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How to identify AOL phishing emails and avoid getting scammed

The internet has many great advantages, but unfortunately, it’s also full of scammers. One of the most typical online scams is the AOL phishing email. This type of scam is almost as old as the internet itself, yet it costs users nearly $3 billion a year in the United States alone. Let’s look at how you can protect yourself from this harmful scam.

How to identify AOL phishing emails and avoid getting scammed

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is an AOL phishing email?

An AOL phishing email is designed to steal information, including your online username and password, personal identification number, or other information. Such emails often look official, using AOL logos and colors to seem trustworthy. When you click on a phishing link, you’ll be taken to a site that looks like your real AOL login page but is fake. If you fall for such a cyberattack and enter your details, scammers can take control of your account.

The most common AOL phishing campaigns

Cybercriminals use many different techniques in AOL phishing attacks. Generally, scammers provide a link for you to click on and enter your credentials. Alternatively, some emails give you a phone number to call to verify your account.

Here are some of the most common types of AOL phishing campaigns:

  • Account verification scams. Such scam emails claim your AOL account needs verification to avoid suspension.
  • Password reset requests. Such messages prompt you to reset your password due to suspicious activity.
  • Billing issues. Such scams mention problems with your payment method or billing information.
  • Fake promotions. Such scam emails offer prizes or exclusive deals that require personal information to claim.

While these are the most common phishing email examples, it’s important to know that scammers can always come up with new ideas.

How to spot an AOL phishing email scam

AOL phishing scams have been around for a long time, and the emails can look convincing. However, some signs may tip you off that they aren’t legitimate. Here’s how to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender’s email. Scammers can’t create genuine accounts, so they use other email addresses, often long and nonsensical ones.
  • AOL provides email security features known as “certified mail” or “official mail.” Look for the green “AOL certified mail” icon beside the sender’s name.
  • Look out for links and attachments. If your account was compromised, AOL would ask you to sign in without providing a link.
  • Be wary of any email that creates a sense of urgency by giving you a limited time window to respond. Such social engineering attacks are designed to pressure you into making hasty decisions.

Risks and consequences of AOL phishing emails

Scammers use AOL phishing emails to get your AOL credentials and take control of your account. Once a scammer has your AOL login credentials, they can potentially gain access to any service you use online. Many online services, such as online banking, use emails to verify your identity, so if scammers get access to your email inbox, they can cause significant harm.

Some of the risks include:

  • Identity theft. Getting hold of your email account can give the hacker a lot of personal information, including your date of birth, home address, and tax records. Scammers use this data to pretend to be you and obtain credit cards in your name.
  • Financial theft. Getting access to your emails may give a scammer access to your bank accounts. They can then make unauthorized purchases with your credit cards.
  • Loss of sensitive data. You may have sensitive information in your email account, including intellectual property, trade secrets, or medical information. If scammers get into your inbox, they will have access to all that information.
  • Reputational damage. Scammers may use personal information they glean from your email to pretend to be you online and scam other people.

What should you do if you receive an AOL phishing attempt?

If somebody sends you an email you think may be an AOL phishing attempt, the most important thing is not to click on any link or download any attachment in the email itself.

Mark the message as spam so AOL can block other messages from the same sender. You can also report the email directly to AOL so that its support team can take action. If you report phishing, you may protect others from being affected.

Also, it’s important to know what to do if you open a phishing email. Contact your financial institutions so they can freeze your account. If your identity has been stolen, report it on

How to protect yourself from AOL phishing emails

Take these steps to protect yourself from AOL phishing emails:

  • Be cautious of any emails claiming to be from AOL. Check for the symbols AOL uses to indicate “certified mail” and “official mail.
  • Never click a link that asks for personal information like a username and password.
  • Secure your account. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) and create strong passwords to further improve the safety of your account.
  • Use email spam filters to block AOL phishing emails, but remember that no filter is 100% effective. Use common sense when dealing with suspicious emails. You can also learn more about how to block emails in our guide.
  • Use NordVPN’s Threat Protection Pro feature. Threat Protection Pro can help you stay safer online by blocking malicious attachments and scanning files as you download them to check for viruses and other security breaches.

The internet can be a dangerous place. AOL phishing emails are just one way criminals can steal from you. Follow these tips to stay safe from phishing. Practice good online security habits to stay safer online.

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