about her life. & # 39; I'm really looking forward to it & # 39; n. This is as good as possible, was her judgment.

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"That sounds depressing," her young friend replied, shocked by this acceptance of fate and the mistake of counting her blessings for resignation. But satisfaction is one of the bonus points of age. That and the fact that you can still have a rocking bash birthday.

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