Email Phishing Scam
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‘Urgent Server Warning’ Email Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this email, which claims to be a high-level security warning,  your email account is about to be terminated. 

The email claims that the service provider received an instruction to terminate your account a few hours ago. It urges you to click a link to stop the account termination if you think the request was an error.  But, warns the email, you need to take action immediately because the account will shortly be closed.

However, the email is not from any legitimate email security team and the claim that your account will be closed if you do not click the link is untrue.  In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to steal your email account password.

The initial scam email looks like this:
Urgent Server Warning Email Phishing Scam

If you click the link to stop the supposed account termination, you will be taken to a web page that looks like this:

Fake email account termination web page

To further urge you to take action immediately, the page includes an – entirely fake  – account termination countdown.

If you click the “Stop this action” button, the following pop-up window will appear:

Fake security check popup

If you enter your email account password as requested, you will receive a final fake message stating that you have successfully stopped your account from being closed. 

But, now, online criminals can use your email address and password to take control of your email account.  Once they have gained access, they can then use the account to launch spam, scam, and malware campaigns in your name.

And, if your email account is linked to other services such as app stores and online storage, the criminals will be able to access these as well.  They may be able to make purchases in the app store using your account.  And, they may be able to search through your stored documents and gather more of your personal and financial information. If they gather enough information, they may attempt to steal your identity.

Scam emails like this one are very common.  It is always safest to login to your email and other online accounts via a trusted app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar.

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,