Do not trust the E-Mail Clustered email scam

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

E-Mail Clustered email scam removal guide

What is E-Mail Clustered email scam?

It is common that scammers use email to trick recipients into providing some personal, sensitive information like credit card details, login credentials for various accounts, etc. Usually they attempt to do so by disguising their emails as official, important letters from legitimate companies, organizations. This particular email scam is disguised as a letter from email service provider and used to to trick recipients into providing their email account login credentials.

E-Mail Clustered email scam email spam campaign

Scammers behind this scam send emails saying that certain number of other emails cannot be delivered to due to a recent configuration error. Their main goal is to trick recipients into believing that they can solve this problem by approving pending emails via the provided website link. That link is designed to open a page where visitors are asked to enter login credentials for their email account. It is worthwhile to mention that recipients who would enter their credentials on that page may lose access not only to their email accounts but also to other accounts that can be accessed with the same credentials.

Stolen accounts could be misused to trick other users into making money transactions, spread this phishing email further, send malspam emails, steal identities, personal information like credit card details, telephone numbers, names, surnames, addresses, and for other malicious purposes. Also, stolen accounts and/or information could be monetized by selling it to third parties (other cyber criminals). Either way, it is strongly recommended not to trust emails like this one or enter credentials on unofficial, suspicious or untrustworthy in any other way websites.

Threat Summary:
Name E-Mail Clustered Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails cannot be delivered due to a recent configuration error
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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There are many examples of emails scams that are (or were) used to trick recipients into providing sensitive information. Some of them are "Email Verification Scam", "Message Attachments Were Delayed Email Scam" and "Deactivating All Inactive Accounts Email Scam". It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used to trick recipients into installing malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan-type malware) as well.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Recipients infect computers with malware via malspam when they open malicious attachments, or files that they have downloaded via links in such emails. Examples of files that that can be used to distribute malware via email can be malicious executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, PDF, Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR). It is worthwhile to mention that malicious Microsoft Office files infect systems only if recipients enable editing/content (macros commands) in them. Although, it does not apply to malicious documents that users open with MS Office versions that were released after year 2010 - those documents infect computers with malware automatically because the aforementioned versions do not include the "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended to update and activate installed software only with tools that are designed by its official developers. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not legal to use unofficial activation ('cracking') tools to activate licensed software (or use installers for pirated software). Also, it is advised not to open links or attachments in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software, files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages, third party downloaders (and installers), etc., should not be used. Additionally, it is recommended to scan a computer for threats regularly and use 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 in the E-Mail Clustered email scam:

Subject: Found (8) clustered e-mails not pending and not delivered yet to your webmail..


****** E-Mail Clustered On 12/14/2020 9:02:59 p.m.

Found nearly (5) clustered e-mails not pending and not delivered yet to your webmail.    
Hi postmaster,

Due to a recent configuration error, some of your emails have not been properly synchronized with your mailbox.

Click below options to clear this error and download your mails.:


Check/Approve pending mails

Notify Error To Support
©****** Notification | All Rights Reserved.

Screenshot of the website that scammers use to trick recipients into provoding their email login credentials:

e-mail clustered email scam website used to steal email account credentials

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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