Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #222 10/16/2013

Question: Why do I get messages the e-mail system has upgraded?


In recent weeks I have seen lots of email messages that say they are from the email provider that say the email service is being upgraded and the messages say the user of the email account needs to respond to keep their email account or to not lose their messages. In my case they appear to be from ATT, Bellsouth or Yahoo since my email is at ATT which is hosted on Yahoo. People have told me they have seen them with other providers also.

Most of them, when I read them carefully, it was apparent that they were fraudulent as they either had mis-spellings or real bad grammar. That is your first giveaway that it is a fraudulent message. Or reading the message carefully, it made no sense. One read that if I wanted to keep my account that they had deleted, so they had stuff mixed up on time. Another give-away it is spam/fraud is when they appear claiming to be different provider than that account is. For instance I have received in my ATT account messages about BellSouth. I do have a BellSouth account, but messages about it should be in it, not in the ATT account. Also although Yahoo hosts the ATT, Bellsouth and other companies email they would write from correct provider for that account.

Earlier this summer Yahoo did go thru and remove email accounts that had not been used in a year.

If you get these messages and are on a PC hover over the link and see where it goes to. One I got today looked like it was a link to an ATT web page but was a link to an email instead like xxyyzz@att.net (I made up that address). If they are asking you to send personal information like password or credit card you know it is a fraud.

If you get these messages, the best thing is just to delete them. You can look on your email providerís web page and find the address to send to their fraud unit so they can try to stop them. ATT uses abuse@att.net to report fraudulent emails. Yahoo is doing pretty well on recognizing as spam/fraudulent and putting in the spam folder so most people do not see them, but occasional one gets thru to inbox. The spam filter at Gmail seems to catch all of them sent there on my account there.

If you have any doubts about a message do not click on any links in it and just trash/delete the message.