Hotmail Users: Beware Phishing Scam

Microsoft just posted this alert for Hotmail users.  You may receive an email allegedly coming from Hotmail Customer Care threatening to deactivate your account unless you supply your user ID and password via an active link on the email that guides you to a fraudulent but realistic looking Hotmail web site.  This email is a scam.  The web site is phony.  If you supply your user credentials, in all likelihood your account will be taken over and used to send bogus pleas for money to the people in your contact list.

These scams always have the same basic approach – there is some sort of problem with your account, and there is a threat or penalty for not following the instructions in the email.  Be suspicious!!!  Reputable companies do not threaten their customers.

I have seen this kind of exploit used on Yahoo, AOL, and Gmail accounts as well.  The rule here is this:  NEVER CLICK ON A LINK.  Instead, using your web browser just log on to your account by hand typing the web address and see if there are any account messages waiting for you.  When in doubt, contact the email provider’s security team and report the issue.  And as always, be careful out there.


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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