What is AOL Email Scam

AOL Email Scam refers to a phishing campaign that aims to steal users’ AOL login credentials. Email accounts are a hot commodity because they hold a lot of information and are like a gateway to other accounts. This AOL Email Scam tries to trick you into clicking on a link that would lead you to a fake AOL login page, and if you were to type in your login credentials, they would immediately be sent to the cybercriminals operating this phishing campaign.

AOL Email Scam

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘phishing’, it’s used to describe social engineering attacks during which malicious actors try to steal login credentials and other important information. Phishing campaigns are becoming increasingly more common, especially ones targetting businesses. This particular phishing attack targets AOL users. As far as phishing campaigns go, this isn’t a sophisticated one. It has all the signs of a phishing campaign so if you know the signs, you will immediately be able to tell.

The AOL Email Scam claims that you recently made a request to close your AOL account but the company is emailing in case you want to cancel the request. This is a very common scare tactic used by malicious actors. Because email accounts hold a lot of information and are quite important to users, an email about closure would cause at least slight panic, enough for users to click on the supposed “Cancel deactivation” button. According to this email, you can cancel the supposed closure by simply clicking on the “Cancel De-activation” button and logging in. However, if you were to click on the button, you would be taken to a fake AOL website and asked to provide login credentials. The login page in this particular phishing campaign isn’t convincing but users who rush may not notice anything strange. If you were to type in your login credentials, they would immediately be sent to the malicious actors operating this phishing campaign. Depending on what the scammers do with the stolen data, it could be used by them to access email accounts or it may be sold to other cybercriminals. Either way, stolen credentials mean trouble for you.

As long as you pay attention and know what to look for, identifying a phishing email is not difficult. The biggest giveaway that an email may be a phishing campaign is grammar mistakes. For example, this AOL Email Scam has quite a lot of grammar mistakes. The email looks far from professional, and certainly does not seem like AOL could have sent it.

Also, notice how this email addresses you. When you receive emails from companies whose services you use, you will always be addressed by the name you have given them. This email addresses you as “User”, which is a common greeting used in phishing campaigns when their operators do not know targets’ names.

Another thing that gives phishing emails away is the senders’ email addresses. That should be the first thing you check whenever you receive an email that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment. In some cases, the email addresses look completely random, which is an immediate giveaway. In more sophisticated malicious email campaigns, the sender’s emails may look more legitimate, or at least not as random. We suggest always using a search engine to look into whether the email address actually belongs to the company the sender claims to be from.

If you were to hover over a link in an email with your mouse, you would be able to see the URL without even needing to click on it. If it looks even remotely suspicious, do not click on it. In general, if an email asks you to click on a link in order to fix something on your account, do not click on the link and instead, access the account manually to check.

Lastly, to avoid being phished, always check the site’s URL before typing in your login credentials. While some phishing campaigns can quite successfully imitate a legitimate site’s design, the URL will always give it away. For example, the AOL login page will always start with login.aol.com. If it’s anything else, do not provide your credentials.

AOL officialYou can find AOL’s guidelines on identifying legitimate emails here.

AOL Email Scam removal

If you received this email in your inbox, you can just delete AOL Email Scam. As long as you don’t interact with the email, it’s not dangerous, though it’s best to delete it. If you did click on the link in the email but did not type your login details, you’re probably okay. If you typed your login credentials on a phishing site, you need to change your password immediately. If you use the same password for any other account, change it as well. Also, you should not reuse passwords because of this exact scenario. All passwords should be unique. A password manager is a good tool that keeps track of all your passwords.

If you have already lost access to your AOL account, try the account recovery options, as well as contact AOL.

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