EarthLink Email Holders Targets of Phishing Scam

EarthLink Inc. recently was the victim of a “phishing” scam.

Earlier this month, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Myers, Fla., warned that scammers were targeting email account holders with threats of shutting down their accounts if they didn’t respond to requests to verify and update their account.

Such scams are designed to acquire sensitive information such as dates of birth and social security numbers, and individuals who respond to requests for such information “will more than likely become a victim of identity theft,” the Lee County Sheriff’s Office cautioned in a press release Aug. 9.

“Any email user that refuses to verify and subsequently update his or her email within seven days of receiving this warning will lose his or her email permanently,” part of the fraudulent email stated.

Michele Sadwick, an EarthLink spokesperson, said EarthLink must deal with such attacks like many large companies.

“Through our cyber security efforts, we quickly identified the issue and blocked the message,” she said in an email to Channel Partners. “We proactively educate our customers on ways to identify and protect themselves against phishers, and have added new password security tips to and tools to help reduce risk of account compromise. We have also recently upgraded anti-spam/phisher prevention systems and enhanced detection capabilities to help protect our customers.”

EarthLink also provides additional information about phishing, fraud and other abuses here.

Sadwick could not be immediately reached Tuesday to explain whether the phishing scam extended beyond the Fort Myers area.

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