Email purporting to be from your Webmail Administrator claims that, unless you click a link to verify and upgrade your account, your email address will stop receiving messages because the system has detected a ‘violation of spam activities’.
The email is not from any legitimate email administrator. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal your email account login credentials.
Subject: Important Notification (email address removed)Account NotificationYour Email ( email address removed ) will stop receiving messages due to the fact that our system detected a violation of Spam activities.
You have to verify and up-grade your email address information to avoid account
termination. To verify and up-grade your email, simply click on the link below.Click Here to Verify & Up-grade your Account
Note: Failure to do this could result in lost of your email contents.
For your security, please keep your email address information up-to-date. If this
information changes, you can always update it by signing in to your Email account.
Thanks for using our service.
According to this ‘Account Notification email, which was supposedly sent by your Webmail Administrator, the system has detected a violation of spam activities from your email account. Because of this supposed violation, claims the message, you will stop receiving emails until you click a link to verify and upgrade your account. The message further warns that failing to verify and upgrade as requested could result in ‘lost of your email contents’.
However, the message is not from any legitimate email account administrator and the claim that you must verify and upgrade is just a criminal ploy designed to steal your account login details.
If you are taken in by the bogus message and click the verify and upgrade link as requested, a fake ‘Outlook Web App’ webpage will open in your browser. The webpage, which features the Outlook logo, asks you to sign in by entering your email address and email password. Clicking the sign in button brings you to the home page of your email provider.
Meanwhile, however, the scammers can collect your email address and password and use them to hijack your real email account. Once they have gained access to your account, they can use it to send spam, scam, and malware emails in your name. The scammers may also be able to use the same login details to access and misuse other services associated with the same account.
Phishing scams like this one are very common. Remember that no legitimate email administrator is ever likely to send you an email that demands that you click a login link to verify or upgrade your account.
It is always safest to login to all of your online accounts either by entering the account address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted account app.
Last updated: June 17, 2016
First published: June 17, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen