As I have mentioned many times before, email phishing scams start when you receive an email that purports to be sent from your email server informing you that there is some problem with your account which requires you to click on a link in order to remedy the problem. Many times the email purports to come from your specific provider; sometimes from a provider you do not even use. Today’s phishing email scam, however, is generic in that it doesn’t even indicate the name of your email server.
Here is a copy of an email that is presently finding its way into many people’s email boxes. This is a phishing scam. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Clicking on the link will result in either your downloading a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the information from your computer such as your Social Security number, credit card numbers and banking information that will then be used to make you a victim of identity theft or when you click on the link you will be prompted to provide personal information that will also be used to make you a victim of identity theft.
“Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit 1 GB, which is defined by the administrator, you are running at 99.8 gigabytes, you can not send or receive new messages until you re-validate your mailbox.
To renew the mailbox,
WARNING! Protect your privacy. Logout when you are done and completely exit your browser.”
Some phishing emails are better than others and this one was not very convincing. The email address from which it was sent was not from an email provider. Instead, the address of someone whose email had been hacked and made a part of a botnet of computers used by identity thieves to send out their phishing emails was used In addition, this email is not directed to you by name. As with many of these scams that often originate in foreign countries where English is a second language, the grammar is suspect as where in the email commas are used improperly.
The most important thing to remember is to never click on links in emails or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate. In this particular case, it is easy to see that it is a scam. Additionally, you should make sure that your anti-malware and anti-virus software are installed and up to date with the latest security updates while remembering that you cannot totally rely on your security software to protect you because it generally takes about thirty days from the discovery of new malware for the security software companies to come up with new patches and updates.