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We have a bizarre situation where a mysterious Automated Process is making mass changes to contact names and addresses at random times. We have done all sorts of troubleshooting, debug logs, disconnection of external apps, uninstallation of apps, etc and cannot get to the bottom of it. We don't have Salesforce Premier support.

One strange detail: Field History Tracking says the edit was done by Automated Process, but the record's Last Modified By always shows an actual User. In most cases the real person is not even logged in at the time of the change.

We are now considering drastic actions like this: Freeze all users except one sys admin, then slowly unfreeze users one at time until the problem recurs, then deactivate that culprit user and create a replacement.

Setting aside the basic insanity of this, would it work to stop the Automated Process? Would the changes fail and rollback due to the frozen users?

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  • Might help, you can add a debug trace on system/automated users help.salesforce.com/… – Kris Goncalves Dec 6 '19 at 23:04
  • @KrisGoncalves Yes, tried that too, unfortunately it had no answers for us. – David Cheng Dec 6 '19 at 23:18
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We've had a similar problem. If you use Lightning for Gmail, or (I think) the Lightning for Outlook then this may solve your problem.

Our problems:

  • Contact first and last names were changed without user interaction.
  • When looking at the contact record the last modified date and the last modified by did not change even though the record was updated. (This made it look like the edit was in the past even though the edit was recent, and the listed user would be unaware of any change that was made in their name.)
  • In the field tracking history the last modified date was correct.
  • In the field history tracking the last modified by was the Automated process user
  • The contact would be linked to a different account, which was somehow related to the contact, but with no clear link as to how the system knew of this link. (The contact would have a relation to both accounts that a user could know of, but no link based on Ids)
  • The edits were often made at all times of the day/night, and sometimes in large batches.

It took us quite some time to track it down to this app. The app has a setting that syncs Contact information (email address and name) between Salesforce and Gmail. You can choose the direction of the sync. Which records are synced is then based on email adres, name and account name. When we had this issue, we had the sync on in both directions. When a contact changed in Gmail then the contact in Salesforce would also be updated. The Lightning for Gmail app would then edit the user, but copy the last modified date and user of the record as it was before. (No mater who/when it was.) This is something you can do in Apex, but I have no idea why this app would do this.

Solution:
For us: disabling the sync. We don't generally keep our gmail contacts up to date, and we don't have enough use for the sync to allow these kind of untraceable changes. In our org, the unwanted edits immediately stopped and we haven't seen this issue since.

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  • Thank you so much for this - we also have Lightning for Gmail and the contact sync is enabled. We're seeing mostly the same behavior. We did disable the entire Gmail sync when this problem started a couple months ago, but we re-enabled it (including the contact sync) for Salesforce support to do their troubleshooting. I forgot that the contact sync was part of that re-enablement, I thought we had only re-enabled the email sync portion. We'll investigate further. – David Cheng Dec 7 '19 at 16:29
  • @DavidCheng You're welcome. I know how frustrating this issue can be. I didn't believe the app actually changed the last modified date on the contact records till I searched through our backups and I couldn't find the edits that should have been there. – Kasper Dec 8 '19 at 0:54

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