I'm helping my father today to update his Google account. Below is a step-by-step procedure of what we did, and where we got in trouble.
First we logged in with his usual emailaddress
firstname.lastname@example.org. We got into his Google account, and pressed on the icon representing the Gmail:
Google immediately showed us a message, encouraging us to add a Gmail to this Google-account. I've taken a screenshot, and added translations from Dutch to English in green ink:
As you can see, the username
karelmulier is already in use! This is very worrying to us, because my father never created a gmail address. We fear that someone with bad intentions created this account on my fathers name.
I search for account recovery on Google, and got onto this link:
I get a form where I can fill in the 'lost' account that I want to recover. Here is a screenshot:
As you can see, Google claims that the account
email@example.com doesn't exist.
When I attempt to add the Gmail address
firstname.lastname@example.org to my fathers existing account, Google refuses because it "is already in use". When I try to recover it (from some bad guy abusing my fathers name), Google tells me it doesn't exist.
How is this possible?
According to a number of links returned by "periods in gmail email address," Gmail ignores periods in an email address. The two email addresses listed in the question are considered identical, which explains the "already in use" explanation.
Dots don't matter in Gmail addresses: (from Gmail support page)
If someone accidentally adds dots to your address when emailing you, you'll still get that email. For example, if your email is email@example.com, you own all dotted versions of your address:
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org