Phishing Alert: Webmail Quota Warning

Another attempt to get your information or compromise your computer system.

I got the following e-mail message from Webmail Technical Team (zjsxhg@public.zj.js.cn; reply to “webmaster@admin.com”) with the subject line “Webmail Quota Warning Alert!!!”:

This message was sent automatically by a program on the webmail.
Your Mailbox Quota Has Exceeded The Set Quota/Limit Which Is 20GB.
You Are Currently Running On 23GB Due To Hidden Files And Folders in
Your Mailbox.
In Order To Increase Your Mailbox Quota, Please Follow The Link Below:

http://[redacted].9hz.com/

You are required to provide the information requested.

Failure To Validate Your Webmail May Result In Loss Of Important Information
In Your Mailbox Or Cause Limited Access To It.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Thank You.
Data Base Admin Manager
Webmail Technical Team.

I can see how this might alarm someone who is not computer savvy but uses a webmail service for e-mail. It made me think for about three seconds. But it’s so obviously a hoax. While I didn’t click the link in the message (and have removed it so no one reading this is tempted), I can only assume that clicking it will do one of two things:

  • Take you to a Web page where you’re prompted for private information that the scammers can use to access your accounts somewhere.
  • Install some kind of software on your computer to gather information from it (such as keystrokes) or make it part of a botnet.

I’m not dumb enough to enter information into a Web page linked to in an e-mail message from someone I don’t know, but I know plenty of folks who are. And, as far as I know, Macs are immune to the types of viruses and other software that can be installed by linking to an infected site. (Someone please use the comments to correct me if I’m wrong on this.) But most folks still do use PCs without proper protection against this sort of thing, so they’re likely to be compromised if the goal is to get software on your computer.

Please spread the word about this new phishing scheme. It’s likely to fool your mom or granddad or Aunt Tillie, even if it doesn’t fool you.

2 thoughts on “Phishing Alert: Webmail Quota Warning

    • I get so many of these now that I stopped blogging about them. Every day there’s at least one scam in my inbox. I used to share them to keep others informed, but my blog would be full of them if I did. Sadly, there are always enough people who fall for these scams to make them profitable. So they keep coming and they keep fooling people.

What do you think?