Emails bearing the subject “Protection Notification” have been seen hitting inboxes in the past period, trying to dupe recipients into handing over their email account usernames and passwords.
Hoax Slayer provides
a sample email:
Dear Valued Customer,
Norton Anti-Virus detected an unusual activity on your e-mail account. In order to ensure you are not infected by a virus or malware, you will be required to immediately protect your account. Kindly click on the "Protect My Account" link provided below:
Protect My Account
We apologize for any inconveniences caused as your safety is important to us.
Norton Anti-Virus Group.
This message is intended for designated recipients only. If you have received this message in error, please delete the original and all copies, and notify the sender immediately. Federal law prohibits the disclosure or other use of this information.
If the “Protect My Account” link is clicked, a website is opened, urging the user to input his/her email address and password in order to keep the account active. Allegedly, the process must be completed because of a new virus.
Similar to other schemes, once the victims comply and provide the sensitive details, a script sends the information back to a database controlled by the individuals who launched the scheme.
In this case, the name and reputation of Norton are utilized, but any other company could take its place in other variants of this plot.
That’s why internauts are advised to rely on a simple rule when presented with such emails: legitimate companies never ask you to provide the passwords that guard your social media, email, or online banking accounts.
However, it’s good to remember that in many situations, even providing a mobile phone number can have an unwanted outcome, so it’s always best to act with caution while surfing the web.