According to this email, which claims to be from the System Administrator*, I am required to confirm ownership of my email account.
It warns that I will be blocked from sending and receiving email if I do not confirm my details within 72 hours of receiving the notification.
However, the email is not from any legitimate system administrator or “Secured Service”. It is a phishing scam designed to steal my email account password.
If I went ahead and clicked the link, I would be taken to a phishing website that would ask me to log in with my email address and email account password. Criminals could then collect my login credentials and use them to take control of my email account.
Once in, they could use my account to distribute scam, spam, and malware emails in my name.
Email account phishing scams like this are very common. Your email service provider will never send you an unsolicited email that demands that you login to avoid losing your account. Be wary of any message that makes such claims. If you receive one, just delete it. Do not click any links it contains.
It is always safest to login to your email account via a trusted app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar.
Some versions of these scams may attempt to collect further personal and financial information from you via fake update forms.
* There is some irony here in that since the quoted email address comes from a domain that I own and manage, I AM the “System Administrator”. 🙂
A screenshot of the scam email:
Transcript of the scam email:
Subject: Confirm Ownership !
You would be blocked from sending and receiving emails if you do not confirm within 72 hrs of receiving this automated mail.
CONFIRM YOUR DETAILS HERE:
Thanks and Regards,
© 2020 Secured Service.
Please do not reply to this email. This auto-mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response.
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!