Microsoft Outlook 'Discontinue Support' Phishing Scam
According to this email, which purports to be from the 'Outlook.com Team', on 11 May, 2015, Microsoft Outlook will 'discontinue support on your account and security'.
The email warns that, if you do not update your account before that date, you will no longer be able to read and send emails or access other account features.
The message urges you to click an 'Update your Account' link to deal with the supposed issue.
However, the message is not from any 'Outlook Team' or anyone else at Microsoft.
Instead, the message is a rather crude phishing attempt designed to trick you into giving your Microsoft Account login credentials to cybercrooks.
If you click the update link as instructed, you will be taken to a bogus website designed to mirror a legitimate Outlook login page. After entering your Microsoft Account details, you will be automatically redirected to a real Microsoft website.
Meanwhile, the criminals can collect your login information and use it to hijack your Microsoft Account. A 'Microsoft account' is the current name for what was previously known as a 'Windows Live ID'. The one set of login details can be used to access a number of Microsoft services. Thus, such details are a valuable target for scammers.
This 'account update' trick is a very common scammer tactic. If you receive such an 'update' email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
It is always safest to login to your online accounts by entering the web address into your browser's address bar or via an official app.
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Subject: SECURITY WARNING
Dear Email User,
This is to inform you that on 11 May, 2015 Microsoft Outlook will discontinue support on your account and security.
If you choose not to update your account on or before 11th May, 2015 you will not be able to read and send emails,
and you will no longer have access to many of the latest features for improved, conversations, contacts and attachments.
Take a minute to update your account for a faster, safer and full-featured Microsoft Outlook experience.
Update Your Account
Microsoft respects your privacy. Review our online Privacy Statement.
Microsoft Corporation One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052.
Last updated: April 13, 2015
First published: April 13, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
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