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Hotmail has been caught closing down email accounts accused of spamming without carrying out proper checks first.

An investigation by Israeli news site NRG Maariv found that all it takes to close down a hotmail account is a report - be it true or not - to Hotmail's abuse team that a Hotmail account has been used for spam.

Even if the accounts had not been used to send spam, within 24 hours, those accounts had been shut down without the account holder being notified.

When journos at NRG Maariv tried it themselves, they found their newly-created Hotmail account was deactivated even though it had not been used to send a single email.

It means that malicious users acting out of revenge or some warped sense of pleasure can easily get Hotmail email accounts shut down, said the news story.

Question is, are the three cases highlighted just a blip or symptomatic of a new approach by Hotmail to clamp down on spammers?

No one at Hotmail was available for comment at the time of writing, although it's understood the matter is being investigated. ®

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