There is no Hotmail Maintenance Department

Cassie writes:

I received an email from the Hotmail Maintenance Department requesting personal information verification. The message included a PDF file. Is this a scam?

Yes. This is one of many types of email cybercrime, also called phishing. Cybercriminals often use the Microsoft name to try to get you to share your personal information so that they can use it for identity theft. Delete the message—do not open it, and do not click any links or open any attachments.

The Hotmail Maintenance Department doesn’t exist—and if it did, the department wouldn’t send unsolicited email messages with attachments that asked for your personal information. Be suspicious of any email messages that appear to come from the Hotmail team; even though your email address still says “Hotmail,” the service is now called

For more tips on spotting scam email messages, see How to recognize phishing email messages, links, or phone calls.

If you opened the PDF file, your computer might already be infected with malware that can be used to steal your personal information. Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out. The scanner will also help you remove any malicious software it finds.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    you are telling me someone else is useing my hotmail acount i have tryed to gain acsses but you will not let me i have tryed to change pass words but you still wont let me in as i carnt get in i can not cary on looking for work or applying for any jobs can you call me on 07716450890 as im in my sixs i do not understand much about computers

  2. Anonymous

    Trevor, leaving your phone number in full view is as bad as putting your email address up for all and sundry to see. And Microsoft don't often bother reading the comments; these are public notices to be read, not an invitation to start a discussion.

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