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Microsoft won’t ask for your credit card to unblock your email account
Tom asks: I’m getting messages from Microsoft about my email account. The messages say that my account is blocked and I can only unblock it with a credit card number. Is this legit? No, these messages sound like a phishing scam , a type of identity theft designed to steal your personal information...
1 Aug 2013
3 ways to help protect your Microsoft account
A Microsoft account—formerly known as a Windows Live ID—is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services such as Xbox LIVE and Outlook.com, as well as devices such as Windows Phone and computers running Windows 8. If you think your Microsoft account...
18 Jul 2013
Have authorities detected illegal activities on my computer?
John writes: I got an email saying that illegal materials were found on my computer and it would be locked until I paid a fine. Is this a scam? Yes, this sounds like a common blackmail scam called ransomware. Ransomware is an email, website or pop-up window that displays warnings about possible...
16 Jul 2013
Catfishing: Are you falling for it?
The news is filled with stories about people, famous and otherwise, getting caught in online dating scams. The phenomenon is so common that it now has a name: Catfishing. The term catfishing comes from the 2010 movie Catfish about a man who was lured into a relationship by a scammer who was using a fake...
20 Jun 2013
There is no Hotmail Maintenance Department
Cassie writes: I received an email from the Hotmail Maintenance Department requesting personal information verification. The message included a PDF file. Is this a scam? Yes. This is one of many types of email cybercrime, also called phishing . Cybercriminals often use the Microsoft name to try...
13 Jun 2013
Fraud alert: Free "Xbox points"
Although Microsoft was founded 38 years ago this month, don't fall for a widespread scam that offers free “Xbox points” for wishing the company a happy birthday. Online offers that seem too good to be true probably are. Learn more about common scams that use the Microsoft name . One way...
25 Apr 2013
“Cyber Crime Department” scam
We’ve received increased reports of a new phishing scam email message that uses the name and official logo of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU). The wording varies, but it looks like a security measure and says you need to validate your account by confirming your user name and password or...
21 Mar 2013
Filing taxes? Beware of scams
It’s tax season in the United States, which means it’s time for us to remind you about tax scams—especially email messages that appear to come from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or another legitimate organization. These seemingly valid offers are designed to trick you into turning...
26 Feb 2013
Help! My email’s been hacked
If you use Outlook.com or Hotmail and think your account has been hacked , you should act right away to help protect your Microsoft account . If you can still access your Microsoft account, sign in and immediately change your password. For Outlook.com, go to the Password and Security section; for...
22 Feb 2013
Watch out for fake Java updates
You may have seen reports about security alerts for Java recently. Java is a commonly used piece of software from Oracle, so there’s a good chance you have it installed on your computer. Cybercriminals often use fake virus alerts to lure you into buying fraudulent antivirus software. These alerts...
28 Jan 2013
Take care with ransomware
Have you ever received an email or seen a warning page on a website claiming that legal authorities had detected illegal activities on your computer? This scam infects your computer with a type of malicious software called “ransomware.” The aim of ransomware is to prevent you from using...
4 Dec 2012
Online fraud: Get practical advice
Need help spotting an online scam? Download our new free 12-page booklet called Online Fraud: Your Guide to Prevention, Detection, and Recovery . This guide includes: Real-world examples of false promises made in fake emails Images of scam emails to help you avoid them Tips for guarding...
22 Nov 2012
The $500 Costco card scam
Many respondents to a recent Microsoft survey expressed concern about trickier scams that are happening on social networks. The Microsoft Malware Protection Center recently blogged about one of these new scams that claims to offer a free Costco gift card to all Facebook users. But don’t click...
1 Nov 2012
Fraud alert: Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit scam
We’ve received reports about a new phishing scam email that tells “email users across the world” to validate their email account or it will be deleted from “the world email server.” This email is fake, but it does use the official logo of the Microsoft Digital Crimes...
24 Aug 2012
Fraud alert: Olympics malware
We’ve received reports of fake emails, fake websites, and other scams that take advantage of people’s interest in the 2012 Olympics. Here are our top tips for avoiding spam and malware of any kind: Use email that filters spam. (Try the new Outlook.com , which helps limit spam in...
8 Aug 2012
Fraud alert: Prize scams
John writes: I received an email that said that I won a prize from Microsoft and I am concerned that others may fall for this scam. Can't anything be done about these types of scams? The Microsoft Lottery scam is a fraudulent email that claims that you have won a lottery, a prize, a sweepstakes...
17 Jul 2012
Win the battle against email fraud
Cybercriminals use email fraud (sometimes called “phishing”) to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information. Cybercriminals might send millions of fraudulent email messages with links to fraudulent websites that appear...
20 Mar 2012
Research firm rates spam filters
Spam filters for email programs are a little like the roof on a house. You wouldn’t want to live without one, but some are better than others. Recent research from Cascade Insights showed that no email program they tested did better than Hotmail at filtering spam. Get tricks for getting rid...
23 Feb 2012
Who’s more likely to fall for scams? The answer might surprise you
A recent Ponemon Institute study (in cooperation with PC Tools) challenges the myth that people who fall for scams are generally older. According to survey results, 18-25 year olds are among the groups that are more susceptible to online scams. Respondents also said that a free prize or free antivirus...
7 Feb 2012
Income tax scams already!?
You’d have to be a real early bird to be expecting your income tax return in the United States already. And yet, we’ve begun to see phishing scams that appear to come from firstname.lastname@example.org and offer links where you can check the status of your return. The message uses language straight...
19 Jan 2012
Beware of “confirm your account” scams
Last week a member of our team shared a phishing scam that she’d received in her personal email account. The bogus email claims to come from Microsoft and asks the recipient to respond to the email with their user name and password to avoid permanent cancellation of their account. This is a...
1 Nov 2011
Recover your Hotmail account
We recently received this email: “My Hotmail account was hacked and taken over by the classic ‘I'm in London and I’ve been mugged’ scam . It appears that the hacker has changed the basic verification information on the account and every attempt to reset the password throws...
21 Sep 2011
3 tips to avoid summer travel scams
Right now, in the United States, summer vacation season is here and so are scams . Here are three tips to help you avoid summer travel scams. 1. Watch out for deals that look too good to be true. If you’re still making vacation plans, then you’re probably looking for deals. If a deal looks...
19 Jul 2011
Microsoft releases newest Security Intelligence Report
The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR ) provides information about current security threats to help protect organizations, software, and people. The report covers exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware based on data from over 600 million systems worldwide, Internet services, and three Microsoft...
10 May 2011
Secure your Hotmail account
We used to recommend that you increase the security of your Hotmail account by creating a new account, one that you would give to online retailers or other organizations that might send a lot of unwanted email . Now, if you have a Hotmail account, you can create an alias within your account instead...
9 May 2011
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