Do not trust the "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down" email

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down"?

"Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down" is the subject of a deceptive/scam email. The message is supposedly from the recipient's email administration team. It claims that the user's mail accounts might need to be upgraded. This scam steals the email accounts by tricking recipients into providing their log-in credentials.

Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down spam campaign

The "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down" is allegedly an automated email sent by an unspecified "email team". It states that several notifications have been received concerning the user's mail account. These fake alerts may have been generated due to the account lacking general maintenance and the latest updates.

The message urges recipients to click the link "presented below" to fix these supposed issues. It also warns users that if they fail to respond (i.e., visit the website by clicking the link), the "email team" will block the email account. The button redirects to a phishing website, which imitates an email log-in page.

Entering any credentials into this web page will grant the scammers access to the corresponding email account. The threats posed by this scam are more than just loss of an email account. To elaborate, through compromised mails, other connected accounts (e.g. social networking and media, e-commerce, etc.) might be stolen and misused in various ways.

If attempts to log-in through this site have already been made, you are strongly advised to take immediate security measures, such as changing passwords of the email account and other linked accounts. You are also advised to contact official support of all potentially compromised accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down Email Scam.
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Email claims that the recipient's email account requires maintenance.
Disguise Email is disguised as an alert from the recipient's email administration team.
Related Domains netfliq[.]gq
Detection Names (netfliq[.]gq)
Avira no cloud (Phishing), BitDefender (Malware), Dr.Web (Malicious), Fortinet (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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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Deceptive emails are sent via large scale spam campaigns. "You have 46 Hours in order to make the payment", "AOL Winner", "IFC Global Development Funding Program" are some examples of other scam messages. They are usually disguised as "official", "urgent", "important" or otherwise "priority" mail.

Social engineering and scare tactics are often used to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, opening infectious files, revealing personal and sensitive information (credentials of accounts, etc.), paying bogus fees and making other monetary transactions, and so on.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

System infections are caused through dangerous files attached to or linked inside deceptive/scam emails. These messages are sent by the thousand - and such operations are called "spam campaigns". Infectious files can be in various formats: Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archive (ZIP, RAR) and executable (.exe, .run) files, JavaScript and others. When they are opened, the infection process starts and they are triggered to begin downloading/installing malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, etc.). For example, MS Office documents cause infectious by executing malicious macro commands. Upon opening, these documents ask users to enable the macro commands (i.e., to enable editing). If enabled, the infection begins. In Microsoft Office programs released prior to 2010, however, download/installation of malware begins once the dangerous document is opened.

How to avoid installation of malware

To avoid malware infections via spam campaigns, suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened (especially, those received from unknown or suspicious senders). Any attachments or links present in dubious messages must never be opened, as they are the potential origin of a high-risk infection.

You are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, since these newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents infectious documents from initiating infection processes. When rogue files are opened, however, malicious software can also proliferate through untrusted download channels, illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters.

Therefore, use official and verified download sources, as opposed to free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders. Activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device and user safety, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up to date.

Use this to perform regular system scans and for the removal of detected threats/issues. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down" email message:

Subject: Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down

Hi ****,

Recently we received some notifications regarding your account: ****, which might be due for general maintenance and upgrading.

We will ensure that we block your account if we do not hear from you. Please kindly click the link below to carry out the maintenance on your account.
Continue Account Maintenance

The Email Team

This email has been sent from an unmonitored email address. Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to replies.

2019 Email Administrator Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy policy

Screenshot of the phishing website to which the link presented in this email redirects:

 Website the button in Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down email redirects to

Another example of email upgrading-themed spam:

Confirm your email scam (2021-09-21)

Text presented within:

Subject: ******** EMAIL SERVER UPGRADE


******** Server Administrator | IT Support
Dear ********,

We are upgrading and updating all our company email user servers from 08/20/2021 12:16:52 PM Please confirm your email address ******** to keep your account active.

© 2021 ********. All rights reserved.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner 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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Quick menu:

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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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.

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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