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‘Add Recovery Number’ Email Account Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Scammers are distributing fake admin notifications recommending that you add a recovery number to your email account.

Supposedly, this is a new security measure designed to keep your account safe. The message includes a link that will supposedly allow you to add your mobile number as requested. It warns that, if you don’t add the recovery number, your account will be deactivated and your emails will be lost permanently.

Clicking the link opens a scam website that asks for your email address and email account password. Online crooks can nab these credentials and use them to hijack your email account along with any linked services such as app stores or online file storage.

Genuine email providers sometimes do suggest that users supply a recovery phone number for added account security. The scammers are exploiting this fact by attempting to send messages that mirror such recovery number suggestions.

Keep in mind that genuine email service providers will not threaten to delete your account if you don’t immediately add a recovery number. Nor will they send an unsolicited email demanding that you click a link to add the number.

It is always safer to log in to your email account via a trusted app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link. If the service wants you to add a recovery number, you will likely be prompted to do so after you login.

A screenshot of the scam email:

Add Recovery Number Phishing Scam Email

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer