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AWeber Account Almost HiJacked!

by PotPieGirl on July 27, 2011 · 52 comments

Protect Your Accounts – They’re Out To Get Us!

Quick post today to tell you about something that happened to me a few hours ago regarding my AWeber autoresponder account. It was very close to being a disaster, but thankfully I had the sense to check on an email I received BEFORE I did anything ABOUT the email. What did the email say? Keep reading and I’ll tell you how my account almost got hijacked and how YOU can protect YOUR account.

My AWeber Account Has Been Flagged!

Yup, that’s what the email subject said. Can you imagine my shock when I saw THIS email come through?

Nice, huh? Enough to make your heart beat 5 million beats a second!

Weird thing is – immediately I felt like something was a bit off about this email – without even opening it, I was suspicious.

See who the email is from? Not really WHO it’s from, but how the company name is typed?

It’s not right (I’ll explain that in a moment).

Here’s what the email said:


Sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it? It certainly got MY attention…and I almost went ahead and clicked that link….almost.

That link was somehow going to direct me somewhere to change my password. Uh boy.

BUT- there is one thing I learned way back in 2004 or so when I first started using the internet (dial up, anyone? lol!)

Never, ever, NEVER, EVER click a link in an email asking you to reset your password if it has to do with ANY type of sensitive account (ie, bank accounts, autoresponder accounts, etc).

ALWAYS just log in to that account and work out whatever the issue supposedly is.

So that’s what I did.

Like I said, I was already suspicious. I caught the way AWeber was typed and I’ve seen plenty enough emails from AWeber over the years to know that the company types it AWeber – NOT Aweber (notice the “w”).

I know, silly detail, but it caught my eye.

The other thing that felt weird to me was this –

I have 3 AWeber accounts – and not a one of them sends account info email to this particular email address.

So, yeah, I was smelling a rat…lol!

I went ahead and logged in to each of my AWeber accounts – and not a single one had any message for me or any warning that I had been “flagged”.

It was beginning to become a VERY smelly rat.

So, I sent a message to the fine folks at AWeber letting them know about the email I received (with a copy of it) and asking if it was valid – and if it was valid, what I needed to do.

It took virtually no time to get this response from AWeber:

Thank You AWeber!

I seriously want to thank Faith with customer service at AWeber for being so quick to answer my questions and to let me know that the email I received was NOT a legitimate email from their company.

Also, it looks as it they are quick to get things resolved.

The domain that the fake email was sent from is offline.

Imagine that.

Moral of the Story

Be Careful!

Gmail is usually really, really good about making sure I never see these junk emails – but somehow, this one slipped through. And boy oh boy, it really got my attention too!

Before you click a link in an email from supposedly your bank or credit card company or sensitive online business accounts, think twice. Instead, just go log in to the account and get support. If there really is a problem or a reason to change your password, you will be notified inside your account.

Just a friendly heads up! It’s possible there are more emails out there in other’s inboxes as we speak – so keep an eye out and let others know too.

Now- back to work for me. I have a free guide and video to get out my lists tomorrow so I have a lot to do!

Wanna get the free training stuff too? Get on my list =)

Have a great day!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl





{ 52 comments }

john July 27, 2011 at 2:58 am

I got the same email with the same signature, I knew right away it was a spam because my server is connected to different email address and not gmail. I also never ever click on those links, always check in and log in and see if you have any mags.

Niche Marketing Tools July 27, 2011 at 2:58 am

I got one like that from Paypal and I almost did the same thing, but caught my finger in mid air, and it was the same – a scam email. whew.

John Rose July 27, 2011 at 3:05 am

Hi Jennifer
I received the same email today but considering I do not have an AWeber account it was not hard to smell a rat.
I had the same type of thing in an email saying they were Adobe. I know all upgrades from Adobe do not come by email so again easy to sort out a stinker.

What I like with Gmail and Windows 7 you can hover the cursor over the email and it will show the senders email address so it helps filter the bad guys.

Keep up the good work,

John

Mark Owen July 27, 2011 at 3:06 am

That was too close for comfort Jennifer… ;-)

Many of those con-artists do a good job of duplicating the actual e-mails (complete with the logo) of the real site they are trying to trick you on. I have seen this numerous times with fake bank account e-mails. Usually all you need to do is hover your mouse over the link they provide and you will see that it is NOT the real deal. But they always include the real sites name in their link somewhere.

Thanks for posting this – they must get some unsuspecting folks to follow through or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Tiffany Dow July 27, 2011 at 3:10 am

SO glad I read this, Jennifer! I’m the type to panic and click on something this major. Gotta remind myself to stop!

