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Microsoft Prolem?


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I was away for 3 days. Did not use my service while away. On my return got a message -supposedly from microsoft - telling my my outlook had been compromised -possibly because of using a different computer. I did what they asked then they were supposed to send a code. My inbox was frozen. Code never came. Repeated the steps still no action other than my inbox was unlocked. I am also getting the same message  on Gmail. Am I being hacked or is this legitimate??

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"Hacked" is too strong a word. "Scammed" or "phished" is a better choice. If you had clicked on a link, that would be different. Basically all you've done is confirmed to the scammers that your email address is real, and ripe for receiving hundreds more scams, as they add your address to master lists that then get re-sold and re-sold, ad infinitum.

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In worst case scenarios, a frozen email account may be just the beginning of your problems. If a hacker can freeze your legitimate email, it will prevent you from being notified of account changes (like your bank account). They may be possibly redirecting alerts warning of changes to personal info on accounts. I hope you have already frozen your credit rating accounts (like everyone should be doing if you are not applying for credit regularly). 

You should monitor your assets regularly on a known clean computer. One of the first things I used to recommend to small businesses back when it was my job was to get a cheap computer that was secured and use it only for business transactions, locking it in the safe every night. No web surfing, no emails, nothing but business transactions like logging into bank and investment accounts Sadly, this advice was usually sought after the damage was already done. I have seen too many companies go bankrupt because they didn't follow basic security practices. One lost $65 million.

Never follow unsolicited advice from an email. EVER. When in doubt, CALL the companys phone number and ask if they sent you a notice. Note that you do NOT reply to an email address or phone number given in an email. Always google up the official info.

Good luck, I hope it turns out to be nothing.

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3 hours ago, El Menudo said:

Yes CG but why is his email frozen?

My best guess is that he sent the code to a link that was compromised, and was either blocked by the browser's built-in anti-spyware software, or the site itself had already crashed and the simple act of emailing it caused Outlook to spin out. If rebooting gets you back into your email program, it is extremely doubtful that it was anything more than a hiccup.

However, there are measures that can be taken, of course, to check the computer... such as the free Malwarebytes AntiMalware software.  Most anti virus tools are useless.

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