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E-Mail "pfishing"

by Patricia / May 6, 2004 3:27 AM PDT

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail which I immediately deleted without previewing, as I normally do with e-mails that I don't think may be legit. As I hadn't read it, I didn't know what it was about.

In a seniors' forum, which I frequent, someone had posted the text of the e-mail, and asked if it was really from Microsoft.

I'll post the text here, but my opinion was that if it was legit, it would probably be from Sympatico, not Microsoft, as Microsoft wouldn't know we were using Sympatico. (Canadian ISP). Here is the message:

"This is an important message from Microsoft concerning the Microsoft .NET
Passport account associated with your sympatico.ca e-mail address.

Both Microsoft and Bell Canada are committed to simplifying your online
experience. Therefore we are taking efforts to ensure that active Bell
Sympatico Internet customers can continue to use the .NET Passport that is
associated with their sympatico.ca e-mail address.

Since there is a Passport account associated to your Sympatico e-mail address,
we ask that you please verify that you are the user of the Passport account and
that you give consent to Bell Canada to manage your Microsoft .NET Passport
account. It's a quick and easy process to verify your account.

Instructions on how to verify your account are below, as well as some important
questions and answers.

To verify your Passport account:
1.In your Web browser, type passport.net in the Address bar and press Enter.
2.On the Passport home page, click the Sign In button, and sign in to your
Passport account.
3.Follow the instructions to verify your e-mail address.

If you did not register the Passport using this e-mail address, or if you do
not agree to give Bell Canada consent to manage your Passport account, take no
action, and we will disable the Passport account 20 days from the date this
message was sent. This will have no affect on your Sympatico subscription or
sympatico.ca e-mail address.

To request additional help from Passport Customer Support, click

Important Questions and Answers

What is a .NET Passport account?

Microsoft .NET Passport is a service that enables you to sign in to multiple services, such as MSN Messenger or Hotmail, with a single e-mail address and password. For more information, visit the Passport home page at ://www.passport.net

I don't have a Passport account. Why am I seeing this message?

Another person may have created a Passport account with your current sympatico.
ca e-mail address (such as a family member, or an individual who had the e-mail
address before you). This does not mean that the user has access to your e-mail
messages or any other personal information - it simply means that they have
used the e-mail address as a sign-in name for their Passport account.

If this is the case, you can ignore this e-mail message and do nothing, and 20
days from the date this message was sent, we will disable the user from using
your e-mail address as their Passport sign-in name.

What does it mean to give consent to Bell Canada to manage my sympatico.ca .NET

As the owner of the sympatico.ca domain, Bell Canada assigns sympatico.ca e-
mail addresses. In addition, sympatico.ca is now a 'sponsored domain' which is
associated with a special kind of .NET Passport where Bell Canada will ensure
only Bell Sympatico Internet customers can obtain sympatico.ca .NET

What happens if I don't verify my e-mail address or give Sympatico consent to
manage my Passport account?

After 20 days from the date this e-mail message was sent, if you have not yet
verified your e-mail address with Passport, you will no longer be able to sign
in to any Passport participating site until you change the e-mail address in
your Passport account.

In addition, you will lose data associated with your Passport sign-in e-mail
address, such as your MSN Messenger contact list.

No matter what your decision is, your existing Sympatico subscription and e-
mail account will not be affected. Only your Passport account will be


Passport is committed to protecting your privacy. We encourage you to review
the Passport privacy statement at:

To request additional help from Passport Customer Support, click

Please do not reply to this message; it was sent from an unmonitored e-mail
address and we are unable to respond to any replies."


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