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‘Enable 2nd Step Security’ Email Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen
According to this email, which may look like it was sent by your email service provider, you need to enable “2nd step security” on your email account. 
Supposedly, the email is a security exercise to identify and delete dormant accounts on the server. It warns that, if you do not click a button to enable security, your account will be marked as dormant and closed down. However, the email is not a legitimate message from your service provider and clicking the button will not enable any security measures on your account. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your email account login information. If you click the button, you will be taken to a fraudulent website and asked to log in with your email address and email account password. After “logging in” on the fake site, you will see a message claiming that you have enabled the extra security measure and proven that your account is not dormant. But, the criminals can now log in to your account and use it to launch further spam, scam, and malware attacks. 
They can also access any services that are linked to the account, including online file storage and app stores. Thus, the criminals may be able to harvest information contained in your stored documents and apps and conduct fraudulent transactions via your app store account. If they manage to collect enough of your personal information, they may be able to steal your identity. Your service provider will never send you an email that demands that you immediately follow a link to update account details or implement a new security system. Always login to your email account via a trusted app or program or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

An example of the scam message

2nd Step Security Phishing Scam

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,