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Email Account ‘Server Upgrade Warning’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this supposed server upgrade warning, you have messages pending because you have used 98% of your email account storage. 

The message looks like this:

From: Mail Admin
Subject: [Email address removed] server upgrade Warning!!
Attention : [email address removed]

Some of your mails are pending because you have used 98% of your storage.

Please Follow here to Verify and save new configuration to add more space to avoid account shutdown

Mail Verification Center.

The warning was supposedly sent by the ‘Mail Verification Center”.

However, the email is not an official email account notification. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to harvest your email account password.

If you click the link in the scam email, you will be taken to a fraudulent webpage that features a generic email account login as shown in the following screenshot:

Mailbox Full Phishing Scam

After you enter your password and hit the “Verify” button,  the page will go through a fake verification process that supposedly validates your password and account information:
Fake Mailbox verification processFinally, you will see a message that claims that the reconfirmation has been successful:

Fake email validation success message

The criminals can now collect your email address and password and use them to take control of your email account.  Once in, they can use your account to distribute scam, spam, and malware messages in your name.

Depending on what email service you are using, the login details you provided may also give access to linked services such as app stores and online document storage.  If so, the criminals will also be able to access these linked services, steal your information, and conduct fraudulent transactions. 
The criminals may manage to harvest and collate a large amount of your personal information from your email account and linked services. They may then be able to use this information to steal your identity.

Email account phishing scams like this one are very common.

Your email service provider may send you a notification if your storage quota has been used up. However, these notifications are unlikely to demand that you click a link in the email to fix the problem.

Always login to your email account via a trusted app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar. If your email storage quota has been used up, you should be able to rectify the problem by logging into your online account and deleting unwanted emails.

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,