The whole idea behind phishing or spear phishing emails is to lure you into clicking on links that may be infected with malware or tricking you into supplying personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. The email reproduced below which appears to come from MIcrosoft is one of the most convincing phishing emails I have ever encountered, but it is a fake. It looks like a legitimate email from Microsoft alerting you to unusual sign-in activity, which can be an indication that your account has been hacked. The email address from which it is sent appears legitimate, although skilled hackers can disguise email addresses to make them appear as if they are coming from legitimate email addresses. The organization of the email is also good. It looks just like a legitimate notice of unusual activity you might actually receive from Microsoft. Unless you are particularly skeptical, it is easy to fall for this phishing email. In the case of this phishing email, if you click on the “Review recent activity” link you will be taken to a phony landing page that appears to be Microsoft, where you are prompted to sign in with your credentials. Unfortunately, if you do, you will have turned over these credentials to an identity thief who can then use your Microsoft account.
Here is how the phishing email appears:
|Unusual sign-in activity|
|We detected something unusual about a recent sign-in to the Microsoft account email@example.com.|
|Country/region: United States|
|IP address: 126.96.36.199|
|Date: 11/14/2018 2:36 PM (GMT)|
|Please go to your recent activity page to let us know whether or not this was you. If this wasn’t you, we’ll help you secure your account. If this was you, we’ll trust similar activity in the future.|
|To opt out or change where you receive security notifications, click here. (DON’T CLICK ON LINK)|
|The Microsoft account team”|
Trust me, you can’t trust anyone is my motto. If you get an email such as the one above, you should not click on any of the links or provide any information. If you have concerns and want to follow up in a safe manner, go the following website https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13967/microsoft-account-unusual-sign-in which is part of the real Microsoft website which provides information about what to do in regard to checking to see if there are problems and provides a legitimate link to review the activity of your account.
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