I just received a fake Cataclysm beta invite, and wish to alert fans to please never click on any link you see on emails that seem to come from Blizzard.com. Even if they were legit.

Always type the URL manually to be 100% secure. If anything, you will collide with a 404 Error page at Blizzard confirming the URL was fake. This is how I know when a beta invite is fake even when the email address says noreply@blizzard.com — First, I get invites directly from the Community Managers as a member of the Blizzard fansites program. Second, I only keep in contact with the Community Managers from a specific email, not the one for news submissions.

On your end, to make sure it is not fake, hover your cursor over all the links, and you will see the target link is different to the link itself. This is one of the ways your WoW account gets compromised. The page looks like the legit account login page, you enter your username and password, and nothing happens on your end, but you just gave the personal info to the hackers who proceed to wipe your gear, bags, bank and inbox across all your characters to send the gold to another ghost account. Even worse, the fake link might lead you to automatically download a keylogger, virus or trojan. Exercise common sense, and avoid scams. Always type the URL manually, and never click on links even if indeed it came from Blizzard.

You will know Cataclysm beta started when you see news in the front page of the official wow site, and in our fansite and other fansites’ front page.

This is the fake email I just got on my inbox:

You have been selected to participate in the beta test of World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™. Welcome!

In the beta test you’ll get an opportunity to test the first changes of Azeroth, and the new levels above 80. We look forward to your feedback on the overall experience, including quests, monsters, zones, aesthetics, and more. We would also appreciate reports on any bugs you may encounter. These can be logged using the /bug command explained below.

Getting started:

In order to participate in the beta test, you must upgrade an existing retail account that has been upgraded with Wrath of the Lich King, allowing you to connect to the Cataclysm™ test realms. The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King game client that you use must be patched up to version 3.1.2 or later in order to install the beta test client.

Go to https://beta.worldofwarcraft.com (obviously the target link didn’t look like this URL) and follow the detailed, step-by-step instructions to begin playing the World of Warcraft – Cataclysm Beta.

Please be prepared to enter the current retail World of Warcraft account name and password you use, and the appropriate beta code listed below to authenticate your eligibility to connect to the Cataclysm test realms. To participate in the beta tests, you must have a valid retail World of Warcraft account active and in good standing as of August 15, 2009.

Below is a beta code that will allow you to upgrade a World of Warcraft account to be eligible for the Cataclysm beta test. Each beta code can be used only once to upgrade an active retail World of Warcraft account.