Do not trust the Wire Transfer email scam

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

Wire Transfer email scam removal guide

What is Wire Transfer email scam?

There are many examples of phishing emails that scammers send with a purpose to deceive unsuspecting recipients into providing them sensitive information in one way or another. It is common that scammers disguise their emails as official letters from legitimate companies. In this particular case scammers attempt to trick recipients into opening a deceptive website and entering certain information on it.

Wire Transfer email scam email spam campaign

Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into believing that this is a letter regarding a pending electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment and opening a website where they supposed to verify the payment by providing personal information. Scammers use the aforementioned website to extract information such as email address and a password for email account, full name, social security number (SSN), tax identification number and a telephone number. Such information should never be provided on unofficial websites, they can be misused for malicious purposes. For example, it could be misused to steal identities, email accounts (and other accounts that share the same login credentials), commit tax fraud, etc. Also, scammers behind this phishing email may sell obtained information to third parties (other cyber criminals).

Threat Summary:
Name Wire Transfer Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients need to verify a pending ETF transfer payment
Disguise Letter regarding a pending payment
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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To sum up, recipients who fall for them become victims of identity theft, suffer monetary loss, lose access to personal accounts and/or encounter other serious issues. "POWERBALL OFFICIAL 2020 WINNINGS", "Beneficiary/Inheritance Email Scam" and "United Nations Online Lotto Email Scam" are a couple of examples of other email scams. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be to deceive recipients installing various malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojans) as well.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

As a rule, scammers behind malspam send emails with that have a malicious file attached to them, or contain a download link for a malicious file. Either way, their main goal is to deceive recipients into downloading and executing a malicious file that is designed to install malicious software. Examples of files that cyber criminals use in their malspam campaigns are malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, archive files (like ZIP, RAR). It is worthwhile to mention that malicious documents that are opened with the Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions cannot install malicious software without getting a permission to enable macros commands (enable editing/content). However, older versions do not have the "Protected View" mode and install malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

All irrelevant emails that have attachments, website links in them and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted. It is strongly advised not to open files and/or links in such emails without being sure that it is safe. Furthermore, it is recommended not to download or install any software through third party downloaders, installers, via unofficial sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and so on. The safest way to download files and programs is by using official websites and direct download links. Installed programs have to be activated and/or updated with tools that are designed/provided by official developers, none of the other (unofficial, third party) tools should be used for that. Moreover, it is not legal to use unofficial activation tools to activate licensed programs, neither it is legal to use installers for pirated software. And finally, it is important to scan computers for threats regularly and do that with an up-to-date, and reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite. 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 Wire Transfer email scam email letter:

Your attention is urgently needed concerning your pending ETF / ACH Wire Transfer payment.

The payment slip has been securely uploaded on Microsoft Financial Center.

Verify Payment Here

*This document do not require download, just sign online*

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, including any attachments, may contain confidential,
privileged and/or proprietary information which is solely for the use of the intended recipient(s).
Any review, use, disclosure, or retention by others is strictly prohibited. If you are not an intended
recipient, please contact the sender and delete this e-mail, any attachments, and all copies

Deceptive website that is designed to trick users into providing sensitive information:

wire transfer email scam deceptive website

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.

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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.

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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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