Hello Carl, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
This is a quite common question that we get a lot.
When contact lists/email addresses are kept on email provider websites you have no control over them.
Either your password XXXXX tricked out of you, someone looked over your shoulder or a virus on AOL snatched it.
Doesn't much matter, the damage is done.
AOL, Gmail, HotMail etc. are all subject to this, it can happen because of an infection that the provider contracts that traps passwords when logging in or corrupts their software.
The bad guys already have your list, changing the password XXXXX keeps them out from more damage but it is like closing the barn door after the house gets out.
The best answer here is to move your email addresses/list of contacts to your Mac and use the AddressBook application, then also use the Mac Mail application for email.
It interfaces well with AOL so you do not have to change email providers and your email addresses/contacts are now no longer subject to attacks and compromise to online bad guys.
For example, I have AOL, Gmail. Yahoo and Time Warner email accounts, none of them have any of my email contact addresses on their servers and so are behind a firewall that is built-in to the Mac.
What that means is my contact list/AddressBook is safe against this type of problem.
I am, of course, assuming that you do your email online at AOL either with the AOL desktop or through your bowser.
What version of OS X do you have?
Let me know.