@ Tiffany: Amen, sister! And I’m not gonna lie – I WAS in panic mode when that email popped up in my face….lol! Serious cold shivers….ugh!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 3:10 am

Wow, sounds like this email issue was going on all over the internet today! Thanks for sharing!

@ Mark – Yes, sir – WAYYYYYY too close for comfort…lol! And you’re right – if it didn’t ever work – they probably wouldn’t do it. But all it takes is one or two innocent folks to do it and they (the bad guys) hit pay dirt. Sad.

@John Rose – I have a new computer coming that has Windows 7. I’ll have to check out that feature.

Funny tho, they even sent it those that don’t even HAVE an AWeber account.

@John – Yes, ALWAYS just take the extra step and log in to those types of accounts. ALWAYS.

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer

Noel July 27, 2011 at 3:14 am

Yup! Got the same one. I knew instantly it was sketchy because I no longer have an AWeber account. I use a different autoresponder.

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 3:17 am

@ Noel – Sheeeesh – they sent them everywhere today – scary! What’s worse is – I wonder how many actually clicked the link?

Guess we might want to be mindful of this in the next few days to weeks as some marketers AWeber accounts may actually have been hijacked …..

Could be interesting.

Jennifer

DK July 27, 2011 at 3:24 am

Silly me…I actually clicked the link in the email. Luckily, it didn’t work (maybe that domain was taken down, like Faith said).

But I did log in and make changes.

Dennis Moore July 27, 2011 at 3:24 am

Another thing I noticed about that email was the lower case at the beginning of each sentence, and the poor grammar. Definitely not from the good folks at AWeber! I get emails like this from fake Paypal notices all the time. The first thing I do is check to see who the email address is from. I will also hover over the link they request you click on, and look down at the browser status, where sure enough, it shows the link going to anywhere but where you think it is going. Thanks for the words of caution Jennifer!

Dennis

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 3:31 am

@ Dennis – Oh yes – I’ve gotten a ton of those type of emails from PayPal scammers – but this is a new one.

Also, as I mentioned before, Gmail seems to be really good about popping these types of emails right into my spam folder. My other emails run thru Yahoo and they are getting really bad.

Jennifer

Sunshine July 27, 2011 at 3:37 am

I received one of these in my gmail but for Clickbank a few weeks ago.

I didn’t click the link but did go to my Clickbank which strangely didn’t open at that time but attempted to log in again the following day without any problems.

Seems they’re hitting all of the popular IM hot spots.

Chris July 27, 2011 at 3:46 am

Dear PotPieGirl,

First of all thank you for sharing your story with us. Unfortunately the crooks and unsavory types out there are getting better and better at social engineering and phishing.

More people need to hear this story. I’m going to tweet it to my list of followers.

Your advice is perfect and timeless. Never click through on any email like that. I also make a point of leaving graphics off by default in my mail reader. If I’m sure it’s a legit email then I let the graphics dowload.

The reason is simple. Graphics can be used to track responses and which email accounts are valid.

I’d like to invite some of these scoundrels back to my dojo for a little after hours martial arts practice. I’ve got a few joint locks and throws I need to work on. :)

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 3:53 am

Hiya Sunshine!

Ah, didn’t know there was a Clickbank email like this making the rounds. That one would certainly get my attention too!

Nicole S. Cooper July 27, 2011 at 4:08 am

Great Insight!

Whewww… thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. This is definitely something to look out for!

Great stuff and once again, thanks for sharing!

michael July 27, 2011 at 4:15 am

I don’t know if this is just me but i’ve also been geting stuff in the mail from some “domain registry” company. The letter always start of by saying that my domains are about to expire and i must renew then NOW.
It was upon closer examination that i realized that half of the domains on the list aren’t even mine or used to be mine but then i sold them. The point is that while we ethical marketers are out here on the web seeking to make a honest living online, bad and evil marketers are out there spendng their times scaming people out of money or should i say “WASTING” their time trying to scam people rather than doing hard work like every one else.
My heart goes out to all the inexperienced newbies ouut there who might have become a victim.

Craig Stanford July 27, 2011 at 4:18 am

You are correct that there are more out there. Last year, I received an email that said it was from Paypal and I need to change my username and password.

The login page they sent me to looked exactly like Paypal’s, but I smelled a rat and looked at the address bar to see if it said “https”.

It didn’t so I reported the site to Paypal security and they were able to put a warning on it.

