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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Another "Hotmail" Phishing Scam

A while back I told my readers about another Hotmail Phishing Scam. A Phishing Scam is any attempt to get identify or password information from you, to be used to your detriment. With Hotmail or certain other popular email accounts you may receive email from a disguised 3rd party, purporting to be Hotmail and telling you that your account will be shut down or partially shut down if you do not send certain information, including your name and password. Once that have your name and password you can be shut out of your own account while they mine it for identity data, or they can send email in your name for nefarious purposes. The Phisher has appropriated Hotmail logos, etc through cut and paste. (After all, after a little identity theft, fraud, larceny, what is copywrite infringement.) If you place your curser in the correct spot under the Hotmail or Windows Live address title you will find that the real originator of the email pops up. In this case it was (You see how easy cut and paste is.)

This email stated:

Account Alert

Dear Valued Member,
Dear Account User, 

This Email is from Msn-Live-Hotmail Customer Care™ and we are sending it to all Msn-Live-Hotmail Accounts  Owner for safety. We are having congestion due to the anonymous registration of Msn-Live-Hotmailaccounts so we are shutting down some Msn-Live-Hotmail accounts  and your account is among those to be deactivated. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if this account is still valid? If it is, Please kindly confirm your account by first clicking on the show content link highlighted in yellow just above the subject line. The following information is needed to verify your account: Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information.
Click on the reply button and fill in your information:
* Full Name..................................* User Name:.................................
* Password:..................................
* Date of Birth:..............................
* Occupation:...............................
* Country Or Territory:.................. 
After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after 24 Hours of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

The Windows Live Team™

It also gave me an ominous sounding case ID number: 

Case ID:- 000118F82E055634

First of all why would Hotmail need you to tell them if your account is still valid. Second, the email is assembled with a lack of professionalism.  Mr. Lou Beanie is a rank amateur. He says for example"Dear Valued Member," improperly centered, and then again "Dear Account User," and makes other formating mistakes.  Third, the folks at Hotmail can look up al that information except your password, which is automated, and there are even processes, I am sure, by which they could obtain that. If they  wanted you to contact them for any reason they would have you use a more sophisticated process than this. Do not respond to any such email.  If you receive such an email, go to the top bar of your Hotmail inbox, scroll down Mark As and Mark As Phishing Scam. It will be whisked to the domain of Hotmail Phishing Scam inspections and you are done with it.   

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