What is the "Account Access Disabled" email?
"Account Access Disabled" refers to a spam email campaign. The term "spam campaign" is used to describe a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of scam emails are distributed.
The deceptive messages sent through this campaign state that access to recipients' email accounts has supposedly been disabled and, to recover, the verification process must be followed. Should users attempt to access their accounts via the button in these emails, they are redirected to a phishing website designed to collect entered data (e.g. log-in credentials).
The "Account Access Disabled" scam emails claim that access to recipients' mail accounts has been blocked and verification is required. Therefore, users will no longer receive incoming emails and will be unable to send messages from their accounts.
Allegedly, if recipients fail to carry out the verification process they will lose their mail accounts and are responsible for this problem. Should recipients click the "Verify my Account Status" button, they are redirected to a phishing site. All information provided by the "Account Access Disabled" emails is false.
Websites promoted through this spam campaign are presented as account/service sign-in pages. Despite often appearing legitimate or identical to those of the supposed service (e.g. a legitimate email service provider), they are malicious. Rather than allowing users to access their accounts, they simply collect (i.e. steal) log-in information.
By entering their usernames and passwords, users unintentionally reveal them to the individuals behind the phishing website, however, the threat posed by such sites is more than the loss of just email accounts. Scammers are particularly interested in emails, as they are commonly connected with other accounts/services.
Through a stolen email address, associated platforms can likewise be hijacked. Accounts of interest include (but are not limited to) social media, social networking, messaging, data storage/sharing, e-commerce, online money transfers, e-wallet, banking, and so on.
To summarize, by trusting "Account Access Disabled" scam emails, many users risk experiencing serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft.
Should you have already attempted to sign-in through the phishing web pages promoted via "Account Access Disabled" scam messages, you are strongly advised to change the passwords to the email and other accounts connected to it. Additionally, you are advised to contact official support for all potentially compromised accounts.
|Name||Account Access Disabled Email Scam.|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim access to users' mail accounts has been disabled and the status must be verified - to recover access.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
"Email Quarantine", "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down", and "Your account has encountered an error 505" are some examples of other spam campaigns similar to "Account Access Disabled".
Phishing is not used exclusively to target email accounts - these pages can target other accounts/services and even personal information (e.g. names, surnames, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, banking accounts and credit card details, etc.) Furthermore, spam campaigns are also used to proliferate malware (e.g. Trojans, ransomware and other malicious programs).
Scam emails have a variety of disguises (e.g. they are presented as notifications from genuine entities/organizations) and appeal to different emotions (e.g. fear, curiosity, excitement, etc.). Due to the relative prevalence of spam email, you are strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Typically, cyber criminals behind malspam campaigns send emails with a file attached to them or a download link to the malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into opening/executing the rogue file, which then installs malicious software.
These versions include "Protected View" mode, which does not allow opened malicious documents to install malware automatically. Older versions do not include this feature and install malicious software without asking permission.
How to avoid installation of malware
To avoid infecting the system with malware spread through spam mail, you are strongly advised not to open suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present in them. Use official and verified download channels.
Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers, since illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters commonly proliferate malicious software. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is paramount to have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated.
Furthermore, use these programs to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential 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 "Account Access Disabled" scam email message:
Account Access Disabled
Access to your account will be denied and you will not be allowed to receive incoming messages or deliver outgoing messages shortly.
Also, please note that you will be responsible for the loss of your account, if you do not agree to complete the verification of your ******** mailbox.
Verify my Account Status
You received this email to let you know about important changes to your ****** Account and services.
© 2020 ****** LLC - for ********
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
- What is Account Access Disabled spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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.