Today’s Scam of the day is about a phishing email presently circulating that attempts to lure you into clicking on a link in order to continue using your AOL account. Millions of people still use AOL. One reason for this 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. If you click on the link in the email where it reads “Update Mailbox” one of two things can occur and both are bad. Either you will end up providing personal information to an identity thief or you will, merely by clicking on the link, download dangerous malware such as ransomware on to your phone, computer or other device.
Here is the email presently being circulated. The link where it reads ” Update Mailbox” has been disabled. If you had hovered your mouse over the original link, you would have seen that it would have taken you to a site that wasn’t related to AOL.
Our record shows that your Mailbox is outdated due to our system upgrade to Oath Mail which has caused some incoming mail to be placed on hold.
As a precautionary measure, we will restrict access to your Mailbox from 5th March, 2022 until you upgrade your Mailbox. To prevent abuse, sending out emails from 15th March 2022 will not be possible as long as access to the Mailbox is limited.
Kindly update your Mailbox in order to receive new mails.
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. No official AOL Mail seal appears in the inbox for this phishing email. This email also does not refer to you in the salutation.
Whenever you get an email, you cannot be sure who is really sending it. In the case of this email, the email address of the sender had no relation to AOL and most likely was the email address of someone whose email account was hacked and made a part of a botnet of computers used by cybercriminals to send such communications. This is easy to spot if you are using your computer, but difficult to determine when you are reading your emails on your phone. 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 email address or phone number that you know is accurate in order to find out if the communication was legitimate or not.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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