Scam of the day – July 30. 2017 – AOL phishing scam

Millions of people still use AOL.  One reason is that you get greater email privacy when compared to some other email carriers. Due to its popularity, scammers and identity thieves often send out phishing emails that appear to come from AOL, such as the one reproduced below.  The logo and format of this particular email that is presently circulating is quite poor.  Compare it to the excellent counterfeit phishing email I included in the Scam of the Day for May 31, 2014.  This one comes from an email address that has no relation to the company, AOL.  Further, it is not directed to the recipient specifically by name.  Like many similar scams, this one works by luring you into clicking on a link in the email in order to resolve a problem.  However, if you click on the link, one of two things will happen.  You either will be prompted to provide information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or by clicking on the link you will unwittingly download a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.   Here is how the email appears.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK:
“Dear Aol User
You can not send or receive new messages until you re-validate your mailbox.
To renew the mailbox,
Click below: Login&Complete
Thank you!
Webmail Administrator.”
TIPS
When AOL communicates with its customers about their accounts, they do so by AOL Certified Mail, which will appear as a blue envelope in your inbox and will have an official AOL Mail seal on the border of the email.  This particular email had neither and only had an easy to counterfeit AOL logo appear on the email.  Whenever you get an email, you cannot be sure of from whom it really comes.  Never click on a link unless you are absolutely sure that it is legitimate.  If you think the email might be legitimate, The best thing to do is to contact the real company that the email purports to be from at an address or phone number that you know is accurate in order to find out if the communication was legitimate or not. Remember, never click on links in emails unless you have confirmed that they are legitimate.

Scam of the day – December 24, 2015 – Latest AOL phishing scam

Millions of people still use AOL.  One reason is that you get greater privacy as to your email when compared to some other email carriers. Due to its popularity, scammers and identity thieves often send out phishing emails that appear to come from AOL, such as the one reproduced below.  The logo and format of this particular email that is presently circulating is quite poor.  Compare it to the excellent counterfeit phishing email I included in the Scam of the Day for May 31, 2014.  This one comes from an email address that has no relation to the company, AOL.  Further, it is not directed to the recipient specifically by name.  Like many similar scams, this one works by luring you into clicking on a link in the email in order to resolve an problem.  However, if you click on the link, one of two things will happen.  You either will be prompted to provide information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or by clicking on the link you will unwittingly download a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.   Here is how the email appears.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK:
“Dear AOL Users,

Your account has some security Issues and need to be fixed at once
In order to avoid suspension Click Here and Log in To fix the issues.

Regards,
Customer Team

Sincerely,
AOL Member Service”

TIPS
When AOL communicates with its customers about their accounts, they do so by AOL Certified Mail, which will appear as a blue envelope in your inbox and will have an official AOL Mail seal on the border of the email.  This particular email had neither and didn’t even have an AOL logo appear on the email.  Whenever you get an email, you cannot be sure of from whom it really comes.  Never click on a link unless you are absolutely sure that it is legitimate.  The better course of action is to contact the real company that the email purports to be from at an address or phone number that you know is accurate in order to find out if the communication was legitimate or not.  Remember, never click on links in emails unless you have confirmed that they are legitimate.

Scam of the day – November 27, 2012 – AOL deactivation scam

AOL customers have been receiving an email that purports to be from the “AOL Verification Team,” the first sentence of which reads exactly as follows: “This E-mail been sent to you by the AOL Verification Team to inform you that your account will be deactivated within the next 24 hours due to several unsuccessful log in attempt on your account.”  The email then sends you to a link to click on in order to prevent this from happening.  This email message is a scam and if you click on the link you will download a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of the personal information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

This email scam is extemely amateurish.  It is addressed to “Dear Customer” rather than the recipient’s name.  Although it purports to be from AOL Account Services, the email address from which it comes is a person’s name at earthlink.net.  It is certainly doubtful that AOL would use Earthlink for emails. In addition, the grammar is atrocious.  Finally, when AOL contacts you on official matters it uses what it calls AOL Certified Mail which comes in the form of a blue envelope in your inbox and will have an AOL seal on the border of the email.  Whenever in doubt about a message that asks you to click on a link, call who the sender purports to be and confirm whether or not it is a scam.  Finally, remember to keep your firewall and security software up to date.

Scam of the day – September 21, 2012 – AOL phony billing scam

Many people using AOL for email have been receiving legitimate looking, but phony emails purporting to be from AOL billing them for services.  Sometimes the phony messages come in the form of phony pop-ups that ask for personal information such as your Social Security number for “verification purposes.”  Either way, these are phony phishing scams merely looking to steal your money and your identity.  Ignore them.

TIPS

AOL uses what it calls AOL Certified Mail for actual communications which will come in the form of a blue envelope in your inbox and will have an AOL seal on the border of the email.  AOL will never ask for your Social Security number although scammers and identity thieves will because this number is the key to identity theft.  If you believe that an email communication from AOL or any other company may or may not be legitimate, go directly to the company at either its website or by telephone making sure that you use URLs and phone numbers that you know are accurate.  Never trust a link in an email that may be phony.  It can only lead to your downloading keystroke logging malware that can steal information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.