CNET is reporting that a couple of Hotmail users have recently been locked out of their accounts. In one case, someone who had hacked into an account sent a desperate-sounding e-mail asking for money under the account holder’s name. Microsoft had no direct comment.
The body of one of the e-mails, sent to a CNET reporter, reads:
“I am in a hurry writing this mail. I had a trip to oxfordshire, United Kingdom for an urgent event . Unfortunately for me all my money got stolen at the hotel where i lodged from the attack of some armed robbers and since then i have been without any money i am even owing the hotel here,So i have only access to emails,my mobile phone can’t work here so i did not bring it along. Please can you lend me $1500 so i can return back and settle the hotel bills i would return it back to you as soon as i get home, I am so confused right now. You can have it sent through western union.”
The owner of the Hotmail account was confirmed to be at home, safe.
“If a customer at any time suspects their account has been accessed by an unauthorized party, they should contact our customer support team, a Microsoft representative said.
The Microsoft representative mentioned the company’s online security and safety best practices for customers, including specific guidance on how to help protect your Windows Live ID account security. But when it comes to protecting your free Hotmail e-mail account, users appear to be without much recourse.”