You know not to provide any ol’ request received via email with your social security number, bank account details, or your mother’s maiden name, right?
You also know that there is no such money transfer for several million dollars waiting for you in some overseas location.
However, some email scams are a bit more subtle.
Here is the email I received – click on it for full size.
Never Provide Login Details By Replying To An Email
I received an email this morning that claims my business Webmail account will be shut down in 3 days if I do not take action.
And the action I am required to perform?
Reply to the email with my full name, my email username and password.
This is a dangerous and obvious scam for a few reasons.
It is never made clear WHICH email account
They generically write “This message is from WEBMAIL maintenance hosting messaging center to all our account owners.”
Webmail is simply a way that you web hosting companies grant you online access to your email, if you wish.
Most people will check email through Outlook, Gmail or their mobile device, thus bypassing Webmail to begin with.
A ‘Real Looking’ from address is used
When I look to see the email address that this came from, I see: email@example.com
While that looks ‘official’ remember that anyone can create any free email address on live.com.
Nothing is stopping me from creating the free email account “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
See what I mean?!
Plus, I have no business with Live.com so why would they be sending me an email?
The email uses fear to get you to take action by writing “E-mail owner that refuses to update his or her E-mail within 48hrs of receiving this warning will lose his or her E-mail permanently.”
No legit company will make such abrupt statements. And please remember this:
No legit company will request that you reply to an email with sensitive information!
The most they will do is send you to a login link and ask you to update or validate there. Side Note: Be careful if you are ever sent a link and asked to provide your username and password, even if the page looks real – it could also be fake.
Best way to be certain: type in the URL to the company’s main site and go from there.
How to verify any Email request
If you ever need to check on the validity of these emails, you can do one of two things.
1 – Email the company in question directly and ask if this is a legit request.
2 – Google the subject line or portion of the email to see if others are talking about it.
There you go. Never fall for any of these again. Share this with your network so we are all protected.
Have you ever fallen for these scams?
Let me know in a comment below your experiences with these emails.
Have you received one that you almost fell for?