Luckily everything is back to normal again, as the YouTube team confirmed my account really was stolen. Once they confirmed this the entire channel was restored back to how it was before everything happened.
If you’re going through something similar, please know there is hope for getting control of your account again. Though I have to warn you – it isn’t a fast or comfortable process. For me there was a lot of waiting around, but it certainly paid off.
Someone Stole My YouTube Channel
January 18, 2020
I clicked on a phishing email that looked like it was from YouTube. My account was hacked into, and my YouTube channel was taken off of my Gmail account. I reset my password and regained access to my Gmail, but my channel was no longer there. I got into contact with YouTube support who was incredibly helpful and supportive.
Pro-tip: if this happens, your Gmail account should still be in the partnership program. Click here to start chatting with support now. If this option isn’t available go to Twitter and @TeamYouTube and explain to them what happened. They are very responsive on Twitter and will directly message you to help rectify the situation. Even if you have to make a Twitter account to do this – trust me it’s worth it.
January 19th, 2020
All Videos Are Deleted
My channel is still stolen. This is the day all my videos were deleted. The people who stole my channel were streaming about bitcoin. In all honesty I didn’t watch the videos so I’m not 100% sure what they were talking about. I tried watching one of the videos, but it was so boring and scammy I had to stop.
January 22nd, 2020
Channel Gets Deleted
My subscribers flagged the hackers multiple times before YouTube finally deleted the channel off the platform. This was such a relief to me, because now at least the terrible live streams were over.
January 27th, 2020
The First Glimpse of Hope
I received an email back from YouTube support. They verified my account had indeed been hacked, and they are taking steps to restoring everything to how it was before.
February 10th, 2020
My YouTube channel was restored to me.
February 12th, 2020
My videos, engagements, subscribers, verification check mark, and views were restored to me.
February 24th, 2020
Back to Normal
Any strikes and monetization issues that happened while my account was hacked were removed. I could officially start making ad revenue again.
The Impact of a Hacked YouTube Account
This scared me to death. I created my channel in 2009 and put a lot of work into growing it and making videos, so when someone stole it I was heartbroken. Not to mention how violating it felt.
Throughout the entire process of restoring the channel, I told myself this isn’t that bad – that I could just start over. And the idea of creating something new was exciting to me. That said, I never should have been put in a position where I felt that way. If you take anything from this, just don’t click on emails that look like this. It isn’t worth it.