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‘Request To Terminate Outlook Account’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, the ‘Microsoft account team’ has received a request to terminate your Outlook account. The email notes that, if you did not make such a request, you should open an attached file to cancel the pending termination.

However, the email is not from Microsoft and the termination request claims are untrue. It is a typical phishing scam and is quite similar to earlier versions that claimed that your Microsoft account was set to be terminated.

If you open the attached file, a PDF will be displayed. The PDF again claims that a termination request has been received and invites you to click a link to cancel the request (see screenshot below).
If you click the link, you will be taken to a fake Microsoft Account login page and asked to enter your login credentials. After entering your details on the fake form, you will be automatically directed to a genuine Microsoft webpage.

The ‘Microsoft Account login details you supplied will be collected by the scammers. A ‘Microsoft Account’ is the name for what was previously known as a ‘Windows Live ID.’ Criminals can use the same login credentials to hijack several Microsoft services and use them to perpetrate further fraudulent activities in your name.

If you receive this message, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.

Example

Subject: Request to terminate your Outlook Accoun‏t‏‏‏‏‏‏ Dear Outlook User,

we received a request to terminate your Outlook Account, if you did not make this request view attach and cancel your request .

Thanks,
The Microsoft account team

(Attach Request.pdf)

Terminate Outlook 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,
Hoax-Slayer