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 that was sent to me by a Scamicide reader. It is not a particularly convincing phishing email, but it still could cause problems for an unwary AOL user. It doesn’t include a logo and it is not addressed to the person receiving the email by name. In addition, this particular phishing email comes from an email address that has no relation to AOL. Most likely the email address from which it was sent was from someone whose email account and computer was hijacked and made a part of a botnet. The grammar is also not proper. 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 ransomware or 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. I have removed the link contained in the phishing email.
Here is a copy of the email that is presently being circulated:
Aol Customer Support Team
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. Whenever you get an email, you cannot be sure who is really sending it. Another indication that this is a scam is the poor grammar which is sometimes an indication that the email was sent from a country where English is not the primary language. 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.
If you have been targeted by scammers or identity thieves, I invite you to send me your story and a copy of any communications sent by the scammers or identity thieves. Your anonymity will always be protected by Scamicide.
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