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Issue 120 - November 2011 - Page 15

AT&T Phishing Scam

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Outline
Email purporting to be from AT&T claims that the recipient's account may be shut down if he or she does not verify the account by replying with username and password details.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from AT&T. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to trick AT&T users into sending their account login details to cybercriminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 11th October 2011
First published: 11th October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
From: AT&T Mail Center
Subject: Account Verification

Due to the congestion in all att.net users and removal of all unused att Accounts,

Att would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button,

* Username...................... ......................
* Password: .............................. ............................
* Date of Birth: .............................. .........................
* 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 two days of receiving this warning stands the risk of losing his or her account permanently.




Detailed Analysis
This email, which purports to be from US telecommunications giant, AT&T, claims that "due to congestion" all unused AT&T accounts are set to be shut down. According to the message, users who wish to keep their accounts must verify them by replying with username and password details.

However, the email is not from AT&T and the claim that all unused accounts are about to be closed is untrue. In fact, the message is an attempt by criminals to trick users into divulging their account login details. Those who fall for the ruse and send the requested details will be effectively handing control of their AT&&T accounts to scammers. Once they have collected a victim's login details, the scammers can login to the compromised account, steal more personal information stored in the account's files and use the account to launch further scam and spam campaigns. Often, the scammers use the hijacked accounts to send typical "stranded in a foreign country" scam messages to people on the victim's contact list. Because the messages apparently come from a person that the recipients know, they may be more inclined to believe the scammer's story and send money as requested.

AT&T will never send you an unsolicited email that expects you to reply with sensitive information such as passwords. Nor will any other legitimate Internet or telecommunications company. This is a common scam that has targeted users of several high profile services, including Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and Bigpond.

Some variants of the scam instruct recipients to follow a link which opens a bogus website form that asks them to submit account login details. Other variants include the bogus form in an attached file. If you receive one of these emails, do not reply. Do not open any attachments that the message may contain. Do not click any links in the email.

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Friend Stranded in Foreign Country Scam Emails
Gmail Account Phishing Scam
Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email
Bigpond Database Upgrade Phishing Scam



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Issue 120 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook 'Add Pink Tinge to Your Profile' Virus Warning
  2. Hoax - UNICEF Receives 5 Euros Every Time You Share a Picture
  3. False Warnings - 'Cleaning out Friends List' Questions on Facebook Contain Viruses or are Posted by Hackers
  4. Image of Police Officer Macing a Child
  5. Hoax - SPCA South Africa is Closing Down
  6. Facebook '1 Lost Message' Pharmacy Spam Email
  7. Energy Saver Globe Warning Message - Mercury Exposure Foot Injury Images
  8. Westpac 'Quick Survey' Phishing Scam
  9. Free Heart Surgery for Children - Facebook Share
  10. Brighton Area 'Black or Dark Blue Dodge Caravan' Child Abduction Rumour
  11. Hoax Warning - 300km Winds for Johannesburg Region This Weekend
  12. Bogus Windows Firewall and Security Center Update Email Links To Malware
  13. Facebook Prayer Request For Baby Found in the Bin
  14. BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax
  15. AT&T Phishing Scam
  16. Bill Cosby - 'I'm 76 and I'm Tired'
  17. Boy Shot By Step Dad Charity Hoax