My regular work is as a computer network engineer and security expert. Rest assured, this was not the military or the government. It sounds as though you were the victim of a man-in-the-middle attack.
This is where an attacker sets up a fake website that looks like a real one and either does DNS poisoning to bring up their own website when you try to go to the legitimate one, or they post a link to an online message board or send an email with a link to their fake website. When you entered your social security number and email address, they started hacking your account.
I’d suggest you immediately change your password and contact your credit bureaus to tell them to put a lock on all credit applications in your name unless you contact them personally. I’d also scan boot your system up in safe mode by pressing the F8 key while it boots and selecting “safe mode”. Then run your anti-virus software to detect any spyware that might be installed.
Thanks so much for your helpful reply. I’ll try to do all of those things (I use a mac) I did change my password as it was happening and I opted for https. It seemed to stop after that.
The thing is that I didn’t enter my social security number anywhere (I don’t have one being British) or any data or passwords at all. Once I saw that it was required I didn’t bother (and it only asked for the last 4 digits – the site was AAFES.com e – I’m pretty sure it is legit and it runs all of the commercial activities at US bases around the world.)
May I ask if, in your experience, it is normal for them to want my personal emails (emails from my Mum, dates for playing badminton etc, – things which have no data on my bank details or anything else really. Also is it normal for them to be left visible in my sent mail folder, so that I am aware that they have been forwarded to someone?
I’m really glad that you have knowledge of this type of thing and I’d be so grateful if you could help me get to the bottom of it.
I kind of liked the idea of counter-espionage, but I am equally intrigued by reality the truth is out there!