According to this message, which purports to be from “Mail Control”, I sent a request to terminate my email account.
Supposedly, as a final security measure, I need to confirm the termination request by clicking a link. Alternatively, I could click a “cancel” link if I did not ask for the account to be terminated.
However, the email is not from “Mail Control” or any other legitimate sender and the email termination claim is a lie. Instead, the message is a phishing scam designed to steal my email account password.
I’ve been receiving dozens of these scam emails to some of my old Hoax-Slayer email addresses lately. I do find them rather amusing since I actually own and manage the domain for the targeted email addresses. In other words, I AM “Mail Control” for these addresses and would be myself responsible for sending such admin messages.
In reality, many thousands of these scam emails are distributed to recipients all around the world in the hope of netting at least a few victims. The email address of each recipient is automatically added in the appropriate places during the distribution process. Otherwise, the scam emails are all identical.
Links in the emails open a fraudulent website that hosts a fake webmail login form. The form asks for my email address and account password. If I entered the login details as requested, criminals can collect the information and use it to hijack my email account.
They can then use the account to distribute scam, spam, and malware in my name. They could also take control of services such as online storage and app stores that use the same login credentials.
Phishing attempts like this are very common. Be wary of any email that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to deal with a supposed problem with your account. Scammers use many different cover stories to get you to click and enter your login details.
It is always safest to login to your email accounts by entering the address into your browser or via a trusted app.
A screenshot of the scam email:
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!