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Avoid losing your email account via Xerox Scanned Document scam emails

Also Known As: Xerox Scanned Document spam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Xerox Scanned Document" scam email?

"Xerox Scanned Document Email Scam" refers to a phishing spam email campaign. The term "spam campaign" is used to describe a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent.

The messages distributed through this spam campaign claim that recipients have received a scanned document and, to retrieve it, they are instructed to click the provided link. Furthermore, the scam emails are concluded with "© 2020 Microsoft Corporation.

All rights reserved", which is intended to imply that the mail is from Microsoft. These emails are in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation. Furthermore, the messages promote a phishing website, which collects data entered into it.

Xerox Scanned Document email spam campaign

The "Xerox Scanned Document" scam emails claim that recipients have received a document, which has been sent "using a Xerox WorkCentre multifunction device on Microsoft Exchange Portal". To access the document, recipients are instructed to visit the listed URL and/or click the "Retrieve Document" button.

As mentioned, the email is supposedly signed by Microsoft - this is false and the aforementioned corporation is in no way associated with these messages. The link promoted by this spam campaign redirects to a phishing website disguised as the log-in/sign-in page of the Outlook Web App.

This site records information users type into it, and the email credentials (i.e. email addresses and passwords) entered into it are delivered to the scammers.

Email accounts are of particular interest to cyber criminals, as they are commonly connected with other accounts such as social networking, social media, streaming services, data storage and transfer, e-commerce, online money transfers, digital wallets, banking, and many others.

Through stolen mail accounts, scammers can gain access to and hijack various associated accounts.

To elaborate on how some of these accounts may be misused: communication accounts (e.g. social, messaging, etc.) can be used by the criminals to demand loans from contacts/friends and/or to proliferate malware (by sharing infectious files) under the guise of the genuine owner.

Should especially sensitive and/or compromising content be found on data-storing accounts, it may be held for ransom under the threat of publication and/or sale to the victim's competitors.

Accounts that directly deal with finances (e.g. banking, money transfers, etc.) or ones that store financial information (e.g. e-commerce and those that offer paid services) can be misused to make fraudulent transactions and/or to make online purchases.

To summarize, trusting the "Xerox Scanned Document" emails can result in serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. If attempts to log-in through this phishing website have already been made, the email and all connected account credentials (i.e. passwords) must be changed immediately.

You should also contact the official support of all potentially compromised accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Xerox Scanned Document Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Emails claim users have received a scanned document.
Disguise Microsoft Corporation.
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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"SendGrid Email Scam", "Your account has encountered an error 505", "OneDrive Email Scam", "SharePoint Email Scam" and "Server Notification" are some examples of other phishing spam campaigns. Emails sent during these operations are usually disguised as "official", "urgent", "important", "priority" and so on, however, the messages can be used for other scams as well.

Furthermore, spam campaigns are also used to distribute malware (e.g. Trojans, ransomware, etc.). Regardless of what the scam emails promise, offer, request or demand, the purpose is identical: to generate profit for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them. Therefore, you are strongly advised to exercise caution with all received mail.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected through dangerous files, which are distributed via spam campaigns. These emails contain download links of malicious files and/or the files are simply attached to the messages. Infectious files can be in various formats such as archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on.

When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection process (i.e. malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.

In MS Office versions released before 2010, this process begins when a document is opened, however, newer programs (released after 2010) have "Protected View" mode, which prevents macros from being executed automatically.

When a document is opened in these versions, users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content). Therefore, infection processes are only triggered if macros are manually enabled.

How to avoid installation of malware

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially those with any links or file attachments within them, as this can result in high-risk system infection. Additionally, you are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Malware is also proliferated via dubious download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and bogus updaters. Therefore, download from official/trustworthy sources, and active and update products with tools or functions provided by legitimate developers.

To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated.

This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats to remove detected threats. 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 "Xerox Scanned Document" email message:

Subject: Xerox Scanned - Document: Important Company Guideline Notes

 

Attn: ********

 

-You have an important ******** designated Document-

 

It was scanned and sent to you [********] using a Xerox WorkCentre multifunction device on Microsoft Exchange Portal.

 

For more ********-specific information as it relates to you, please visit ********

 

Retrieve Document

 

© 2020 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Screenshot of the phishing website, disguised as the sign-in/log-in page of Outlook Web App:

Xerox Scanned Document email scam promoted phishing website

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Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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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