Scam of the day – September 22, 2016 – New 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:
AOL HELP.
Your two incoming mails were placed on pending status due to the recent upgrade to our database,In order to receive the messages CLICK HERE to Login and wait for response from AOL Mail.We apologies for any inconveniences
Best Regards,
The AOL! Mail Team
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 – January 11, 2014 – AOL password reset scam

Although, America Online (AOL) has decreased in popularity somewhat in recent years, about 2.5 million people still use it and with numbers that high, AOL users are a large target for scammers and identity thieves.  A recent scam that has surfaced is an email that purports to be from AOL informing the receiver of the email that a request had been made to reset the password and the person receiving the email is provided two links upon which to click to either agree that the password change was legitimate or to cancel the requests because it was a scam.  The problem is that the email does not come from AOL, it comes from a scammer, and not a very good one.  If you click on either link, you will either be prompted to provide personal information that can make you a victim of identity theft or merely by clicking on either link you will download a keystroke logging malware program on to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that will steal all of the personal information from your device lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.  This particular scam was not a very convincing one because the address from which it comes is not an official AOL address, nor does it contain AOL logos.  Here is a copy of the email presently being circulated.  DO NOT CLICK ON EITHER LINK.

 

“Dear AOL Customer,

 

The AOL Team

We received a request on 1/10/14 to reset the password for your AOL Online Account. Please confirm this request to complete the password reset:

Yes, I would like to reset my password

I did not make this request, cancel the password reset
To make additional edits to your account, sign in to aol.com
Thankyou,                                                                                                                                                                                                             The AOL team”

TIPS

Never click on links or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.  If you have any concerns that the email might be legitimate, contact the company, in this case AOL, at a telephone number or online through a phone number or an address that you know is correct to inquire about the email.  Also, make sure that all of your electronic devices are protected by security software against viruses and malware and keep your security software updated with the latest patches.

 

Scam of the day – January 7, 2014 – Latest AOL scam

Phishing scams often take the form of emails that you receive that appear to be legitimate and require you to click on a link contained in the email for various reasons which also may appear legitimate.  However, in the case of phishing emails, if you click on the link, you will only succeed in doing one of two things, both of which are bad.  In one type of email, you will be taken to another page where you will be prompted to provide personal information which will then be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  The second bad thing that can happen if you click on a link in a phishing email is that by clicking on the link, you will unwittingly download keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the information from your computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or other device and use that information to make you a victim of identity theft.

Here is a phishing email that is presently being sent that purports to be from America Online (AOL), but it is not.  It is a phishing scam.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

AOL HELP.

Your two incoming mails were placed on pending status due to the recent upgrade to our database,
In order to receive the messages Click here to login and wait for responds from Aol Team.
We apologies for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
Regards, Aol Team.

TIPS

There are a couple of telltale signs that this is a scam.  People receiving this email do not have their name appear in the salutation and if you click on the details section of your email, you will see that the email did not come from AOL, but instead came from a botnet which is a network of zombie computers taken over by hackers to spread this type of material.  Check the archives of Scamicide or “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” for more information about botnets.

In any event, as I have told you many times, even if you think the email is legitimate, you should never click on a link in an email unless you are absolutely sure that it is, in fact, legitimate.  Because you can never be sure who is actually sending you an email, if you are an AOL subscriber who has the slightest thought that this email might be legitimate, call AOL at a customer service number that you know is accurate to confirm that it is merely a scam.

Scam of the day – October 4, 2012 – Latest email scam

Once again my own email provided me with another “scam of the day.”  I got an email message which purported to be from my email provider indicating that someone had tried to sign in on my email account from another location.   The email then told me to click on a link to verify my profile.  As always, the email looked quite legitimate and it was directed to me personally.  However, the email from which it was sent was not that of my email provider, but rather that of a lawyer  whose email had apparently been hacked which allowed the hackers to utilize spearphishing, as I described in previous “scams of the day” to send a message directly to me.  However, in this case, I certainly did not think that it was from my email provider when the email source from which it came was a lawyer’s office.  If I had clicked on the link, I would have downloaded a keystroke logging malware program that would have stolen all of the information from my computer and made me a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Always be skeptical of any links and attachments even if they are from people whom you trust.  As was the case with the email sent to me, the person who it appears is sending you the email could have had his or her email account hacked to make it appear that the email was from someone you knew.  In the case of an email purportedly from your email provider or anyone with whom you do business, you should not download any attachments or click on any links.  Instead contact the company directly either on line or by phone to check and see if the email is legitimate.   Chances are it is not.

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.