Home ScamsPhishing Scams AT&T ‘Account Limit Exceeded’ Phishing Scam

AT&T ‘Account Limit Exceeded’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email purporting to be from AT&T claims that the recipient’s email account limit has been exceeded and that the account will be suspended unless it is verified within 24 hours. 

Brief Analysis

The email is not from AT&T. In fact, it is a phishing scam designed to trick AT&T account holders into divulging their account login details to Internet criminals.

Example

Subject: Account Has Exceeded….

AT&T! ACCOUNT VERIFICATION

Dear Customer,

Your E-mail account has exceeded its limit and needs to be verified, if not verified within 24 hours, we shall suspend your account.

For immediate access, please click on the link below: click here

Thank you
AT&T!

 

Detailed Analysis

This email, which claims to be from telecommunications giant AT&T, warns recipients that their email accounts have exceeded their limits and will be suspended if they are not verified within 24 hours. Recipients are instructed to click a link in the email to complete the verification and restore account access.

However, the message is certainly not from AT&T and the claim that accounts will be suspended if not verified is false. The message is a typical email phishing scam that attempts to trick recipients into handing over their account login details to cybercrooks. 
Those tricked into clicking the link will be taken to a fraudulent website and asked to provide their login email address and password. Login credentials entered on the bogus site will be collected by phishing scammers and subsequently used to hijack the real email accounts belonging to their victims. Once they have gained access to the compromised accounts, the scammers can lock out the rightful owners and use the account contact list to send out further scam and spam emails. Because these scam emails appear to come from a person they know, recipients may be more inclined to think them legitimate and follow any instructions the scammers have included.

Very similar scam messages have targeted users of other major service providers, including Yahoo and Windows Live.

Such phishing scams are extremely common. Be cautious of any message that claims that you must verify, validate or update your account details by clicking a link or opening an attached file. Genuine service providers are very unlikely to request users to provide sensitive information such as passwords via an unsolicited email. It is always safest to access any of your online accounts by entering their address into your browser’s address field rather than by clicking a link or opening an attachment.

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