How to block "Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” phising scam?

by Alice Woods - -
12

Question

Issue: How to block "Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” phising scam?

Hi guys. I’m a bit concerned if I have recently received a genuine Microsoft alert on my Outlook account or not. The message says “Unusual sign-in Activity.” Although I see Microsoft account team as a sender, the generated URL address seems suspicious. Besides, the location of the sender is Namibia, which also seems questionable for me. Finally, it’s stated that to save my personal information, my Outlook account will be temporarily blocked, so I should not be able to send or receive emails, BUT I do send emails and receive them. I tried that and received a confirmation from my colleagues that they have just received an email from my account. Could you please let me now?

Solved Answer

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Yes, Microsoft is sending official “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” messages on Outlook if necessary. Once the server notices some unusual activity on the Outlook account, the system automatically generates an email to the account to notify the user about a potential risk. Unfortunately, several years ago scammers have invented a phishing scam, which mimics the Microsoft account team messages and trick people into revealing their usernames and passwords.The scam message says:

From: Outlook Administrator messagecennterdebt@outlook.com
Date: March 11, 2017 at 8:46:48 AM EDT
Subject: Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity
Unusual Activity Detected
We detected something unusual about a recent activity to the Microsoft account. To help keep you safe, we required an extra security challenge. You will need to verify your Microsoft email account below to confirm that the recent activity was yours and to regain access and enjoy our unlimited service.
Verify Now
What happened?
Using a shared computer to access your account.
Logging in your microsoft account from blacklisted IP.
Not logging off your account after usage.
Thanks for using your Microsoft account to bring the people who matter most together in one place. You can change your connection settings anytime and find more ways to connect at businnesmn.com/content/themes/ fourteen/genericons/font/dirrect.php.
See you online,
The Microsoft team

The fake “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” alert has been circulating among Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail, Live or Outlook users since 2014. The number of these alerts has significantly decreased right after security experts have detected and made it public. Unfortunately, but at the end of 2016, “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” phishing scam gained a new momentum and started deceiving e-mail account users anew. According to security experts, the only difference between the genuine Microsoft account team alert and the fake one is a Green shield on the sender’s name. However, the link provided on the phishing scam is usually rather suspicious, for example, businnesmn.com or something non-Microsoft.  If you suspect that you receive a fake “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” message, DO NOT click on any links provided on it because you may be redirected to the unsafe website, lose your account password or even get infected with a virus.  

How to block fake “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” messages on my Outlook account?

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If you have noticed that the number of suspicious messages, including “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” phishing scam increased, make sure to install a professional anti-virus or update the one that is running on your PC. Anti-virus programs cannot block spam or malicious emails. However, a powerful anti-virus, such as Reimage, will not allow you to access a dangerous website or execute a malicious program on the system.

After that, you should immediately change your account’s password and add the sender to your blocked senders list. Here’s the guide how to block “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” sender on Outlook:

  • Once you change Outlook’s password, sign-in to your account.
  • Click the gear icon on the upper right corner of the Outlook homepage.
  • Press More mail settings and locate Preventing junk mail option.
  • Click Safe and blocked senders.
  • Select Blocked senders and enter the email address that you want to block on the textbox.
  • Click Add to list.

If these steps did not help to fix “Microsoft account unusual sign-in activity” scam, please contact a genuine Microsoft account team for additional assistance.

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About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Shares the knowledge about computer protection

Alice Woods is a security expert who specializes in cyber threat investigation and analysis. Her mission on Ugetfix - to share the knowledge and help users to protect their computers from malicious programs.

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