Phishing email claims ‘your mailbox is almost full’ to trick users

Posted by Akankasha Dewan on 17 March 2020 14:08:25 AEDT

Receiving an email about supposedly inaccessible or blocked messages can be alarming, but it doesn’t hurt to think twice about the credibility of the email – especially if it involves clicking on unknown links.

MailGuard intercepted a phishing email sent supposedly from ‘Email Administrator’. Titled ‘You have 14 pending mails due to quote overflow’, the email begins with a header saying ‘Your mailbox is almost full’. It informs recipients that their email account has reached its maximum limit and as a consequence, they are unable to access any incoming emails. A link is provided for them to ‘free’ their ‘email quota’ and receive their ‘pending mails’.

Here is a screenshot of the email:

Scam 1703_blog 2

Unsuspecting recipients who click on the link are led to a login page asking for their email address and passwords. The page is titled ‘Login into your account’, as per the below:

scam 1703_phishing page_final

This is a phishing page designed to harvest email and password variants. MailGuard urges all recipients of this email to delete it immediately without clicking on any links.

The phishing email contains several typical elements that attempt to trick recipients into falling for the scam:

  • purporting to be from a relevant authority to inspire false trust; the use of the ‘Email Administrator’ display name,
  • the inclusion of safety features & links like ‘can’t access your account?’ and ‘Sign in with a single-use code’ in the form page; this is typically expected of genuine notifications from an ‘email administrator’,
  • and attempt to alarm; telling the recipient that their incoming messages have been blocked creates a sense of urgency & intrigue, motivating the recipient to click on the malicious link.

Despite these elements, the email in itself contains several tell-tale signs that commonly belong to fraudulent emails and should help eagle-eyed recipients point to its illegitimacy. These include spacing and formatting errors, as well as the fact that the phishing page link is a suspicious one.  

Phishing continues to be one of the most prevalent forms of cyber-crime. The vast majority of online scams - more than 90% - are perpetrated using email, so it’s wise to always be skeptical of messages from unfamiliar senders asking you to log into your accounts.

Phishing attacks can be enormously costly and destructive, and new scams are appearing every week. Don’t wait until it happens to your business; protect your business and your staff from financial and reputational damage, now.

Please share this alert with your social media network to help us make more people aware of the threat.

Don't get scammed

If your company’s email accounts aren’t protected, emails like the one above are almost certainly being received by your staff. Cybercriminals know people can be tricked; that’s why they send out millions of scam messages and put so much effort into making them look convincing.

People are not machines; we're all capable of making bad judgement calls. Without email filtering protecting your business, it’s just a matter of time before someone in your organisation has a momentary lapse of judgement and clicks on the wrong thing.

One email is all that it takes

All that it takes to break into your business is a cleverly-worded email message. If scammers can trick one person in your company into clicking on a malicious link they can gain access to your data.

For a few dollars per staff member per month, you can protect your business with MailGuard's predictive and advanced email security.

Talk to a solution consultant at MailGuard today about securing your company's network.

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Topics: email scams fraud fastbreak

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