Avoid having your eBay account stolen by a fake eBay support email

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

"eBay Email Scam" removal guide

What is "eBay Email Scam"?

"eBay Email Scam" is a deceptive email claiming that recipients' eBay accounts may have been compromised and used without their permission. The message contains a link, which supposedly provides instructions detailing how to secure the account. In fact, clicking it leads to a phishing website designed to steal visitors' eBay account credentials (email/username and password). This email is a scam and has no relation to the eBay e-commerce corporation, and neither have users' accounts been misused.

eBay Email Scam spam campaign

Allegedly, this is an email from eBay support. The message claims that there is reason to believe that recipients' eBay accounts have been used without their permission/knowledge. The scam "reassures" users that any fraudulent/unauthorized activity has been stopped. Therefore, all purchases and/or sales have been canceled, as have all fees and payments. The email states that all removed listings are detailed at the bottom of the message, likely implying that they have been compiled into the attached text file (which is empty). Additionally, recipients are informed that their financial details (e.g. bank accounts, credit cards) are safe. To secure the account, users are instructed to log-in to verify and/or update contact, payment and other information. The message ends with a link to a website, which lists detailed instructions. All claims made in this email are false, and this also applies to the site, which is an imitation of the official eBay log-in/sign-up page. Any eBay account credentials entered into this fake web page are stolen by the cyber criminals behind this scam. Consequently, the corresponding account is stolen and then misused by the scammers. It can be used for online purchases and similar misuse, depending on the exact information accessible through the account. If users have already tried logging-in via this fraudulent site, they are strongly advised to immediately change their password through the legitimate eBay website and contact official support.

Threat Summary:
Name eBay Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Email claims that recipients' eBay accounts have been used without their permission.
Disguise Email is disguised as an alert from eBay support.
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Scam emails are common and are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", priority", etc. "TOYOTA LOTTERY ORGANIZATION", "Cyber attack from Iran Government", and "You will find a trojan" are a few examples of other deceptive message. They can serve various purposes, such as stealing recipients' private information (e.g. account credentials, personal details, banking information), tricking them into making monetary transactions (e.g. fake purchases, fees, payments, fines) or to download/install untrustworthy or malicious content (e.g. trojans, ransomware and other malware). There is a wide range of email scam models, furthered by the use of social engineering and scare-tactics. You are urged to exercise caution with opening and trusting emails, especially those received from unknown or suspicious senders.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

During spam campaigns thousands of deceptive emails are sent with infectious files attached or linked. The attachments can be in various formats such as archives (ZIP, RAR) and executables (.exe, .run), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript and so on. When a dangerous file is executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection process is initiated (i.e., it begins downloading/installing malware). For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections through malicious macro commands. Once an MS Office document is opened, it asks users to enable macro commands (i.e., enable editing). If the macros are enabled, installation of malicious content begins.

How to avoid installation of malware

Dubious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially those received from suspicious/unknown senders (addresses). Any attachments or links contained in these messages must never be opened. If the attached/linked file is dangerous, opening it will trigger an infection. The links can open phishing and/or malicious sites. If you receive a significant volume of emails, regularly run system scans to ensure that no untrustworthy or malicious content has been infiltrated into the device through them. You are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents malicious macros from beginning malware installation when an infectious document is opened. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "eBay Email Scam" message:

Subject: Important: We have reason to believe that your eBay account has been used fraudulently without your permission.

eBay
Account ID: 0073621101

 

We have reason to believe that your eBay account has been used fraudulently without your permission. In addition, any unauthorized activity, such as buying or selling, has been canceled and any associated fees have been credited to your account. Any listings that we removed are included toward the end of this email. We assure you that your financial information is securely stored on a server and cannot be seen by anyone.
To secure your eBay account, you need to:
1 - Login to your account.
2 - Verify the contact information.
3 - Update your payment informations and other stored information on your eBay account is correct.
For detailed instructions, please visit: -

Screenshot of the fake eBay website, designed to steal visitors' eBay account credentials:

phishing website promoted by eBay Email Scam

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 Malwarebytes 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 1Download 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 "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 Malwarebytes 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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