What Is the Point of Purchasing an Old Gmail Account?


  • With over 1.8 billion users worldwide as of 2020, Gmail is the worlds most popular email platform.
  • Researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a tool called CloudSweeper which calculates how much your Gmail account could be worth to hackers if they were able to gain control of your account.
  • The average Gmail account is worth an estimated $3,588.85 based on research conducted by Backupify in 2012.

This Ask the Experts session stems from a question originally posted on Quora titled “What is the point of purchasing an old Gmail account?

With over 1.8 billion users worldwide, and available in 105 languages and counting, it is easy to see why Gmail is by far the most popular email service in the world. With Gmail being free, and readily available to the public, why are people purchasing old Gmail accounts? Three reasons immediately come to mind:

  1. To acquire an account with a unique, short, or special name. These accounts are often referred to as “OG” (Original Gangster) accounts.
  2. To gain access to an account that for malicious purposes.
  3. To build contact lists.

To Acquire an Account with a Unique, Short, or Special Name

Accounts with a unique, short, or special name, such as, “truck”, “john”, or “raven” are known as OG accounts. These accounts are typically created by early adopters of a service or platform and can be worth a lot given that the names of these accounts are catchy, simple, and are seen as a status symbol. In fact, the demand for OG accounts is so high that in 2020, several OG Twitter accounts were sold for between $2,000 and $3,000 per account!

To Gain Access to an Account for Malicious Purpose

In today’s hyper-connected world, many of our most sensitive transactions take place over the internet. By purchasing old Gmail accounts, a malicious individual can attempt to reset the password for an account tied to a financial service or e-commerce platform to gain access to the original account owners financial date, use the recently acquired account to send spam to unsuspecting victims, or try to con a contact listed in the purchased accounts address book by pretending to be the true account owner who is now suddenly in a bad predicament which requires the victim to provide cash to the scammer to rectify the situation.

To Build a Contact List

Similar to the above example, an individual can build a massive contact list by purchasing old Gmail accounts, and exporting the account’s contacts to a third-party mailing service. Once the contacts have been extracted, the individual who purchased the Gmail account can now send business solicitations to the recently obtained contacts in an effort to grow their business.

Purchasing Gmail accounts, as well as other accounts, can be a lucrative business for hackers, social media influencers, and businesses. These accounts are often coveted as trophies, can be used for a variety of malicious purposes, and can be used to rapidly grow an individual or businesses contact list.

Have any additional questions regarding why someone may opt to purchase a Gmail account, or how to protect your Gmail accounts? Contact us and we will be glad continue the dialog! Do not forget to click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more information security related tips and tricks.

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