Over the past few weeks, Chinese hackers targeted Google Adwords account holders, sending out scam emails designed to look like messages directly from Google. The messages aimed to catch business people unawares and trick them into giving up their account information. [ See: Chinese Scammers Pretending to be Google Go After Your Business ]
Today, the scam switched focus to Skype, the online phone system that lets you talk online or call out to landline phones or cell phones.
The Subject line of the message I received was:
Please Update Your Billing Information
and the message content:
Dear Skype Customer!
In order to update your billing information, please sign in
to your Skype account at https://secure.skype.com/store/member/login.html?message=login_required,
and update your billing information.
Thank you for choosing Skype.
The Skype Team.
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does
not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
As with the google scam messages, the URL shown in the message above looks like a standard Skype URL, but the supposedly plain text message is actually HTML and when you click the link it takes you to a server in China.
If you go to that URL (I don’t recommend it) the page looks like a Skype page and it is designed to trick you into giving up your login name and password – and possibly more. They probably want to trick you into giving up your credit card, when you buy extra minutes.
If you use the Firefox browser, the browser may tell you the site is a suspected scam, if that site has been reported – see the screenshot above.
Watch out for new scams in the next week.