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 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. I have deactivated the link.
Here is the email presently being circulated.
“Dear AOL Member, We recently upgraded our network server. The new AOL version of our software will be available on June 14th, 2023.The new edition contains several changes. Your AOL account needs to be updated to avoid being disconnected
Please click on the link below to update your account now
© 2023 AOL Communications. All Rights Reserved.”
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. Also, this email also does not refer to you in the salutation, but merely addresses you as “Dear User.” In addition, the scammer was not very smart because the email that was intended to appear as if it was coming from Aol came from a yahoo.com email address.
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. 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.
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