According to this supposed server message, you are required to add a recovery number to keep your email account safe.
The “Security Alert” email warns that your account will be deactivated if you do not click a button and add your recovery number.
However, the email is not from your email service provider. Instead, it is a phishing scam that attempts to trick you into giving criminals access to your email account.
If you click the button in the email, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that asks you to sign in with your email address and password. It may then ask you to provide other information such as your phone number and home address details. At the end of the process, you’ll be told that you have successfully secured your account.
But, meanwhile, online criminals can collect the information you supplied and use it to hijack your email account.
Once they have gained access to your account, they can use it to launch spam, scam, and malware campaigns in your name. They will also be able to access other services such as online storage and app stores that may be linked to the account.
The criminals may harvest more personal information from the linked services and add it to the information they collected during the scam. They may subsequently use this information to attempt to steal your identity.
Legitimate email service providers may sometimes send you security alert messages if they detect a login from a new device or suspect unauthorised access attempts.
And, they may prompt you to add a recovery number to help secure your account.
However, genuine emails will always include the name and logo of the service provider. They will not be generic, unbranded messages like the one below.
And, genuine emails will not threaten that your account will be deactivated if you do not immediately click a link and provide information.
It is always safest to login to your email accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app rather than by clicking a link in an email.
An example 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!