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.


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  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 – November 6, 2012 – Video update scam

It is an unfortunate fact that I never have difficulty coming up with a new scam or identity theft scheme for each day’s “scam of the day.”  Often, like today, I merely have to go to the inbox of my email account.  Today I found an email where the subject line read “New Video Update” and the message told me that I had a new video update followed by the tantalizing words “This changes everything.”  In case I was still hesitating to click on the link to the video update, the email went on to say “Don’t miss this, will be taking this down ASAP.”  And just in case I was still hesitating, the email ended with a “P.S. Don’t miss this video.”  Well, I will just have to miss the video because if I had clicked on the link, I would have downloaded a keystroke logging malware program that would have enabled the scammer to steal all of the information in my computer and make me a victim of identity theft.


As I regularly repeat, never click on links in emails or tweets or Facebook messages or anywhere else you receive a link unless you are absolutely sure it is legitimate.  And even then you have to be extra careful because the source of an email or other message may appear to come from someone you trust, but their account may have been hacked into so that the link actually is coming from a scammer.  The best course of action is not to click on a link unless you have confirmed with the sender that it is legitimate.  Remember, even paranoids have enemies.  By the way, this particular scam didn’t even indicate who was sending the video other than indicating it was sent by “Member Center.”  Member Center of what was not in anyway clear.

Scam of the day – November 3, 2012 – Delta Airline ticket scam

Today’s scam is another from my own email mailbox.  Today I received a “Notification” from Delta Airlines that an airline ticket that I bought is available for downloading and printing online by opening the attachment to the email.  Unlike many such scams, this email, although it appeared to come from Delta Airlines, did not carry the logo of the company, but instead just contained text and although there were no prominent grammatical errors, the very fact that I had not ordered an airline ticket should be enough to warn me not to click on the attachment.   If I had clicked on the attachment, I would have downloaded a keystroke logging malware program that would steal all of the information from my computer and make me a victim of identity theft.


You don’t win contests you don’t enter and you don’t get sent airline tickets you have not purchased.  In both of these instances, they are just lures to get you to click on a link to download malware.  Remember my motto “Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Even if it is a company with which you do business, unless the email contains information that absolutely confirms it is legitimate, never click on a link or an attachment until you have confirmed that the email is genuine.