long time lurker but hope to be contributing more on this great site.
Just yesterday I received an email from Google that my new gmail account was created, and active. Problem was, I had not created a new account.
Probably someone used my email address as the backup in error, but here is the really strange part - the email they created is [email protected] where XXXX are the numbers of my home address. This, and the fact that they used my regular email address as the linked account (which does not have 'couch' in the name at all), I don't think is an error or coincidence.
Trouble is, I cannot figure out the motive. I unlinked the account from mine, just to be sure, and changed the passwords on my two email accounts as well. Also checked for suspicious login activities, none.
My guess is they were trying to used the newly linked account to reset the password and gain access to your account. I don't think that would work but might if you personally verified the new link using your own account. They might have been using information from a web site that was hacked. You did the right thing to secure your account.
i would have just hijacked the gmail account that looks similar to yours by doing a password recovery and then put in a request to close that g-mail account completely, sometimes you need to fight spammers and identity theft data breachers with a taste of their own medicine. Stick it to them, give them a friggin hard time for all the trouble they have been giving us.