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Skype Hoax message
If you receive an email claiming to be from SKYPE saying ACCOUNT BLOCKED then you should not worry as it is almost certainly a hoax! I know this because the following message was received here at this site, to an e-mail address which has never been registered with Skype! I catch the hoaxers out almost every time as I have a careful method of choosing email address which confounds them!
Here is the message. Remember: It's not from SKYPE!
To: [an e-mail address which has never been registered with Skype]
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 12:54 AM
Subject: account blocked
We have to notice that your account is suspended because Skype major Terms are being changed. To re-activate your account you need to agree with the new Terms here:
Follow this link to re-activate: ACTIVATE
after that, your account will be automatically re-activated.
Protect Your Personal
and Financial Information and account Password Skype and
its representatives will NEVER ask you to reveal your
password or another Personal and Financial Information.
There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy. If anyone asks
for your password by email refuse and immediately report
this to email@example.com
No virus found in this
Notice the "from" address if made to look like it's from Skype. Don't be fooled. It's a case of Spoofing where they fake up the sender address. Also, the fact that the message contains the rather official sounding stuff about Skype trademarks, means nothing. Anyone can say that.
Virus checkers note that there is no virus IN THE MESSAGE but that doesn't mean you are safe. The problem with any such phishing attacks is that they are trying to dupe you into clicking on the link and then they can invade your machine with spyware! It's important to avoid doing this, and your best line of defence is to avoid being scared or otherwise tricked into clicking on links in dubious e-mails.
If you ever feel there is something genuine in the content of a message from a bank or another company writing to you, you should contact that organisation by an independent route, such as the phone number in your own phone address book or the e-mail that you have in your own accounts (ie not the one on the incoming e-mail).
Incidentally, the link in the Skype hoax message would have gone to http;//skype.securesitinngs,com/sessionid8Fng35ma6f2rhsd4fag/ which is not at Skype.net or even skype.com but is a subdomain within securesitinngs,com (please do not visit this as close scrutiny of the spelling shows it is not likely to be genuine and could possibly be a site with some spyware on). To track down such things it's worth knowing how to read a URL
(I have adjusted a few of the dots to commas to stop casual copying of the address because I know you have to be careful!)
If you'd like to find out more about the kinds of things to beware of in emails, have a look at the Rogues Gallery