A new phishing scam is taking place: Users must currently check and treat Outlook appointment invitations that end up particularly severe in their mailboxes and calendars. The Bremen Consumer Advice Center recommends it. There are large-scale attempts by background data collectors to verify email addresses in such a way as to abuse them for spam, identity theft, and attacks on online accounts.
Therefore, it is very possible that the invitations come from friends or co-workers whose e-mail accounts were hacked. So if you find anything strange about such an invitation, you should just pick up the phone and ask if the invitation is genuine, advise consumer advocates. Otherwise, scammers’ emails often receive attention due to strange email addresses or spelling errors. Other languages are also ambiguous.
How to protect yourself from Outlook scam
Not only invitations identified as calendar spam should not be accepted. Clicking the cancel button is also prohibited. The following applies: Simply remove both appointments in the mail and calendar, which, depending on the Outlook setting, may end without any action on your part.
While mail can be deleted directly, Outlook asks if the sender should be notified when an appointment is removed from the calendar. It is important to stop it by clicking “No”. Otherwise the fraudsters would have achieved their goal: they know that this email address is being actively used.
To prevent the invitation from ending automatically in the calendar, you must change the Outlook settings. Under “File / Options / E-mail / History” you will find the item “Automatically processes meeting requests and responses for meetings and voting”.
Here all you have to do is uncheck the box. And if you have automatically answered answering requests, you should deactivate it again to protect yourself from calendar spam.
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