Beware the “your domain has exceeded its disk quota“ Phishing Email

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

June 5, 2024

A new phishing email is making the rounds. I’ve now had two clients in the space of two days forward the email to me, which tells me it has to be quite common.

“Phishing“ is the name for a certain type of scam that tries to trick you into giving the scammer info such as your credit card numbers, username and password, or other personal info. Sometimes the scam arrives looking like an email from a retailer or bank; but it could also be sent via a private message on social media (Twitter used to have a real problem with this in DMs).

In the case of the clients I mentioned above, the phishing email looks like it was sent from their website hosting account.

One common feature shared by many hosting companies is that they will send automated emails if there is a problem with your account. Scammers know this, which is why they started sending out fake emails with warnings like “WARNING: the domain BLANK has exceeded its disk quota”. The scam email in fact looks almost exactly like the real email, so much so that I even thought it was real, and tried to solve the problem it reported.

Don’t worry, the scammers did not win this time. What the scammers want you to do is click a link in the email and enter your username and password. I have seen similar phishing emails before, which is why I instead opened a new browser tab and used that to log into my client’s hosting account.

In this day and age you can never be sure whether an email from a bank, retailer, or a business is legit, which is why you should never click links in the email. Instead, use a different browser tab or window to log in to your account with the email’s sender, and deal with the problem there.

Be careful out there!

Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

My blog has everything you need to know about websites and online services. Don’t see what you need. or want personalized help? Reach out.

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