Friday, June 05, 2009

Why Yes, the AOL Time Warner Retirement Plan IS Administered by "PunkRocks"

Here's the most ridiculous AOL employee password phishing e-mail ever. (The fact that I got it also shows the phisher is working off an old internal employee list and only adds to the ridiculousness):
From: [redacted]
Subject: Retiring yourself from AOL?
Date: June 5, 2009 8:10:43 PM EDT
To: [my old AOL business screenname]


The depression has struck the entire nation, including us here at AOL Time Warner. Some associates may no longer be eligible for retirement plans. As the depression locks its grip on us in an unstable fashion, and we spiral toward financial disaster, there is little to do other than ride out the storm and hope for the best.

5,000 employees are no longer eligible for retirement.

To find out if your plan has been canceled, please do the following:

1. Instant Message the AIM BOT Screen Name "PunkRocks" and login to the system by IMing your credentials in this format: [ScreenName][Password][SecurityCode]
2. Your updated retirement plan file will be pulled up and displayed for your viewing.

Remember: Your plan MAY still be active. You MUST Instant Message "PunkRocks" with the above information to verify.

We apologize and have no further information at this time,
AOL Time Warner
Outside of the purpleness of the prose and the ludicrousness of the idea of an "AOL Time Warner" retirement, a few comments:
  • People still phish for AOL employee accounts. Who knew? And they say AOL is no longer relevant.
  • Sure, Gmail has always been the preferred e-mail host for AOL Time Warner benefits information.
  • Why, yes, the AOL Time Warner retirement plan has always been administered by screen name "PunkRocks" (I'm assuming it's a compromised account, of course.)
On my inaugural Facepalm Scale, I give it a five out of five -- the highest possible score! Congratulations!



prettyparker said...

Wow, that scam was sad on so many levels. It is almost as if it was stuck in some outbox for 4 years and just now getting emailed.

Joelogon said...

Apparently there's also a "sexual harassment warning" variant of the e-mail, too. said...

Apparently my googlemail account sent out some of those - the thing is: I have no idea how!
I'm using Mac OS X Mail with this account and I have no idea how those mails might have been sent...

Joelogon said...

Huh. I was going to guess they were spoofed, but I've gotten a few different of these mails so far and they all seem to be from gmail. So you're saying you see them in your outbox? If you were using a PC I would say you might have some spyware -- since you're using a Mac, I'd have to say that your password got phished -- probably want to change your account password and security question / answer forthwith... said...

Usually I expect mails like that to be spoofed as well...but since I got loads of Delivery Status Notification - Failure emails in Mac OS X Mail I checked my outbox at and the emails "I" had sent to various aol accounts were really there.
I've got no idea how my password might have gotten phished... Well, I use that adress as my "trash" email account anyway and now changed my password and security question.