Do not fall for UBS INVESTMENT email scam

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

"UBS INVESTMENT Email Scam" removal guide

What is "UBS INVESTMENT Email Scam"?

Scammers behind this email scam attempt to trick recipients into providing certain information by disguising this email as a letter regarding a business proposal and offering recipients to share the profit. It is strongly recommended not to trust this scam and send scammers any requested information.

UBS INVESTMENT Email Scam email spam campaign

This email is disguised as a letter from Dr. Calvin Edwin who supposedly works in the UBS Investment Bank and has discovered an abandoned sum of 15 million GBP that belong to one of the customers who died in a car accident. The main purpose of this scam is to trick recipients into believing that they can become beneficiaries of the 40% of the aforementioned sum of money by cooperating in execution of a legitimate arrangement. For starters, recipients are asked to provide their full name, mobile number, contact address and date of birth, and then wait for further instructions. It is very likely that recipients who would contact these scammers may be asked for other, sensitive details (like credit card details, login credentials) as well. It is common that scammers behind such emails attempt to extract information that could be misused to generate revenue in one or another way. By providing the required information recipients would put themselves at risk of identity theft, monetary loss, problems related to inline privacy, browsing safety, etc. Therefore, such emails must be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name UBS INVESTMENT Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Disguise This email is disguised as a letter regarding a business proposal
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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Some more examples of email scams are "Tokyo Olympics 2020", "Your Google Ads Account Has Been Suspended" and "A File Was Shared With You". As mentioned in the previous paragraph, such emails are being sent with a purpose to deceive unsuspecting recipients into providing various information that scammers could use to generate revenue. Although, there are many cases where cyber criminals use emails as tools to distribute malware as well. They send emails that contain some website link that is designed to download malicious file or some malicious attachment and hope that recipients will execute it. When executed, malicious file installs some malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cyber criminals attempt to deceive users into installing malware through emails by disguising them as legitimate, official. Typically, those emails have a malicious file (or files) attached to them. When opened, that file causes installation of some malicious software. The same applies to files that are downloaded through malicious website links. A couple of examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF, Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like RAR, ZIP), executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious MS Office documents infect computers only when users enable editing/content (macros commands). Although, it applies only to documents that are opened with MS Office 2010 or newer. Older versions do not include the Protected View mode and infect computers without asking any permission.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended to download files and software only from official websites and via direct download links. Other channels like third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, free file hosting pages, etc., are often used to distribute malware. Emails that are received from suspicious, unknown address and contain web link or attachment should not be trusted. Especially they are irrelevant. Installed software must be updated and activated only through tools or implemented functions that are designed by official developers. Unofficial, third party activators, updaters are often designed to infect computers with malicious software. Besides, it is not legal to activate any licensed software through unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Also, it is important to scan the operating system for threats regularly, it should be done by using reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software that is always up to date. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "UBS INVESTMENT Email Scam" email letter:

Subject: Business proposal


From Dr. Calvin Edwin
Dear Friend.

 

I am Dr. Dr. Calvin Edwin from Brondesbury,North West London, here in England. I work for UBS INVESTMENT Bank London branch. I am writing you from my office that will be of an immense benefit for both of us. In my department, being a member of the Group Executive Com-mittee and Chief Risk Officer (Greater London Regional Office), I discovered an abandoned sum of £15 Million Great British Pounds Sterling (Fifteen Million Great British Pounds) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr. Steve Allen who unfortunately lost his life in a car accident including his wife and only daughter.

 

The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of this transaction. The Bank officials have been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for this claim but nobody has done that. I personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the deceased of this fund so that the proceeds of this account valued at £15 Million Pounds will be transferred into your bank account as the next of kin to Late Mr. Steve Allen.

 

This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% for me and 40% to you. I have secured all necessary legal documents that will be used to back up this claim we are making. All I need to do is to fill in your names to the documents and legalize it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate beneficiary of the fund.

 

All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us sees this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I want you to understand that I have worked in this bank for 17 years, and I have been able to secure all legal documents to enable you inherit this fund

 

Please provide me the following: as we have few days to run it through this is very URGENT PLEASE.

 

1. Full Name
2. Your Direct Mobile Number
3. You’re Contact Address
4. Date of Birth

 

Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you hoping that you will find this deal interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest I will furnish you with more information. Endeavor to let me know your decision as soon as possible.

 

Best Regards,
Dr. Calvin Edwin

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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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