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AOL ‘Account Has Been Restricted’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which purports to be from email service provider AOL, your account has been restricted.

The email claims that the company has detected unusual activity and has blocked or restricted your account in order to secure it.

The message urges you to click a “Verify Now” link to deal with the supposed problem.

But, the email is not from AOL. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal information.

If you fall for the ruse and click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that asks you to enter your AOL login information via a bogus form. If you proceed, scammers can collect your login and use it to hijack your AOL account.

Once they have taken control of your account, they can use it to send further spam and scam campaigns in your name.  They may also be able to access other services that are linked to the same account.

AOL customers have been targeted via scams like this for many years.

Phishing scams continue to be very common and target users of many companies and online service providers. It is always safest to login to all of your online accounts by entering the account address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.

An example of the scam email:

Subject: Your Account Has Been Restricted

Dear Member,

Welcome to AOL mail care

We monitor unusual activity to keep you safe from attackers.

We block or restrict access if we detect unusual activity to secure your account

We sent out a mail to alert customer whose accounts was restricted to unlock and enhance online security.

If you receive any verify emails already but still get this message re-verify because your verification has not been received

Verify Now.

Thank you for being our customer

AOL Communications

 

 

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