Hiding Taxes Email Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Hiding Taxes" removal guide

What is "Hiding Taxes"?

"Hiding Taxes" is a scam that is proliferated by sending emails to a lot of people. Scammers behind it attempt to trick people into sending them money (cryptocurrency) by threatening to spread information about recipient's tax evasion activity. However, none of the statements in this scam are true, emails of this type should never be trusted.

Hiding Taxes spam campaign

As stated in this email, cyber criminals have hacked recipient's network, made copies of various documents and other data and, supposedly hacked the email account too. According to scammers, they inspected all recipient's documents and found information about illegal activity related to tax evasion. Scammers threaten to send this information to tax department if they will not receive 2 Bitcoins in 7 days. However, the price of their "silence" might be increased up to 4 Bitcoins. Besides, they threaten to launch a DDoS attack and infect computer with a ransomware-type program too. Since this is just a scam, none of this should be taken seriously. It is very common for scammers to send emails of this type hoping that someone will fall for their scam. Unfortunately, sometimes they succeed.

Threat Summary:
Name "Hiding Taxes" email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Crooks state that they've hacked recipient's network/email address and analyzed some stored documents. They claim that analyzed documents showed that recipient is avoiding taxes and that all information will be provided to the tax department if recipient won't send crooks 2 Bitcoins (price may eventually increase to 4 Bitcoins) in 7 days. Crooks also threaten to infect recipient's computer with WannaCry ransomware and launch a DDoS attack.
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 1Dz7DbQmE7SNm3C5mb9syPcctgZECcCEbL (wallet address may vary depending on "Hiding Taxes" email spam campaign's variant).
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Removal

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This scam is quite similar to other emails of this kind, such as "Proof Attached", "Electronic Materials Involving Underage Children", "This Account Was Recently Infected" and many more. The main purpose of these spam campaigns is to extract money from people by threatening to spread some of their personal or compromising data/information. Simply said, their goal is to make people think that if they will not cooperate, they will get in some kind of trouble. There is another type of scams where cyber criminals send emails containing malicious attachments. These emails are used to spread computer infections such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind and other high-risk viruses of this kind. Attached files usually are JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR, Microsoft Office documents, executables and other files. However, these attachments can cause computer infections only if they are opened. If opened, they install malicious programs that usually are designed to steal various personal details such as logins, passwords of various accounts (including banking) and so on. By having computers infected with viruses of this type people usually experience problems related to financial, data loss, issues with privacy, browsing safety and so on.

We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this scam email. Here is the most popular question we receive:

Q: Hi pcrisk.com team, I received an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in Bitcoins. I think this must be true because they listed my real name and password in the email. What should I do?

A: Do not worry about this email. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. Simply ignore the message and do not send any Bitcoins. Your email, name, and password was probably stolen from a compromised website such as Yahoo (these website breaches are common). If you are concerned, you can check if your accounts have been compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns (scams) that are designed to spread computer infection can cause damage only if attachments or web links presented in them are opened. For example, some executable file presented in archive file is opened, then it will install a malicious program. Attached Microsoft Office documents, if opened, usually ask for a permission to enable content/disable "Protected View" mode. If such permission is given, then the malicious document starts downloading (then installing) malware. In other words, causes a computer infection. Other files (attachments) cause damage in a very similar manner.

How to avoid installation of malware?

If a received email is irrelevant or simply does not concern you, then we recommend to ignore it, especially if it contains some attachment or web link. Download software using direct links and official websites. We do not recommend to use third party downloaders, installers or other similar tools (like Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages and so on) to download any software. Update installed software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers only. Third party tools are often used to spread various malicious programs. We strongly recommend not to use software 'cracking' tools to activate operating system or installed programs. It is not legal to use them and they often cause computer infections too. Another recommendation is to have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware installed and to keep it enabled at all times. Tools of this kind usually are capable of detecting and removing malicious files before they can do any damage. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Hiding Taxes" email letter:

FORWARD THIS MAIL TO WHOEVER IS IMPORTANT IN YOUR COMPANY AND CAN MAKE DECISION!

We Hacked network.
We Caught Communications.
We Backuped DATA And DOCUMENTS.
We send this mail to you in YOUR account.

After analyzing documents. We found Illegal activity - HIDING TAXES.

That we want?

I want two (2) Bitcoin
To wallet Bitcoin.
1Dz7DbQmE7SNm3C5mb9syPcctgZECcCEbL

That we do if you don't pay bitcoin?

We send these Documents and roofs to your Tax Department.

And in this time Your network will be DDoS.
Read that in this link
hxxps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

We are locking your operation system. Our friends, WannaCry, ready start and waiting command.
Read that in this link
hxxps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WannaCry_ransomware_attack

This is our guarantee, that you don't clean evidence and building a protection policy.

If you don't pay by in 7 days, attack will start.

Attack including.

1.DDOS
2.Locking operation system
3.Sending all documents in Tax Departament

Yours service going down permanently and price to stop will increase to Four (4) BTC, Price will go up one (1) BTC for every day of the attack.

This is not a joke.

Our attacks are extremely powerful - sometimes over 1 Tbps per second.
And we pass CloudFlare and others remote protections!
So, no cheap protection will help.

Prevent this problem all with just Two (2) BTC Pay to our wallet Bitcoin.
1Dz7DbQmE7SNm3C5mb9syPcctgZECcCEbL

AND YOU WILL NEVER AGAIN HEAR FROM US!

If you read, hear fake-experts and assure yourself that this is not true.
Remember that they are not responsible and your life don't important him.
Their business is to speak and make money.
Your business to do and make money and stay freedom.

All mistakes in text we do specially.

Bitcoin is anonymous, nobody will ever know you cooperated.

Time started after open this mail.
To track the reading of a message and the actions in it, I use the facebook pixel.
Read that in this link
hxxps://www.facebook.com/business/help/898185560232180?helpref=faq_content

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using  Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here's an example of a suspicious program running on user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager and identified a program that looks suspicious you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

 

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't run automatically on the next system startup) you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the file of the malware be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.