Effective Spam Email With Subject Line: Reminder: Removing the Office 2016 version of Office 365

Spot The Microsoft Phishing Email

Friends, please be ever more cautious and on guard for phishing emails.  Our client submitted a very effective spam email with the subject line Reminder: “Removing the Office 2016 version of Office 365 “.  See screenshot below and keep these tips in mind for spotting phishing emails.

Notice how the from email appears to be legitimate – From: Outlook © <[email protected]>.  The “O” in office is actually a zero but it does fool the eye.

The content seems legitimate and this user was worried about losing access to her Office suite of products.  With so many product names, it’s common for users to get tripped up between office suite names and cloud subscription names, and an email like this can easily confuse your average user.

Another helpful tip – Microsoft does not block access to old versions of software when new versions are released.  They will support older products for many years.  So when this email clams “Beginning June 2017, all users will no longer see Office 2016”, it’s a tip off that it’s a phishing scheme.  In addition, since this email was received July 6 – after the alleged June cut off date- it’s another tip off that this email is from spammers blasting out emails.  If it was from Microsoft, they would have prepared a series of professional emails guiding you through your options before a cutoff date and emails with different verbiage and options after a cut off date.

Finally, notice that when you hover your mouse over the Additional Information link at the bottom of the email, you can see it leads to a shortened URL, not a Microsoft URL.

microsoft office phishing email screen shot

Screen shot of an effective Microsoft Office phishing email received July 2017

It was smart of this user to email us to ask before clicking on anything.  When in doubt, ask for help from your IT providers. That’s what we’re here for!

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