They are always out there to scam us. July 27, 2011 at 4:57 am

In my 4 years of online marketing, I’ve had “scam” emails for bank accounts, email account and a myriad of paypal accounts but none with aweber that I’m aware of. My latest arrival was a paypal problem that wasn’t even connected at all to that particular email account. It was very amateur but paypal replied within 24 hours and are looking into it. The very gullible and the unwary will get caught.

Mike

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 6:02 am

Y’all are SO right. On a daily basis, I have more things to deal with than my little pea brain can handle. Now, we have to deal with these kinds of “trick” emails that could cause BIG issues if we don’t pay close attention.

I really, really feel for marketers who get caught in these traps. It’s too easy to get caught too – especially when the email kinda looks “ok” – or you’re freaking out…lol!

Thanks for reading everyone!!!!

Jennifer

Ron July 27, 2011 at 6:37 am

Once I received an e-mail to reset my Facebook password and I didn’t want to open it, but I got distracted because I was multi-tasking and clicked the link by mistake. My laptop was swamped with viruses. I had to format the laptop to fix the problem and lost quite a lot of information and programs.

I don’t know why people have to do such things to keep themselves occupied.

Stephen Byrne July 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Unfortunately, tons of people are getting caught out with mails like this Jennifer, and sometimes I think of my mother, new to computers, 70, with her new lap top, and just how easy it is to catch people out like her.

I get mails like this all the time. I get them from pay pal, 1 and 1, clickbank, txt messages from my bank. Pay pal is a big one, they say there is a problem with the account, everything looks legit, once the person clicks on through and enters there name and password they are in trouble. I wish some one would set up a specific website where you can check these things, send your stories or emails (I get tons of African Doctors with millions ready to place into my account hahaaha) but I am sure there are gullible people or people unused to computers like my mother who would be stupid enough to hand over bank details.

Yes, a name and shame website is needed!

Nicksy July 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thanks for d info Potpie girl. It’s really a whole lot of saving tip

war craft guy July 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

It is always a good idea to check our mail before we click any of those links. spammers and frauds are everywhere!

Henlus July 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

Scams like this are very common and cheap but some people will still fall for them. Posts like this will help many people to be aware of the problem. Thanks for sharing your experience with the internet community.

Linda July 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hi Jennifer.
Several years ago I was the victim of a very similar fraud scheme (not Aweber), but another very reputable service. I consider myself very savvy when it comes to email phishing, frauds and scams,but somehow this fraudster signed with a name I was familiar with, and I clicked on the link. Big Mistake. I knew immediately I was hacked. My email account was hijacked and every one of my contacts was sent a fraudulant email email “from me.” Then they deleted all of my contacts. It was a humiliating and terrible experience. I recovered my account with my technical ability and was able to report the IP address to several anti fraud services
.
This experience taught me to never, ever click on any link inside of an email that I am remotely suspicious of…even from someone I know.

These people are unscrupulous and very clever at copying the branding from well known companies, so always contact them by phone or separate email to verify the validity of the received email. Do not click on the link.

Good luck and always be on the lookout for scammers.

Sushant July 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

Surprisingly even I got this email EVEN when I have never ever used aweber services in my life. I’m using GetResponse and used imnicamail in past.

I read this email at around 4 am here on my mobile. I easily recognized it as a phishing mail in a sec. because I have worked like this closely with hackers in my childhood so at this age (18!) I am pretty much aware of such attacks and able to catch them easily.

What I think that some mastermind hacker got a subscribers list of one or many affiliate marketers. Then since majority of the marketers are using AWeber at the moment, he would have thought to get their details through this phishing attack.

And the bad thing is AWeber hasn’t made any official announcement about this on their blog giving users a warning to stay away from such emails. I think such a big company with lots of important user data could have at least publish a post on their main blog which they haven’t…

Cathy July 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

Jennifer ~

Thank you for writing this post! It has become insane lately with all of the “trick” emails out there. You really have to pay really close attention even more so than before.

Funny that you wrote this today though… the last few days I have been thinking that a couple “marketers” accounts may have gotten hacked because I have been getting emails from so and so @earthlink with names I only use when signing up for lists! So, now as I am writing this, am wondering if AWeber themselves got hacked and it is just soooo bad. Crazy!

Ian Worrall July 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm

You were smart not to click that link. You were almost the victim of a phishing scam. People have tried this with bank accounts, Ebay accounts and other stuff. One of the best known ways for people to become victims of identity theft.

Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson July 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

As was mentioned by Mark Owen above, check the link in any email.

In most email clients you can hover the mouse over the link to see what it really is (what you see on the screen isn’t necessarily where the link is going — html emails allow this).

In your example you see the domain is awebercomplaint.com (although the actual link may be something else).

Mister_Papagiorgio July 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I got this one too Jennifer, and I don’t even use aWeber! I’m an iContact kinda guy.

Onefineham Lakes Region NH Marketing July 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Good advice as always. I never react to emails like that initially. I ALWAYS use my own bookmarks / links to go to the vendor directly (not via the email link) to confirm the validity of the claim.

PotPieGirl July 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Seems this email is making its rounds all over our community. The Warrior Forum has lots of posts about it, and Tom (owner of AWeber) has popped in to verify that these emails are totally a scam.

Jennifer

Patricia Sanders July 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I always get suspicious of links in emails and don’t click either. Good thinking on your part!

Adriana Munoz July 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Email scams and phishing attacks are ever so present now that almost everyone belongs to a social media site. Good for you Jennifer for identifying that threat!
Like people have mentioned before, the threat almost always looks legit.
I recently wrote a blog on how to identify bogus websites, hopefully it helps someone – http://bit.ly/rmWT6Y
If you think your info has been already phished, head over to http://www.idfraudprotect.com and they can do a free scan for you. Very useful tool.

Bud Corwin July 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for sharing this information with us. It sure makes a person stop and think before clicking on a lot of these links. Keep up the good work as usual.

Bud Corwin

Cindy July 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm

WOW Jennifer, that is scary! I don’t have an AWeber account at the moment, but I do appreciate you bringing this to my attention! It just reminds me that you can’t be too careful…

bj @ Tattoo Care Tips July 28, 2011 at 12:09 am

Most email programs will allow you to look at the source code for an html email. If you can find the “link” and look at it in the source code, 99.99999 times out of 100 you will see that the link doesn’t even go to the company in question (in this case AWeber.) That’s the biggest tipoff of all.

Sylviane Nuccio July 28, 2011 at 12:37 am

What a shame! I have received the same kind of email for my Facebook account. I didn’t check if it was real or not, but thankfully I did go to THE facebook site to change my password as opposed to click on any link I was sent.

RCgal July 28, 2011 at 4:26 am

Scammers are like the Borg: they always adapt. Resistance is NOT futile, however, and a being skeptical of links in email is always a good idea.

In our case, we sell physical products and the scam emails we get are often associated with phony shipping arrangements. These include international “customers” who want their shipping agent to do a local pickup or people who might request Paypal plus a local pickup. For those not in the know: you can’t ever let people who use Paypal do local pickups because Paypal won’t accept your signed invoice as proof of delivery.

Mick Oakley July 28, 2011 at 10:27 am

hi
You always send me e-mails as i have shown interest in building a business on the internet.

At the top of your web page –

Let Me Ask You Something…

If I Could Teach You How To Make a Mini-Site That Makes $300 a Month…

How Many Mini-Sites Would YOU Make?

10? 20? 100? More?

Instructions Are Here

Once you know the “recipe” – the sky is the limit!

do you indorse this product – do you know these guys – do they really make this money – is it a scam as i would like to invest into some thing – but there seems to be a lot so called money making schemes out there ready just to take your money!

Regards

Mick Oakley

Leigh July 29, 2011 at 1:20 am

I got one of those to but I smelled a rat because I don’t have an AWeber account.

In the last month I’ve been tracked by the FBI for visiting illegal web sites (what the heck is an illegal website), I owe thousands to the IRS even though I don’t live there, my bank account (insert bank name here) has been compromised and the password needs to be reset plus my credit cards are all overdue and the password has expired. I also need a fleet of trucks to pick up packages from UPS that were unable to be delivered. The stress of it all must be killing me.

I’m not alone though as some of those emails come with a list of CC’s a mile long. We must all be sharing our bank accounts and credit cards, visiting the same illegal websites and live in the same house that doesn’t get deliveries. You’d think out of all those people living in the same house someone would be home to collect.

Karen Larkin July 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

When in doubt, here is a good acid test to determine whether an email is legit or fishing for sensitive info. Always look at the sender address to the right side of the @ sign. This is the domain and should always be consistent. This one is “awebercomplaints.com” rather than “aweber.com”.

Match Rate PLUS August 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

As a long-time Aweber user (MANY YEARS!) I would have never thought that spammers would attack them. However, phishing emails totally makes sense.

Get someones account info, login, and blasts all their lists with your offer.

