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Microsoft Outlook ‘Account Exceeded Storage Limit’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which claims to be from the Microsoft Outlook account team, your email account has exceeded its storage limit.

It warns that incoming messages may be ‘placed on pending’ and urges you to open an attached file to verify the account and upgrade your storage. It also threatens that, should you not verify the account within 24 hours, all of your incoming messages will be deleted.

However, the email is not from Microsoft. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your Microsoft Account login details. If you click the attachment, a fake ‘Outlook Web App’ login box will open in your default browser.  If you enter your Microsoft Account details in the fake box, you will then be automatically redirected to the real Outlook.com website.

But, alas, your account login details can be collected by scammers and used to hijack not only your Outlook.com email account but any other connected Microsoft services you may have. Once they have gained access, the scammers can use your account to launch further spam and scam campaigns in your name. They can also steal information from connected accounts such as OneDrive



Webmail accounts sometimes do exceed their allowed quota and you might receive an automated message informing you of this issue. However, this message will not demand that you click a link or open an attachment to deal with the issue.  You can normally remedy the problem of an over-quota account yourself by logging in to your account and deleting unnecessary emails.

Criminals often use fake “exceeded storage limit” emails to steal personal information.

Example:
Subject: *****EXCEEDED QUOTA LIMIT UPGRADE YOUR E-MAIL OUTLOOK.COM***** (2017)
MicosoftDear account user,

Your account has exceeded its storage limit. You might not be able to receive new emails. If not verified within 24 hours we will suspend your account so please click the link below to verify your account now.

Verify Your Account Now

Thank you.
Microsoft Outlook Support.
Copyright 2017 Inc.

 

Example:

Subject: Mail security upgrade/storage Limit info verification

Dear Email Account User,

Your Email Account has exceeded it’s storage Limit,
Most incoming messages may be placed on pending due to our recent Upgrade.
Verify your Email account immediately to get your Account Storage Upgraded.
if not verified within 24 hours, we shall delete all your Email Account incoming messages.
Please open the attachment to update your account, and continue with email upgrade.

Thanks,
The Microsoft outlook account team

Outlook Exceeded Storage Limit Phishing Scam