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Reset Alert Confirmation™

That was the subject line on an email I received this morning.  In the past year or so I’ve received multiple emails with this subject line.  Not to spam levels but enough that it gets pretty annoying.

The email is supposedly from Windows Live Customer Care® although there is a person’s name in the from field and they’re using a msn.com email address.  They’re requesting that I confirm my account or it will be deactivated.  In real life my personal email is through what used to be hotmail.  I had one of the original hotmail.com addresses but for reasons I can no longer remember I let that account go dormant.  When I signed back up hotmail.com had become live.com so I used that, employing the firstname.lastname@live.com protocol like we do at work.  Now hotmail and live are becoming Outlook.  I already transitioned to the Outlook platform (is that the right terminology?) but I get to keep my live.com address. 

Enter this email in it’s multiple iterations: 

This email is from Windows Live Customer Care®.  We are sending it to all account owners for account upgrade.  We are experiencing network congestion due to anonymous registration of email accounts.  To prevent this, we are shutting down unconfirmed accounts and your account is scheduled to be deactivated.

Then there’s a request to verify that the account is still valid by clicking on the reply button and filling in my information.  Here’s the reply I sent back:

Full Name:  Jane Doe – hey they’re the ones who think I’m anonymous!
User Name:  Wouldn’t you like to know – I don’t have a user name.
Password:  Expelliarmus! – ‘nuf said.
Year of Birth:  1970 – what they don’t know won’t hurt them.
Country or Territory:  Yukon Territory – is that still a territory?

Then there was this:

Enter the 8 characters you see – ENTER THEM WHERE?
Seriously, there is no field or line to enter the characters.  The speaker is non-functional but the characters update to different ones whenever I forward or copy them.  That’s a neat trick. 
When I received the first of these emails I tried to confirm its validity*.  Hell, I didn’t want to lose my email account permanently!  And it’s not like they were asking for my blood type, bank account numbers and my mother’s maiden name after all.  I replied to the email, expressed my concern about providing personal information and requested verification that the email was genuine.  Unsurprisingly, I received no response.  
I’ve been trying to come up with a clever way to finish this up but I got nothin’. 
*I should point out that this email contains the Windows and Hotmail logos, lending it a bit more credibility than your average unsolicited communication.

4 thoughts on “Reset Alert Confirmation™

  1. I’m curious, how did you get this message if the address has been dormant or did you log into that address and see the message? Because how would they get the email address you’re using now and how would they know they should send this message to you at the address you’re currently using? Oh, crap, does that make sense?

    I use hotmail, of whatever it is, and they just updated mine to the new “outlook”. I do have a couple dormant ones but I don’t know if they sent anything to them because I haven’t checked them. Although, I don’t care if they shut them down or not.

    I’m thinking it’s spam. No, not Pam, SPAM 😉

    • I think I must not have been clear. I used to have a hotmail.com address. When I neglected it for a long time it went dormant and I signed back up for a new one later on. By then they were offering the new live.com addresses which is what I use now. This email came to the one I use now. I agree, it’s most definitely spam. 🙂

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