Microsoft Is Not Shutting Down Windows Live Hotmail Accounts

The company warns of new phishing scam

By on August 12th, 2008 09:40 GMT
Microsoft has warned Windows Live Hotmail users that a new phishing scam is in progress, designed to hijack accounts. According to a member of the Windows Live Hotmail team, users have started receiving phishing messages warning of the immediate shutdown of their accounts with the Microsoft email service unless they verify their personal data. Emails with the subject "Hotmail Warning (Verify Your Hotmail Account Now to Avoid it Closed)" obviously are not generated by Microsoft, and are just designed to fool unsuspecting users into handing over their sensitive data to attackers.

"Please be aware that a new phish message is being sent stating that it is from the Hotmail team. This is not a legitimate mail and you should not respond. Remember, we will never ask you to verify your account in this manner," the Windows Live Hotmail team member stressed.

The phishing messages ask for the username, password, date of birth and location of the recipient. In order to scare users into handing over their data, the messages masquerading as coming from the Hotmail Customer Care indicate that their accounts will be suspended unless confirmation of the personal data is provided.

"Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account. Due to the congestion in all Hotmail users and removal of all unused Hotmail Accounts, Hotmail 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, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons," reads a fragment of the phishing message which was apparently sent by "@hotmail.com".

Microsoft will never ask users of Windows Live Hotmail, or any of the company's services for that matter, for their account data, especially via email. All messages claiming otherwise, even if at first glance they appear to be originated from the Redmond giant, are nothing more than phishing attempts designed to steal sensitive data and ultimately users' accounts.
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