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Issue 113 - April 2011 - Page 27

Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email

Issue 113 Start Menu

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Outline
Email claims that the recipient must supply account details within five days or his or her Yahoo account will be closed.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Yahoo. The message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into sending their Yahoo account details to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 17th March 2011
First published: 9th June 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Dear E-mail Account Owner,

Dear E-mail Account Owner,

This message comes from your (EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER) messaging admin center to All yahoo E-mail Account owners. We are currently improving our Database and E-mail Account Center and creating more certainty for our Legal Service clients. At this moment we are upgrading our data base so that there will be more space for new customers and increasing the surf on the Internet. To prevent your Email address not to be de-activated and to enable it upgraded, you need to assist us by sending the information below to enable us upgrade it, so that your email account status were flect in our database as a very active, useful and legal email account.Do send to us the below information to enable us upgrade your Account, else your email account will lost in a short time.

First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
Email Address:
E-mail password:
Alternative Email:

WARNING!!! E-MAIL OWNERS who refuses to upgrade his or her account within Five days after notification of this update will permanently be deleted from our data base and can also lead to malfunctioning of the client or user's account and we will not be responsible for loosing our account.

Thanks for your understanding as it is geared towards serving you better.

Email Messaging Support Team

Warning Code: ID67565434.
Note: This message is for yahoo mail user only

2011 Microsoft Privacy

Terms of use
Yahoo Member Service




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, the recipient's Yahoo account will be deleted permanently unless he or she replies with account details within five days. The email asks for the account holder's username and password and other personal information and claims to be from the Yahoo "Email Messaging Support Team".

However, the message is not from Yahoo and the claim that the recipient's account will be closed if he or she does not reply is untrue. In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to steal account information from recipients. Those who follow the instructions in the email will actually be supplying their account details directly to scammers. Once they receive the requested details, the criminals responsible can then access the victim's Yahoo account directly, including email and any personal information stored within the account.

These criminals often use such hijacked accounts to launch further scams and spam campaigns. One such ruse is designed to trick contacts of the victim into sending money to online criminals. Once they have gained access to the hijacked account, the scammers will then send emails to all of the people on the account's contact list. These emails will falsely claim that the account holder is in a very difficult situation and desperately needs financial assistance. Usually, such emails claim that the account holder is stranded in another country without money or travel documents due to a robbery or lost baggage.

Yahoo would never request account details such as usernames and passwords via an unsolicited email. Moreover, Yahoo already has methods in place to deal with inactive accounts. It certainly would not send out emails threatening customers with account closures if they do not supply account information within one week. Any unsolicited email claiming to be from Yahoo that requests sensitive information such as usernames and passwords is quite likely to be a phishing scam.

Yahoo has warned customers about phishing scams in an article on its website. If you receive this email or a similar one, do not reply to the email or supply any of the information requested. Do not click on any links in such messages as they may lead to fake web pages that are designed to look like genuine Yahoo login pages. Login details and any other information supplied on these fake web pages can be collected by scammers and used for fraud and identity theft.

Scammers have used this tactic to steal account information from users of other popular email providers, including Hotmail, Gmail and several others.

Although its intention is more sinister, this email is similar to a long running series of hoaxes that claim that the recipient's Yahoo or Hotmail account will be closed down if the message is not forwarded to others within a specified time frame.

A very similar phishing scam from 2008:
Subject: WARNING!!! VERIFY YOUR YAHOOMAIL ACCOUNT NOW

Dear Account User,

You are advise to verify your account details below to enable us upgrade your account. E.G Your YahooMail ID, Password, Date Of Birth etc.

In failure of doing this, you will Automatically lose your YahooMail Account.

Thanks for using YahooMail

Account Alert

VERIFY YOUR YAHOOMAIL ACCOUNT NOW TO AVOID IT BEING CLOSE!!!


Dear Account User,
This message is from YahooMail message center to all YahooMail account owners and premium account owners. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account center. We are deleting all unused YahooMail account to create more space for new accounts.

To prevent your account from closing, you will have to verify it below before One (1) week from now!

VERIFY YOUR YAHOOMAIL ACCOUNT NOW TO AVOID CLOSE!!!

YahooMail ID:.........................

Password:...............................

Your Birthday:.......................

Your Country or Territory:...........

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his or her account before One (1) week of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Sincerely,
YahooMail Team


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References
Friend Stranded in Foreign Country Scam Emails
Hotmail Account Closure Phishing Scam
Gmail Account Phishing Scam
Webmail Account Phishing Scam
Yahoo Account Deletion Hoax
How can I recognize a phishing email?



Previous Article

Issue 113 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. "Photo U Got Tagged In" Rogue App
  2. Internet Rumour: Ramsgate Abduction Attempts - Man With Grey Hair & Glasses Driving a Red Car
  3. Little Rupert The One Pound Deer
  4. Is Lemon A Cancer Killer That is 10,000 Times Stronger Than Chemotherapy?
  5. Modelling Agency Overpayment Scam
  6. Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam
  7. Hacker Warning Hoax - Do Not Accept Friend Requests From Bobby Roberts
  8. DHL Notification Malware Email
  9. Crosses on the Beach at Santa Barbara - ACLU Suit Against Military Crosses And Prayer in the Military?
  10. Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps
  11. July 2011 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  12. Craigslist iPad Giveaway Survey Scam
  13. Buscopan Syrup Recall Warning
  14. Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
  15. White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages
  16. Crocodile In Sugar Mill Sump
  17. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  18. Dog Comes Home With Deadly Snake Around His Snout
  19. Bogus Hacker Warning - &#039 Between First and Second Names in Facebook Chat
  20. False Virus Warning - Do Not Add "Smartgrrl15" Because Its a Virus
  21. New Prison Photographs - Prison vs Work
  22. Pepsi Can Email Hoax
  23. False Story Claims 450 Gaza Grooms Wed Girls Under Ten in Mass Muslim Marriage
  24. Baby Pacey Moore Prayer Request
  25. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  26. Fake BBC News Alert Warns of Radiation Rain in Asian Countries
  27. Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email