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Identifying a WordPress Email Scam

Identifying a WordPress Email Scam

Email scams, also known as phishing scams, are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information or money from individuals by posing as a trustworthy entity in an email communication. These scams often employ social engineering tactics to trick recipients into providing personal information, financial details, or credentials. WordPress email scams are becoming more popular, and are used as a tactic to gain control of websites to inject malware.

Common Email Scam Tactics

  • Sender Spoofing: Scammers often spoof email addresses to make it appear as though the email is coming from a legitimate source, such as a well-known company, financial institution, or government agency. They may use a similar domain name or create fake email addresses that closely resemble the legitimate ones.
  • Urgency or Fear Tactics: Email scams frequently create a sense of urgency or fear to prompt recipients into taking immediate action. For example, they might claim that there’s been suspicious activity on the recipient’s account, their account will be suspended if they don’t act quickly, or they’ve won a prize that they need to claim urgently.
  • Phishing Links: Scammers often include links in their emails that direct recipients to fake websites designed to mimic legitimate ones. These websites may prompt users to enter sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or social security numbers, which the scammers then steal for fraudulent purposes.
  • Malware Attachments: Some email scams include attachments that contain malware, such as viruses, ransomware, or keyloggers. These attachments may be disguised as harmless files, such as documents or images, but when opened, they infect the recipient’s device and allow the scammer to access sensitive information or control the device remotely.
  • Grammatical Errors and Poor Formatting: Many email scams contain grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or poor formatting, which can be a red flag indicating that the email is not legitimate. However, some scammers have become more sophisticated in their tactics and create emails that appear professional and convincing.

Here’s a recent WordPress email scam. The ‘vulnerability’ they mention doesn’t exist.
They provide a link to download a ‘fix’, but in reality – this is how they will gain access to a website for malicious purposes.

WordPress Email Scam

Is Your Website Safe?

Have you been hacked due to a WordPress email scam? If you have received an email like the example above and want to be sure your website is still in good condition – send a message.

Official WordPress Communication

There are a few things you can do to verify the email you’ve received is not a scam. To protect yourself from email scams, exercise caution when opening emails from unknown senders, avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments, and verify the legitimacy of requests for sensitive information.

According to WordPress.org

The WordPress Security Team is aware of multiple ongoing phishing scams impersonating both the “WordPress team” and the “WordPress Security Team“ in an attempt to convince administrators to install a plugin on their website which contains malware. The WordPress Security Team will never email you requesting that you install a plugin or theme on your site, and will never ask for an administrator username and password. Official emails from the WordPress project will always:

  • Come from a @wordpress.org or @wordpress.net domain.
  • Should also say “Signed by: wordpress.org” in the email details section.
Identifying a WordPress Email Scam