Protect yourself against Cataclysm phishing scams

Cataclysm closed beta is in full swing, and with this new expansion comes a new wave of phishing scams to watch out for. Some will dupe you with promises of a Cataclysm beta key while others will scare you with bannings–all in an attempt to steal your World of Warcraft Account.

It’s time to protect your information at all costs! Phishing scams can be thwarted if you know the basics of account security and how scams work. EpicToon.com is here to give you a refresher course on this very subject. Let’s call it Anti-Phishing 101:

What is phishing?
Phishing is any attempt to get your sensitive information (in this case your WoW Account login username and password) via electronic means. The most popular method for phishing is to send you an email with links leading to a fake website, which then steals you login username and password.

Think before you click that link
Phishing emails will encourage you to click on their malicious links. Some common reasons they will mention to lure you into their scams are:

  • Your WoW Account is being investigated. (“Blizzard is investigating your account after finding evidence that it is being sold or traded, which is against the Terms of Service. Please click here to verify your account and avoid being banned.”)
  • Your WoW Account is being attacked/ login failures. (“Blizzard has been alerted of 15 authentication failures in your login account. We have blocked these attacks but we recommend that you ensure your password is sufficiently complex. Please click here to secure your account.)
  • Verify that you are the original owner of the account. (“Your World of Warcraft account has been compromised. To verify that you are the original owner of the account in question, please click here”)
  • You have been selected to a closed beta invite. One example is this phishing scam email sent to us by an EpicToon fan:

Is it a phishing scam or an official Blizzard email?
You might be thinking “What if this is a real email from Blizzard?” Well there are a few things to look for to know whether an email is fake or not:
–    Emails from Blizzard Entertainment will originate from an @blizzard.com or @battle.net address.
–    Blizzard employees will NEVER ask for your account password.
–    Blizzard will never request you to reply directly to an email with your detailed account information.

IMPORTANT: Some phishing emails can mask their sending address to seem authentic, like the fake Cataclysm invite above. You can check the email header to trace where the email originally came from. Your email provider and email applications have tools to check email header details so use these wisely to catch phishing emails.

I gave out my information. Am I doomed?
No, there may be time left to protect your account. Rush to the Account Compromise Info Center to get initial help, then you can contact Billing and Account Services hotline for emergency assistance.

Again, please avoid clicking any suspicious links not only in your emails but also in the game whether through mailbox or trade chat. EpicToon.com will be churning out more anti-scam guides in the future so watch out for that. Until then, play safe!