Friday Phish Fry

Phishing Email Alerts

Catch of the Day: Amazon Gift Card Phish

Chef’s Special:  Geek Squad Invoice Phish

Examples of clever phish that made it past my spam filters and into my Inbox, or from clients, or reliable sources on the Internet.

I would be delighted to accept suspicious phishing examples from you.  Please forward your email to

My intention is to provide a warning, examples of current phishing scams, related articles, and education about how these scams and exploits work, and how to detect them in your own inbox.  If the pictures are too small or extend off the page, double-clicking on them will open them up in a photo viewer app.

Amazon Gift Card Phish

I’ve been seeing a lot of this one lately, and all of them were sent from the email accounts of people I know.

The email appears to be coming from his account, and a review of the email headers confirms that the email was send by an mail server.  Whether it is really from his email account is hard to determine.  It may be his email was hijacked.  Or it may be that his email addressed is being spoofed on a different account.

He is reporting that many of his contacts are getting this same email, which would seem to indicate that his contact list has been compromised somehow.

In researching this situation I found this 2019 query on Microsoft Answers.


My Contacts have been hacked.  I have changed my passwords, etc.  However, today (again) text messages are being sent to my Contacts.  The messages reads:  from Paul   Hi can you do me a favor Paul Fahrenbruch.

The address on the text is *** Email address is removed for privacy ***.

If you respond, you are  told that I need financial help and to please send merchandise certificate immediately.

Can you block this account from receiving responses?  HELP.  The Real P.fahrenbruch

Thank you.

Hello PaulFahrenbruch

In answer to your specific question “Can you block this account from receiving responses?”

Can’t see the email address you included since email addresses are filtered out as a security measure

If the email address in the messages is not one a Microsoft email address (i.e. Outlook/ etc), there is nothing they can do in terms of that destination email address.

On the other hand, if these scam email messages are coming from a Microsoft email address, you need to get a copy of one of those messages and forward it to Microsoft – <abuse @> (remove the spaces in the email address. The way to determine what the source of the email message is, need to check the <header> properties.

Just to be sure, you have confirmed that these messages weren’t/aren’t being sent from your account – correct. If the messages were sent when your account was hacked, they would appear in your <Sent> items folder or <Deleted Items> folder if the hacker was neat and tidy.

Since you mentioned that you already changed the account password, you should also confirm that there has been no new unauthorized activity on your account

Check the recent sign-in activity for your Microsoft account…

I am not sure what to make of this exactly, but checking the Sent folder will be a definitive answer to whether the account has been hijacked, or if it has merely been spoofed.  Hijacked means changing your password.  Spoofed does not.
Stay tuned…

Geek Squad Invoice Phish

Another fake contract renewal invoice, this time seemingly from the Geek Squad.  Clues on this one are the sender’s email address, which should have a Geek Squad domain, but doesn’t, and the toll free billing team number.

And this one a few days later

Outlook Web App Scanner Phish

This is designed to look like you received a scanned document.  But the sender is from a Japanese domain, and is suspicious.  All of the action is in the HTM (think web page) attachment.

Opening the attachment (in Kali Linux) showed me this initial landing page.  Looks like an Outlook Web App message box.  When I clicked on YES, I got the next page

This is a password dialog, attempting to hijack your Office365 credentials

Beware of these sorts of messages.  If you don’t know the sender, DO NOT open the attachment.  Even if you know the sender, giving them a quick call (not email reply) to confirm that they sent it and wjhat is it about will keep you from becoming a victim for these sorts of scams.

Microsoft Update Phish

A client of mine sent me this email, wondering if it was legitimate or not.  It is not. Here’s the email.

The sender’s email address is the first clue.  The New Version link resolves to

which redirects to  Here is the landing page

Clicking on the Click Here to Verify took me to a second landing page on Weebly at  This is obviously an Outlook credential stealing exploit.

I put in some fake credentials to see what happened, next, but the game ended when I clicked on Next.

These sorts of attacks are very common these days, and you should treat any email asking you to renew, verify, or reactivate your account with deep suspicion.  If you are wondering if it is real, close the email, and log into your online account the regular was, using the provider’s login URL, and NOT the link in the email.

Widespread credential phishing campaign abuses open redirector links

Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team 

Great article if you want to see a detailed explanation of this common type of attack.

Microsoft has been actively tracking a widespread credential phishing campaign using open redirector links. Attackers combine these links with social engineering baits that impersonate well-known productivity tools and services to lure users into clicking. Doing so leads to a series of redirections—including a CAPTCHA verification page that adds a sense of legitimacy and attempts to evade some automated analysis systems—before taking the user to a fake sign-in page. This ultimately leads to credential compromise, which opens the user and their organization to other attacks.

Sample phishing email masquerading as an Office 365 notification

In this campaign, we noticed that the emails seemed to follow a general pattern that displayed all the email content in a box with a large button that led to credential harvesting pages when clicked. The subject lines for the emails varied depending on the tool they impersonated. In general, we saw that the subject lines contained the recipient’s domain and a timestamp as shown in the examples below:

  • [Recipient username] 1 New Notification
  • Report Status for [Recipient Domain Name] at [Date and Time]
  • Zoom Meeting for [Recipient Domain Name] at [Date and Time]
  • Status for [Recipient Domain Name] at [Date and Time]
  • Password Notification for [Recipient Domain Name] at [Date and Time]
  • [Recipient username] eNotification


A Tricky New COVID-19 Phishing Caper

A new phishing campaign is exploiting the ongoing uncertainty about company policies related to COVID-19, according to Roger Kay at INKY. The campaign uses emails that purport to come from a company’s HR office informing employees that they’re required to fill out a COVID-19 vaccination status form.

Clicking on the link in the email will take the user to a Microsoft Outlook credential phishing page. “This campaign was able to bypass existing email security in a number of ways,” Kay says. “It sent the lures from legitimate but hijacked email accounts to evade standard security checks.

If the recipient clicked through, they were taken to a hijacked web page that impersonated a trusted brand. Because the phishers used a hijacked site, their exploit had not yet appeared on any threat intelligence feed. The sally was effectively a zero-day attack.  More…



About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at
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