Several MacFixIt readers who subscribe to Earthlink for Internet services received the following e-mail:
"Dear EarthLink.com member, EarthLink.com Account Management regrets to inform you that your EarthLink.com account has been suspended due to credit card verification problems. Your credit card failed to authorize and as a result, your account has been suspended. Please take a moment to confirm your account by going to the following address: EarthLink.com/account.cgi?(accountname)"
"Trully yours, EarthLink.com account management team."
Skeptical readers noticing the spelling errors and strange wording followed up with EarthLink technical support, which confirmed that the circulating e-mail is a hoax. The issue is currently being investigated.
UPDATE: MacFixIt reader Bill Bates did some additional investigation into the fraudulent e-mail and the organization behind it:
"I followed the link out of curiosity and it takes you to: http://188.8.131.52/files/kcdt/earthlink.html. I then tried to play with he URL a little and found that if you delete the "earthlink.html" it takes you to: http://184.108.40.206/files/kcdt/, which is a page that is a front for collecting credit card information from Ebay users.
"http://220.127.116.11/ (nanhua.org) takes you to the web site of NANHUA FUTURES TRADING CO. LTD which according to their website is in Zhejiang ,China (of course, who knows where the web server is). I suspect that Nanhua does not know the fraudulent web pages are hosted on their site."