Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be assisting you today. Please do not rate this session until it has been completed.
These hacks are awful! But you're at least mostly in luck. You will be able to recover your contact list. But before you do, you also need to make sure that there is no forwarding email setup on your account (which is a common practice with this scam). If there is a forwarding email, it most likely will look very similar to your email address so that at a quick glance you might think it's your own.
How do I make sure there is no forwarding email setup on my account?
So, check all of your settings to verify that nothing looks wrong. Change your password XXXXX something VERY secure. Change your security questions and answers. Then follow the steps laid out here to get your contacts back. If there is any possibility that your computer is compromised, you should also run a full virus scan using a bootable CD. AVG has a good boot disc you can use for free.
I'll get the steps for forwarding for you now.
Sign into gmail, click the gear icon, choose settings, accounts. Check the options there first.
Then click the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" link, It will show you if there is a forwarding address assigned.
And that should do it for you. If it happens again, check the "Other Google Account Settings" and add things like your phone number, watch the "Account Activity" and sign up for "Account Activity Reports". There's more options under "Manage Security" as well.
I followed the instructions for restoring my contacts and it worked! I am VERY PLEASED! Now I will check the other things you told me.
Sounds good. You might also consider adding the 2-step verification that is under "Other Google Account Settings". It makes it much harder for anyone to take your account.
Other than that, take care! Glad I could be of service. And please don't forget to rate my service before you go. :) Have a great day!