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Issue 145 - December 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 18

'Assistance Internet' Email Account Phishing Scam

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Outline
Email claiming to be from an organization called "Assistance Internet" claims that all email account holders must verify their accounts by replying with their account details and other personal information.



Brief Analysis
The message is not from any legitimate organization. It is a phishing scam designed to trick inexperienced computer users into emailing their email account details and other private information to cybercriminals.

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Last updated: November 30, 2012
First published: November 30, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: Confirm Your Identity!!! Your Email Account May Be Blocked!!!!Protecting Your Identity

This email from assistance internet service® and we are sending it to all account user for safety. Due to the anonymous registration of our account which is causing congestion to our service,
So we are shutting down some account and your account was among those to be deleted.The
purpose of this email is for you to verify that you are the owner of this account and you are still
using it by filling the information below after clicking on the reply button:

CONFIRM YOUR IDENTITY.
CHECKING YOUR E-MAIL ACCOUNT

 

Name: .......................................................................
Name (s): ...............................................................
Date of Birth: ..................................................
Email Address: ........................................................
Password: .......................................................... And telphone.........................................

INFORMATION

Male or Female: .............................................. ..
Country / Territory: .............................................. .....
Occupation: ............................................................
Secret Question .............................................
Your Answer.............................................................

This information will be used to provide you with personalized access.
If the form is not completely filled you will see your account permanently suspended within 72 hours for security reasons, please submit the information requested.

We are committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of your personal and financial information

THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING

Assistance Internet

Customer ! Care
Case number: 8941624
Property: Account Security
Contact date: 04-12-2012

Microsoft Security Regulation
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Worldwide ComScore Media Report, 2012, Unique Visitors

Assitance Internet Phishing Message




Detailed Analysis
This email, which purports to be from an outfit called "Assistance Internet", claims that some email accounts are being shut down due to congestion caused by too many "anonymous registrations". The message warns that the recipient's account will be deleted unless he or she replies to the email with account details and other personal information. The message arrives complete with logos, images and formatting designed to make it look "official" and even suggests that the sender, Assistance Internet, is associated with "Microsoft Security Regulation" at the Microsoft Corporation.

However, the message is certainly not from any legitimate organization and has no association with Microsoft. And recipients will not have their accounts suspended if they do not reply to the message. In fact, the message is an attempt by Internet criminals to trick less experienced computer users into handing over their personal information.

Those who fall for the ruse and send the requested information will find that their online email accounts are soon hijacked and used to conduct further spam and scam campaigns. Victims may be vulnerable to identity theft. This scam attempt is deliberately generic in that it is geared to steal information from users of any email service not just a specific provider such as Windows Live, Gmail or Yahoo.

No legitimate organization is ever likely to ask users to send personal information such as account passwords via an unsecured email. Any message that makes such a request is likely to be a scam. Moreover, any claim that users must send messages or information to prove that their account is active is also likely to be bogus. If you receive an email like the one described here, do not reply to it. Do not click any links or open any attachments that it may contain. It is always best to login to your online accounts by entering the account address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email. And NEVER send sensitive information such as account login details by replying to an email.


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References

Hotmail Account Closure Phishing Scam
Gmail Account Phishing Scam
Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email


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Issue 145 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Hoax - NASA Predicts Total Blackout of Planet in Dec 2012
  2. 'You Have Received a Secure Message' Malware Emails
  3. Christmas Cards For Dalton Dingus
  4. Jim Carrey is NOT Dead
  5. Australian Power & Gas 'Payment Receipt' Malware Emails
  6. Gmail 'Update Account' Phishing Scam
  7. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  8. Holiday Horrors - Are Common Seasonal Decorations Toxic?
  9. Facebook 'Site Governance' Email is Legitimate
  10. RapidFax Malware Email
  11. Facebook Survey Scam - Free Bunnings Gift Card
  12. Plea to Help Find Homes for 52 Thoroughbred Horses
  13. Giant Table and Chairs Horse Shelter Photograph
  14. Wrestling Star John Cena is NOT Dead
  15. Facebook 'Pirates' Fraud Warning
  16. Leptospirosis Death Warning - Rat Urine on Soda Can Top
  17. Egg Windshield Attack Robbery Warning
  18. 'Assistance Internet' Email Account Phishing Scam
  19. Misleading Health Advice Email - 'Mayo Clinic on Aspirin and Heart Attacks'