AOL Email Scam (fake) - Free Guide

AOL Email Scam Removal Guide

What is AOL Email Scam?

AOL Email Scam might lead to monetary losses and even identity theft if users are tricked by social engineering methods

AOL Email ScamAOL Email Scam was created to steal users' login details

“AOL Email Scam” is a spam campaign created by cybercriminals to trick users into providing AOL email account credentials. Scammers use phishing[1] techniques to convince people that their accounts will be soon shut down and they should take action if they do not want it to happen.

NAME AOL Email Scam
TYPE Phishing attempt
SYMPTOMS Users receive an email disguised as a message from AOL
DANGERS Passwords and login details may be hijacked; users may suffer from financial losses and even identity theft
ELIMINATION If you opened an email with a malicious attachment scan your computer with anti-malware tools
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers and get rid of any remaining damage

AOL Email Scam in detail

AOL MailAOL Email Scam use various techniques to get users to click on the link

The full message crafted by threat actors reads as follows:

AOL Message

Dear User,
Our record indicates that you recently made a request to shutdown your email. And this request will be processed shortly.
If this request was made accidentally and you have no knowledge of it, you are advised to cancel the request now

Cancel De-activation

However, if you do not cancel this request,your account will be shutdown shortly
and all your email data will be lost permanently.
Regards.
Email Administrator

This message is aut-generated from E-mail security server, and replies sent to this email can not be delivered.
This email meant for: only user

The supposed email from AOL states that the administrators received a request to delete the email account. If users did not make this request they are encouraged to click on the link provided in the email and cancel the deletion. However, the link leads to a fake AOL Mail website with a login screen.

If users enter their information in the provided fields, the data would be sent to a remote server owned by the cybercriminals. This would give crooks full access to users' email accounts. It is important to mention that AOL has nothing to do with this fraudulent campaign and it was completely manufactured by fraudsters.

They usually send out thousands of emails hoping that at least some people would fall for it. Criminals can do many things with the login details. One of them is trying to contact the victims' contacts and ask them for money, hijack other accounts by using the “restore password” function on social media platforms, etc. Therefore, stolen email credentials can lead to privacy issues, financial loss, and even identity theft.[2]

Email scams use social engineering

We previously wrote about many other email scams, like the Geek Squad email, Microsoft Account Deactivation email, and “Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you” email. Usually, cybercriminals try to deliver malware[3] into victims' accounts via infected email attachments.

They are also often disguised as official and urgent letters from well-known companies and organizations. Crooks use the branding, logos, and trust that these companies have built over the years with their customers. If you think you were tricked by a deceptive message, there are some actions you should take to protect yourself:

  • If you think you gave away your password to malicious individuals change it as soon as possible. Cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then often sell them to other groups that use them. If you change your password quickly, there is a chance that criminals will not have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information – contact your bank as soon as possible and explain what happened. You will probably be able to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you notice any signs of identity theft – you should contact the Federal Trade Commission. They will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment – your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with professional security tools, like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Check your system for malware infections

If you suspect that you have opened an email with an infected attachment, you should take care of the threat. We recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes security tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a malicious program can make any changes.

Crooks often disguise their malicious programs as “handy” tools so they would be more difficult to identify for the average user. People also often fail to eliminate all the related files and entries which could lead to the renewal of an infection. The program could have any name and icon, so this step is best performed by anti-malware tools.

However, if manual removal is what you prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

Repair the damaged operating system

Performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a complete Windows reinstall is required, are expected after malware infection. These types of infections can alter the Windows registry database, damage vital bootup and other sections, delete or corrupt DLL files, etc. Once a system file is damaged by malware, antivirus software is not able to repair it.

This is why ReimageIntego was developed. It can fix a lot of the damage caused by an infection like this. Blue Screen errors,[4] freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc., can make your computer completely unusable. By using this maintenance tool, you could avoid Windows reinstallation.

  • Download the application by clicking on the link above
  • Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
  • If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
  • Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process
  • The analysis of your machine will begin immediately
  • Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
  • You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
  • If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.Reimage results
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting spam tools

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References