If you were to Google “Hotmail scam”, you might be surprised to learn that these scams go all the way back to December, 1997 – at least that was the earliest one I could find. Not surprisingly, the hackers/scammers are at it again. Well why not? Hotmail account users’ are such an easy target.
The most recent email scam, currently in circulation, which appears to come from the Hotmail Customer Care team, is in reality just a poor attempt at a phishing con. This is not the first time we’ve seen this – the last time we saw this one was in August, 2008.
If you’re unfamiliar with phishing, it is defined as the act of tricking unsuspecting Internet users into revealing sensitive or private information. In a phishing attack, the attacker creates a set of circumstances where the potential victims are convinced that they are dealing with an authorized party, in this case Hotmail’s Customer Care team.
The newer email (as opposed to the older one pictured above), states in part: “We are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Hotmail accounts so we are shutting down some Hotmail accounts and yours was among those to be deleted – We are sending you this email to (sic) so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account”
The email goes on to request that the recipient provide Username, Password, Date of Birth, and Country. It seems to me that Hotmail would already have at least 2 pieces of this information already – user name and password.
Like so many scam emails like it, this one contains the usual spelling and grammatical errors, which should act as a tip-off that the recipient is looking at a fraudulent email.
Unfortunately, the old expression “I learn the hard way every time”, will come into play here with enough recipients falling for it, to make this scam profitable for the cyber-criminals behind it.
Advice that’s worth repeating:
Consider every email, telephone call, or text message, requesting personal information of any kind, as a scam
Never, ever, ever, click on embedded email links