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Skype Phishing Scam

Summary:
Email claims that the recipient's Skype account has been suspended and requests that he or she re-activate the account by logging on and agreeing to a new Terms statement (Full commentary below).



Status:
False - The message is a phishing scam

Example:(Submitted, July 2007)
Subject: account suspended

Hello!

We have to notice that your account is suspended because Skype major Terms

are being changed.

To re-activate your account you need to agree with the new Terms here: Follow this link to re-activate: ACTIVATE
[Link to fake website removed]

after that, your account will be automatically re-activated.

Thank You!

Skype Administration




Commentary:
Popular Internet telephony network, Skype, has been targeted by scammers intent on stealing personal information from Skype users. An email, purporting to be from Skype, claims that the customer's account has been suspended until he or she agrees to a changed Terms Of Use statement.

The message instructs users to click an included link and logon to the Skype website in order to agree to the new terms so that the account can be re-activated. However, the message is not from Skype and the link actually leads to a bogus web page designed to closely resemble the genuine Skype website. If a victim logs on to the bogus page, the username and password, and any other personal information submitted, can be collected by scammers. The scammers will then have access to the victim's real Skype account.

The following warning about these phishing scams has been published on the Skype website:
We have received reports of recent phishing activity. These emails purport to come from Skype with a subject line like "Account blocked" or "Account locked". The body of the email asks you to follow a link to "re-activate" your account by entering your user name and password at a fake web page.

Please do not respond to these types of emails. Skype or its staff will never ask you for your password via email or to confirm you account information via email. The only places you are asked for your password are when you log into the Skype application or log onto our website at https://secure.skype.com.
Phishing scams often claim that the user's account has been closed or suspended until information is provided or that at an urgent update is required. The bogus websites used by these scammers may be very convincing. The fake login web page used in this scam very closely resembles the real Skype website and includes seemingly genuine graphics and formatting

Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited emails from service providers and financial institutions that ask them to click a link and provide personal information. It is very unlikely that a legitimate company will request sensitive personal information in this way. If you have any doubts about the veracity of a message, always check with the company directly before clicking any links or providing any information.

Read more information about phishing scams

References:
Reports of phishing activity
How do I know that an email is really from Skype?
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

Last updated: 17th July 2007
First published: 17th July 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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