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Do not provide credentials for scammers behind this email verification scam

Also Known As: Email Verification spam
Damage level: Medium

What is an email verification phishing scam?

Commonly, email phishing scams appear as official messages and include a website link whereby recipients are asked to provide sensitive information, such as login credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords) for various accounts, credit card details, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and other data that could be misused for malicious purposes.

Scammers behind this phishing email attempt to trick recipients into providing their login credentials for the Roundcube email client.

Email Verification phishing scam

Scammers attempt to trick recipients into believing that they must verify their email accounts, otherwise they will not be able to use them (access will be denied). Their main goal is to deceive recipients into clicking the "Confirm Now" link and providing their login credentials (usernames and passwords) for Roundcube. In this way, scammers send this phishing email to steal Roundcube email accounts.

The 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 for other malicious purposes.

Scammers could also gain access to email messages including those that might contain personal information (credit card details, telephone numbers, names, surnames, addresses, etc.). Some people use identical login credentials for more than one account, and in such cases scammers might attempt to steal other accounts as well.

Note that it is not the first case whereby scammers disguise their emails as messages from legitimate companies (in this case, The Roundcube Team), however, none of those companies have anything to do 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 Message 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.
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To summarize, most phishing emails are disguised as official, urgent and/or important messages from legitimate companies, organizations or other entities. Scammers behind them attempt to trick recipients into providing confidential, sensitive information.

Note 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?

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.

Some examples of files that cyber criminals send via email are Microsoft Office and PDF documents, executables (.exe), JavaScript, and archives (ZIP, RAR).

Note that malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions install malicious software only if users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). 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 malware spread via spam mail, you are strongly advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present within them.

Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malicious programs also proliferate through untrusted download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updaters.

Therefore, only download from official/verified sources and activate and update software with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

To ensure device integrity and user privacy, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite 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 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 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

Another example of email verification scam:

Email verification scam (2021-02-10)

Text presented within:

Subject: Verify Ownership E-mail

- Verification
                        
Email Confirmation

To confirm your email - click the link below:

Confirm email


-   Administrator
-------------------------------------------
Product: - WebMail

Yet another variant of email verification scam:

Email verification spam (2021-02-10)

Text presented within:

Subject: password to ******** Expires today

 

Email Account Verification Feb 2021
 
To: ********
 
Secure Messaging
Notification

Dear ********
Kindly inform your password to ******** Expires today.

Date and Time: 2/10/2021 6:34:32 a.m.

Please kindly use the below button to continue with the same password.
 
Proceed To Keep Same Password
 
Further messages might be prevented if any of the above actions are not performed.
This email was sent to ********

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted via this email:

Phishing website promoted via email verification spam

Another example of email verification spam:

Email verification-themed spam email

Text presented within:

Subject: Your email: ******** will be blocked

 

Message from Trusted server.

Dear Customer

Due to new updates on our server your email: ******** will stop sending and receiving emails if not verified within 24hrs

To keep your account with us, kindly verify below

VERIFY

©2021 ******** Administrator Service. All Rights Reserved

Screenshot of the promoted phishing website:

Phishing website promoted via email verification spam

Another example of email verification-themed spam email promoting a phishing website:

Email verification-themed spam email promoting a phishing website

Text presented within:

Subject: Session Expired For -

 

Dear ********,

An email verification is required to continue using this email!

Verify Now

Note: Your mails may not be delivered until you verify your account.

Sincerely,
******** Support Team.

Screenshot of the promoted phishing website:

Phishing website promoted via email verification-themed spam email (2021-04-01)

Yet another example of email verification-themed spam used to promote a phishing website:

Email verification-themed spam promoting a phishing site (2021-04-15)

Text presented within:

Subject: ******** Avoid Shotdown


********

Your Email ******** needs to be Re-verified to avoid Shutdown.
You have less than 24hrs.

Use the link below to continue using this service

CLICK TO CONTINUE

Thanks,

******** respects your privαcy. Review our οnline Privacy Statement

Yet another email verification-themed spam promoting a phishing website:

Email verification-themed spam (2021-04-22)

Text presented within:

Subject: IMPORTANT UPDATE

 

******** Verification Recuired
   
Email Update Required
Your pcrisk.com email is out of Date,you won,t be able to send or receive new messages.
We Recommend you confirm your Account within 12 hours to avoid being disactivated.
Confirm your Email
Thanks ,
******** account team

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing website promoted via email verification-themed spam (2021-04-22)

Another example of email verification-themed spam:

Email verification-themed spam (2021-06-04)

Text presented within:

Subject: cPanel ******** Email Verification Required ********
 
Attention :
Your email account ******** is currently undergoing an annual upgrade
To avoid account shut down Please verify your email below to complete this upgrade
YES, THIS IS MY EMAIL

This service is free of charge
********  © 2021 All rights reserved

Another example of email verification-themed spam:

Email verification scam (2021-09-21)

Text presented within:

Subject: ******** ACCOUNT VERIFICATION

 

ATTENTION ********

This is  to inform your that  we are doing account verification and your account ******** is included in our I.T account verification list please kindly verify your account below

Verify Your Account Now

NOTE ALL UNVERIFIED ACCOUNT WILL BE TERMINATE IN 24HRS TIME

THANK

******** IT ADMIN UPDATE 2021 ALL RIGHT RESERVED  
this is 2021 automated  message replies can not be answered

Yet another example of mail verification-themed spam used to promote a phishing site:

Mail verification-themed spam email (2022-06-02)

Text presented within:

Subject: MAIL VERIFICATION "EXPIRY"

 

Mail Verification

-  

The password of your email account -  will expire on 06/02/2022

To continue using your - kindly re-confirm ownership below.

Re-confirm Password

Thanks,

I T Administrator.

This email was sent to -
Organization:  pcrisk.pt Corporation. All rights reserved. @ 2022

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing site promoted via mail verification-themed spam email (2022-06-02)

Another example of email verification-themed spam email promoting a phishing site:

Email verification-themed spam email (2022-07-15)

Text presented within:

Dear - ,
Due to new security updates on our server,

The password to your email account: ******** may reset automatically in 30 days time if you do not verify your email account.

Follow the link below to verify and retain password.
VERIFY

All rights reserved. ******** ® Server 2022.

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing site promoted via email verification-themed spam email (2022-07-15)

Yet another example of email verification-themed spam email used to promote a phishing site:

Email verification-themed spam email used to promote a phishing site (2022-07-15)

Text presented within:

Subject: Account Verification

Please confirm your email account with ********
********
 
Due to the latest regulations concerning online safety and KYC
procedure ( Know your Customer ), we are sending this urgent notice to all
Email Administrator users, in order to filter real and active accounts.
In order to avoid your ******** address from being closed,
please confirm you are still using your account :

Confirm email account


By logging in you are confirming that you are still using our services and that the person registered is the person using them.
            
You received this email to let you know about important changes to your Account and services with ********.
 2022 © Webmail LLC. Legal Notices / Tranparency policy

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing website promoted via email verification-themed spam email (2022-07-15)

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Quick menu:

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.

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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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