A new wrinkle in bogus email. I have run into this twice in the past 2 weeks, so it's likely to affect someone else.
I have seen it on AOL and Verizon accounts, but Yahoo uses the same servers, and other providers are not immune to the same type problem.
It's not clear how my first customer was compromised, but the second one responded to a "Please verify your username and password" email. NEVER respond to that kind of email. Don't talk to strangers.
By now most of you have seen or heard the "trick" where you get an innocuous email asking if you can do a favor or if you shop on Amazon. When you respond, you receive a second email with a request that you get them a gift card and email it to them. The new trick is that the bad guys actually hack into the "senders" email account and compromise it by taking advantage of some new AOL features. This is what happens:
- They establish an outlook.com account with the same username as the AOL or Verizon account.
- They set the "Reply To" account to be the new outlook.com account.
- They direct all incoming mail directly to trash or to be forwarded to the outlook.com account.
- They might change the account password so you have to recover your account.
- They set a "back door" with an app password so they can get back into your account and wreak havoc again.
All of this is easily fixable if you know what to look for:
- Log into your email account.
- Select "Try the new AOL mail."
- Get into "Settings" - "More Settings".
- Remove any "Send Only Accounts", Email aliases, or Forwarding addresses that you did not put there.
- Get into "Account Security" - App Passwords" - "Manage App Passwords."
- Delete any App Passwords that are not for your devices.
I have prepared a "picture book" with more detailed instructions. It is shown below. If you need help, call me on 703-569-8195. You can try to reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but if you have gotten into this mess, your email may not work.