Hiding Taxes Email Scam

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

"Hiding Taxes" removal guide

What is "Hiding Taxes"?

The "Hiding Taxes" scam is proliferated by sending emails to many people. Scammers behind it attempt to trick people into sending money (cryptocurrency). They threaten to proliferate information about the supposed recipient's tax evasion activity. In fact, all statements in this scam are false. Never trust these emails.

Hiding Taxes spam campaign

The email states that cyber criminals have hacked the recipient's network, made copies of various documents and other data, and (supposedly) hacked the email account. According to these scammers, they inspected all of the recipient's documents and found information about illegal activity relating to tax evasion. Scammers threaten to send this information to the tax department unless they receive two Bitcoins within seven days. The cost of their "silence" might be increased to four Bitcoins. Furthermore, they threaten to launch a DDoS attack and infect the computer with a ransomware-type program. Since this is a scam, none of this should be taken seriously. Scammers often send these emails hoping that someone will fall for their scheme. Unfortunately, sometimes they succeed.

Threat Summary:
Name "Hiding Taxes" email scam.
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Criminals state that they have hacked the recipient's network/email address and analyzed stored documents. They claim that the documents revealed that the recipient is avoiding taxes and that all information will be presented to the tax department unless the recipient sends two Bitcoins (this cost might eventually increase to four Bitcoins) within seven days. Criminals also threaten to infect the recipient's computer with WannaCry ransomware and launch a DDoS attack.
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 1Dz7DbQmE7SNm3C5mb9syPcctgZECcCEbL (wallet address may vary depending on the "Hiding Taxes" email spam campaign variant).
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the 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 many other emails of this kind, such as "Proof Attached", "Electronic Materials Involving Underage Children", and "This Account Was Recently Infected". The main purpose of these spam campaigns is to extort money from people by threatening to proliferate their personal or compromising data/information. In summary, their goal is to make people believe that if they do not cooperate, they will be in trouble. Other scams send emails containing malicious attachments. These emails are used to proliferate computer infections such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind and other high-risk viruses. Attached files are usually JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR, Microsoft Office documents, executables and other files. Note that these attachments can cause computer infections only if they are opened - they then install malicious programs that can steal personal details such as logins, passwords of accounts (including banking), and so on. People with computers infected with these viruses usually experience problems relating 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 proliferate computer infection can cause damage only if the attachments or web links presented in them are opened. For example, if an executable file presented in an archive file is opened, it will install a malicious program. When opened, attached Microsoft Office documents usually demand permission to enable content (and disable "Protected View" mode). If this permission is granted, the malicious document starts downloading (and then installing) malware. This causes a computer infection. Other files (attachments) cause damage in a similar manner.

How to avoid installation of malware?

If an email is irrelevant or simply does not concern you, ignore it, especially if it contains an attachment or web link. Download software using direct links and official websites. Do not use third party downloaders, installers, or other such tools (such as Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, and so on) to download software. Update installed software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers only. Third party tools are often used to proliferate malicious programs. Do not use software 'cracking' tools to activate operating systems or installed programs. Using these tools is illegal and they often cause computer infections. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. These tools can detect and remove malicious files before they can do any damage. If you have 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 message:

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 is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this 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 is an example of a suspicious program running on a 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 the 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 the "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 the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

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

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not 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 filename 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 remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the 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.

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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

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