Online criminals commonly distribute phishing emails that falsely claim that your email account has been suspended, deactivated, or disabled.
The scam emails claim that you can stop the supposed suspension and get your account back by clicking a link.
Clicking the links in the scam emails opens a fraudulent website that asks you to provide your email address and email account password. After submitting your account credentials on the fake website, you may see a final message stating that your account has now been verified and is no longer suspended.
But, now, the criminals who sent out the scam message can use the information you supplied to take control of your email account.
Once they have gained access to your email account, they can use it to distribute further scam, spam, and malware emails that look like you sent them. If your email account is linked to other services such as online file storage or app stores, the criminals can also steal your personal information and make fraudulent transactions in your name.
If the scammers are able to gather enough of your personal information from your hijacked account, they may even be able to steal your identity.
It is always best to login to your email service by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.
If you receive an email that looks like it was sent by your email service provider and claims that your account has been suspended, do not click on it.
There are many variations of this scam. Some versions may ask you to open an attached file rather than click a link. The attachment will contain a fake web form that asks for your email address and password. Other versions ask you to reply to the email with your account login details.