A reader has a question about a message received at work: “Is this legit? I’m thinking not! Wanted to be sure. Scam or no? I received this in my business email (Outlook)There were no logos or anything with this…. Thank you so much! You have helped me a LOT in the past!”
“From email address: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>;
Scheduled Maintenance & Upgrade
Your account is in the process of being upgraded to a newest Windows-based servers and an enhanced online email interface inline with internet infrastructure Maintenance. The new servers will provide better anti-spam and anti-virus functions, along with IMAP Support for mobile devices to enhance your usage.
To ensure that your account is not disrupted but active during and after this upgrade, you are required to kindly confirm your account by stating the details below:
* Domain\user name:
This will prompt the upgrade of your account.
Failure to acknowledge the receipt of this notification, might result to a temporary deactivation of your account from our database. Your account shall remain active upon your confirmation of your login details.
During this maintenance window, there may be periods of interruption to email services. This will include sending and receiving email in Outlook, on webmail, and on mobile devices. Also, if you leave your Mailbox open during the maintenance period, you may be prompted to close and reopen.
We appreciate your patience as this maintenance is performed and we do apologize for any inconveniences caused.
Customer Care Team”
The first thing you have to ask yourself, is has anyone at work said anything about this? Because if your company was upgrading the email system, you would have heard about it from your IT person. So, make sure to check with whoever is in charge of that. Now, if this is your own business, talk to the person that handles your email set up. I’m pretty sure they would let you know if there was some type of change coming to your inbox. And the language used in the message is not typical of how business communication is worded in the United States. If you really think there might be an actual email change happening, you can also go directly to the website for your email or contact your provider directly to find out if there’s some type of change coming. Don’t do it through any links in the suspicious email, though.
You’re right, the lack of a log and the generic names of the links to support do look suspicious. And why would your email provider need your username and password? All are red flags. As with so many scams, sometimes just stopping and thinking for a moment can prevent you from making a big mistake.