Scotiabank Email Virus

Also Known As: Scotiabank spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "Scotiabank Email Virus"?

"Scotiabank Email Virus" is a scam that is proliferated using spam campaigns. The main goal of scammers behind this scam is to infect computers with a high-risk computer infection - the TrickBot trojan virus. To achieve this, they attempt to trick "Scotiabank Email Virus" email recipients to open the included attachment.

Generally, opening malicious attachments (or web links) presented in emails of this type results in download and installation of various malicious programs. We advise you to ignore this and other similar emails. Never trust these bogus email messages.

Scotiabank Email Virus

Scammers behind this email claim to be representatives of Scotiabank, a commercial banking company. They present this email as an alert regarding a mismatch between a wired funds transfer and an associated account. They state that they received an incoming wire of CAD $18,324.67 from a company called NetSystems TECHNOLOGY UK.

The message states that the sender supposedly failed to provide a correct CAD account number. Scammers encourage recipients of this email to check the details provided in the attachment Excel document ("190122S6909500.xlsm" file). As mentioned above, the attachment presented in this email is malicious.

If opened, it will ask to enable macros commands. Enabling them causes download and installation of the aforementioned TrickBot malicious program. This program is categorized as a trojan-type malware that steals people's private details/information.

It usually targets logins, passwords of cryptocurrency wallets, bank accounts, and other personal accounts. Generally, having a computer infected with this malicious program can lead to serious problems (including financial loss), however, newer versions of this program are capable of locking the computer screen, hijacking various applications, recording browsing-related information, etc.

To avoid these problems, be careful with emails of this type and do not open presented attachments or web links.

Threat Summary:
Name Scotiabank spam
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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TrickBot is not the only high-risk computer infection that is proliferated using spam campaigns. Computers might be infected through many other malicious programs such as Adwind, LokiBot, Emotet, etc. Many spam campaigns are used to spread these infections.

Examples of email scams similar to "Scotiabank Email Virus" include "Verizon Email Virus", "Unicredit Bank Email Virus", and "Love Letter". Typically, cyber criminals use these campaigns to infect computers with malware, which is usually designed to steal data that can be used to generate revenue (thus causing financial loss for the victims).

How did "Scotiabank Email Virus" infect my computer?

Cyber criminals can cause damage using the "Scotiabank Email Virus" scam only if its recipients open the presented Microsoft Excel document and enable macros commands. Once this is done, computers are infected with the aforementioned TrickBot malicious program.

Note that newer MS Office versions (later than 2010) can prevent computers from being infected by malicious attachments. Earlier versions do not include 'Protected View Mode'. Malicious MS Office documents are often used for these dubious purposes, however, other files can also be used to cause such computer infections.

Note that none of these spam campaigns can harm systems without first opening the presented attachment (or website link that leads to it).

How to avoid installation of malware?

To keep your computer safe from TrickBot and many other computer infections, take precautions when dealing with received emails that seem suspicious or irrelevant. If such an email contains an attachment (or website link), we strongly recommend that you ignore it.

Many scammers hide behind the names of popular companies, however, do not be fooled - these emails can never be trusted. Download, install and update all software using official tools or sources. Third party software download/install tools, peer-to-peer networks (P2P), and other such tools are used by cyber criminals who employ them to proliferate computer infections.

Avoid software cracking tools, since it is illegal to use them. Furthermore, cyber criminals often use them to cause installation of malicious programs. Finally, have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware program installed and ensure that it is enabled at all times.

Programs of this type usually detect threats (infections) before they can harm operating systems. If you have already opened a "Scotiabank Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Scotiabank Email Virus" email message:

Subject: ALERT – BB Wire: Extra Due Diligence* RE: Incoming Wire Name and Account Mismatch


We received an incoming wire in CAD $18,324.67 from NetSystems TECHNOLOGY UK. The sender has provided an incorrect CAD account number, please see details attached.

Can you kindly advise if the funds needs to be credited to your CAD account?

Many thanks.


Wire ID : 190122S6909500
Sending Customer Name: NetSystems TECHNOLOGY UK
Beneficiary Transit Number: 1020
Beneficiary Account Number:742475 ???
Currency and Amount: CAD 18,324.67
Payment Details:

Penny Tam | Corporate Cash Management Officer | ScotiaBank

Plaza 44 King Street | West Toronto | Ontario M5H 1H1

T: 416-982-6132 | F: 416-944-5891 | Toll Free 1-844-228-3458


Malicious attachment distributed via "Scotiabank Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Scotiabank Email Virus spam campaign

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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