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World of Warcraft phishing scam

Updated on August 12, 2010

I am a web services specialist, and can spot a phishing email a mile away. However, I am confident that if I was actually a player of World of Warcraft, I would have fallen for this scam.

I just received the an email from wowaccountadmin@blizzard.com and it was not sent to junk

The email was very well designed, it looks exactly like an automated confirmation email that you get after changing your password on a site. The foot of the email contains correct contact details for Blizzard.

I followed the link to the WoW website wondering what was going on, as I don't have a WoW account and never have. I was assuming that someone was playing using my email address and was a little intrigued. I certainly didn't expect it to be a phishing email.

The only reason I noticed that the URL was not what it seemed, was because I clicked the 'fogotten password' link and was taken to a 404 page.

If you get an email like this, Look VERY carefully at the URL, and make sure you don't get fooled into logging into the web page with real details. It's a very clever spelling mistake, designed to take advantage of the way we actually read things.

The scammer was - however - nice enough to provide you with the contact information for blizzard, that you will need in order to try and recover your account after they have stolen it.

Why is this a clever scam?

When you read a paragraph of text, you do not actually read every syllable of every word. When reading something quickly, as long at the letters are correct at the start and end, the order of the other letters does not matter as much, as long as they are present.

This url is very clever in that it takes advantage of this fact. If you get an email saying that your password for an account on any website has been reset, and the email looks exactly what you would expect a password reset email to look like, then you are highly likely to click the link in the email.Especially if you have not actually just reset your password.

Always doublecheck the URL before you respond to an unexpected password change email.

Recent Update

Since writing this hub, the amount of Blizzard / Warcraft / Battlenet spam has increased dramatically.

Most recently I have received spam emails entitled 'Cataclysm Beta Opt In'trying to steal an account by offering fake access to the development of Cataclysm. No doubt they will continue to change.

If you ever receive an email from Blizzard - or any other game company - offering a new service, mentioning problems with account security, bannings etc open up google, type official world of warcraft website or official blizzard website and ensure that you visit the right site


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      Joakim 

      7 years ago

      Eric, something very similar happened to me, and since I didn't play anymore I disregarded it. It turned ou (I think) that it was my hotmail adress that was hacked so they could change the password whenever they wanted. The secret password for hotmail was changed to Your mothers last name, but in chinese :D

      I got both accounts back though and is now using an Authenticator...

    • profile image

      Eric 

      8 years ago

      Just a new FYI. Two days ago I received an email that said "Password - Reset" from Blizzard and I ignored it because I hadn't played my account for 6 months and hadn't logged in. I was waiting for the next expansion. 13 minutes later I received an email that said my account was suspended for TOS violations. Going to battle.net by typing in the url myself to check I found my password was indeed changed and my account locked.

      I did the password recovery when I found that my account had in fact been suspended. Yet I've not used it for 6 months so no one just up and key logged me all of a sudden. I reset my password and contacted Blizzard. Not 8 hours later after I did I get another email that said "Password - Reset" and I was in fact locked out a second time.

      They are getting smarter. Someone is getting CS to reset my password and they are looting my account like crazy.

    • profile image

      sailorcoon 

      8 years ago

      The thing is. I suspected this was a phishing scam but when I tried to contact Blizzard via their real phone and by email I always get phone que is full and they don't reply back to email. At least.... not with a real person. They WoW support is the same as Starcraft and I'm starting to get Starcraft Phishing emails now too. They say stuff like thanks for buying a digital download.

    • profile image

      Andrew 

      8 years ago

      i got a email like this and ignored it good thing i did that i tryed to visit it now and got a 403 error access is forbidden and you must log into to access this web site

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