Do not provide credentials for scammers behind email verification scam

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

Email verification scam removal guide

What is email verification phishing scam?

It is common that email phishing scams are designed to look like official letters and they include some website link where recipients are asked to provide some sensitive information, like login credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords) for various accounts, credit card details, bank account numbers, social security numbers and/or other information that could be misused for malicious purposes. Scammers behind this phishing email attempt to trick recipients into providing their login credentials for Roundcube email client.

Email Verification phishing scam

Scammers behind this phishing email attempt to trick recipients into believing that they need to verify their email account, otherwise they will not be able to use it (access to it will be denied). Their main goal is to deceive recipients into clicking on the "Confirm Now" link and providing their login credentials (username and password) for Roundcube. Simply said, scammers send this phishing email with a purpose to steal Roundcube email accounts. Stolen accounts could be misused to trick other people into transferring money, spread this phishing email further, send malspam emails to other people, steal identities and/or for other malicious purposes. Also, they could access all the emails, including the ones that may contain personal information (like credit card details, telephone numbers, names, surnames, addresses, etc.). Since there are people who use the same login credentials for more than one account, scammers may attempt to steal other accounts as well. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not the first case when scammers disguise their emails as letters from legitimate companies (in this case The Roundcube Team), however, none of those companies have anything do to with phishing emails or other scams.

Threat Summary:
Name Email Verification Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Email verification is required to continue using it
Disguise Letter from email service provider
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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To summarize, most phishing emails are disguised as official, urgent and/or important letters from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. Scammers behind them attempt to trick recipients into providing confidential, sensitive information. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used to deliver malware as well (e.g., Trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners). Some examples of other phishing emails are "Walmart Attempted Delivery Email Scam", "Message Attachments Were Delayed" and "Zoom Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Recipients infect computers with malware through malspam emails when they open malicious attachments of files that they have downloaded via provided website links. Like most phishing emails, malspam emails are disguised as official letters from legitimate companies as well. In most cases such emails contain some malicious archive file (like RAR, ZIP), executable file (like .exe), Microsoft Office document, PDF document or JavaScript file. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious Microsoft Office documents do not install malware if users do not enable macro commands (editing/content) in them. However, only when users open those documents with MS Office 2010 or never - older versions do not include the "Protected View" mode and install malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Website links and/or attachments in irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious and/or unknown addresses should not be opened. In most cases such emails are used by cyber criminals as tools to trick recipients into infecting computers with malware. Software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Any other sources should not be trusted (e.g., third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, third party downloaders). Furthermore, installed programs must be updated and activated by using tools and/or functions that are provided/designed by their official developers. Other (unofficial, third party) tool should never be used - very often they are designed to distribute malware. Moreover, it is not legal to use unofficial activation tools to activate licensed software, or use installers for pirated software. The operating system should be scanned for threats regularly and it should be done by using an up-to-date and reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. 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 Email verification phishing scam:

Subject: Email Notification

Dear users,

Email verification is required to continue using this email!

Confirm Now

Note: You must verify your account using webmail before the next signin to your account to avoid access denied

Sincerely
pcrisk.com support team.

Screenshot of the website that is used to trick recipients into entering their email account credentials:

email verification scam website used to steal login credentials

Example of yet another email verification-themed spam email used to promote a phishing website:

Email verification-themed spam email promoting a phishing website

Text presented within:

Subject: (-) Verify your account

Dear ********,
 

This is to inform your email account (********) service is currently out-dated and some of your incoming & outgoing messages status already showing pending in our server.
Your service to send/receive E-messages could be suspended next 24 hours time if not verified.
 
You are requested to quickly click below verify button to update/activate your service in full and start enjoying your E-messages service again.
 
Click here to verify

Note:  Your email account send/receive services will permanently be disabled if you fail to verify correctly.

©  2020 ******** Administrator. All Rights Reversed.

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing website promoted via email verification-themed spam email

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.

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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