Thanks for the heads up – hope to never see any of those phishing emails for Aweber.

Robert
Co-Founder, match rate plus

Candice August 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

@Karen Larkin

You said, “Always look at the sender address to the right side of the @ sign”.

That is a GREAT piece of advice. I have started always doing that when I have the slightest question about whether an email is legit or not.

It’s getting pretty crazy………..my son in law got an email “supposedly” from the IRS and unfortunately he did click the link and got a virus from it.

We’ve got to be so careful nowadays………….thanks for sharing this Jennifer!

Home Inspection Columbia SC August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Jennifer,

Interesting story and wise advice.

What’s really interesting is that while they didn’t capitalize the “w” in their email address, but they did have it capitalized at the bottom of their email to you. I wonder how and why they made this mistake…

Jhoe

Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson August 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Don’t trust the Sender Address (or anything else in the header for that matter). This can all be faked. Not all phishers bother.

Your best bet is to check the links in the email that they want you to click. Most email clients will show you the link if you hover the cursor over it. This is the real link and will start with http:// or https://

The next part is the domain name. Be ware since some will say something like:

legitmate.com.helpful.trickery.com/form-to-get-your-data

Make sure that is has legitmate.com followed by either a / or nothing.

Keep in mind that stuff coming through an autoresponder (such as Aweber) will often have the autoresponder domain. That makes it more difficult to check but they will have a trace.

If your email client doesn’t show you the actual link when you hover over it, use the “view message source” option to see the actual message code. Look for <a href=http:// followed by the domain name.

Anita August 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm

OMG! What a scary story. I better check my Aweber…

Orange Jansport Backpacks August 15, 2011 at 6:04 am

Hi Jennifer, something similar has happened to me one year ago. My alertpay account was hijacked after clicking a link in an email to change my password. I later found out the email was fake and I lost over $178 as a result of this. Thanks for the info. It won’t happen to me again.

Pole August 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm

That is really worth noting – I had some accounts hacked a while back and could never figure out how it happened – but I reckon it must have been something similar to this. Except I wasn’t quite as on-the-ball as you were.

Jane August 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I have been getting emails from my email provider cox.net that say I need to send them my email name and password. Of course I did not do that either. What do you think they would do with our email information?

subliminal subotnik August 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm

hi jennifer, hi followers,

scam and these ugly trick_you_out mails are a verry common thing in the net since years.
they build mails that look like there are send by facebook, google,yahoo, awebber and vice versa like your bank account.

they realy look exactly like they where send by these companys, happyly sometimes they make litle mistakes.

i am active in the net since 1988 or so, do not remember exactly, but i remember that trick_mails have startet in the middle 90s.

if you follow simple rules, there would be NO danger for you at all !

these rules are simple:

- your bank never will send you mails regarding your account data!
- your bank will never send you mails with a link to a login-page!
- ALWAYS , yes ALWASY check the URL the link in a mail is leading to and ALWAYS watch out for litle miss-spellings in the servernames !
- do not use full HTML-preview of the mails in your mailprogram!
- NEVER allow your mailprogramm to load external content like pictures or other attachments!!!

i use thunderbird as my mailproggi and the first thing i do is:
disableling full-HTM view of the mails.

shure some mails look a litle poor then ;)

thunderbird shows you the server a link is leading to in the status-bar at the lower end of the window.
so it is easy to check if the writen link is different to the rael adress the link is leading to!
this in fact is one of the most powerfull features of thunderbird !

if the kink looks strange but i am not sgure if it is realy danger ;) sometimes it icould be interesting ( and fun!) to visit the link just to see what is behind it.

but, NEVER do tzhis directly with your computer!!!
i use a system witch was vreated to break the chinese wall instead ;) this server then will surf the adress for you and then just present a screenshot to you of the site ;)funny thing is that the site then will regonise you as a surfer from switzerland .. LOL
pici.picidae.net
that i do becouse even the view of a picture inside your mailproggi or your browser directly could harm your system realy badly, IE had/has the funny feature that it renders javascript inside a JPG file bevor rendering the picture and that activity you mostly never see directly. the script then can do lots of crazy things with your computer then.

pici saves you from that tricks couse it will render the complete site for you and sends the screenshot to your browser then.

take care

subliminal subotnik

subliminal subotnik August 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

@|-}
please excuse my errors, i have litle issues with my chemo and a syndrome that the call polyneuropathy, so the motorics of my fingers is a litle damaged for a while.
yours sincerly

subliminal subotnik

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