FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Do not trust the fake "Verify Microsoft Account" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

"Verify Microsoft Account" email scam removal guide

What is the fake "Verify Microsoft Account" email?

"Verify Microsoft Account" refers to an email spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam letters are sent. "Verify Microsoft Account" emails are disguised as notifications from Microsoft Corporation, concerning a necessary Microsoft account verification - by missing which recipients risk having theirs deleted. It must be emphasized that these scam letters are in no way associated with the actual Microsoft Corporation. The purpose of said fake notifications is to extract users' Microsoft account log-in credentials (i.e. usernames and passwords) through a phishing website.

Verify Microsoft Account email spam campaign

The "Verify Microsoft Account" scam emails (subject/title "Account Update!"; may vary) is presented as a final notification concerning the upcoming block to users' incoming emails. The reason given by the fake letters is a supposedly skipped Microsoft account verification. Recipients are warned that if they fail to verify their accounts within the next following hours - their accounts are likely to be deleted from Microsoft's databases.

The "Verify Now" button in the emails redirects to a phishing website, which is presented as the Microsoft account log-in page. Despite its legitimate appearance, the webpage is fake and its purpose is to record any information provided to (i.e. typed into) it. This site targets users' Microsoft account log-in credentials and other information connected to it (e.g. emails, phone numbers, Skype usernames, etc.). Hence, by entering any information to phishing webpages - users inadvertently expose it to scammers. To summarize, trusting "Verify Microsoft Account" letters or other scam emails - can result in account theft, system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. If attempts to log-in through the phishing website have already been made, it is strongly advised to change the passwords of any potentially compromised accounts. It is also recommended to contact the official support of such accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Verify Microsoft Account Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails notify recipients that they must verify their Microsoft accounts.
Disguise Microsoft Corporation
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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

"Emails Sync Failure", "Coinbase Email Scam", "Banco Montepio" and "eBay Email Scam" are some examples of other phishing spam campaigns. Deceptive/Scam emails are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from legitimate corporations, companies, institutions, organizations, service providers and other entities. Aside from phishing, such emails are also used for other scams and malware (e.g. trojan, ransomware, etc.) proliferation. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns infect systems via virulent files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails and/or the letters can contain download links of malicious content. Infectious files can be in a variety of formats, e.g. archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened - malware download/installation is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 - macros are executed the moment a document is opened. The later versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macro commands. Instead, users are asked to enable them (i.e. to enable editing/content); hence, infection processes can only be jumpstarted by manually enabling macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread through spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspect and/or irrelevant emails - especially, any attachments or links present in them. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Other popular malicious software distribution methods include: untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to always use official/verified download sources, as well as activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the fake "Verify Microsoft Account" email letter:

Subject: Account Update!

 

Microsoft

 

Dear Microsoft User

 

This is the last time we notified you that we will stop processing incoming emails in your account reasons are you failed to verify your Microsoft account which may lead to permanent delete of your account from our data-base in the next few hours.

 

Kindly take a minute to complete our email verification below

 

Verify Now

 

Important Notice- Account disconnection will take place today 12:00 Midnight if issue not resolved.

 

Microsoft respects your privacy. Read our privacy policy for more information.

 

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Screenshot of the page the "Verify Now" button in the scam emails redirects to:

Verify Microsoft Account email scam phishing page 1

Screenshot of the phishing site the previous page redirects to:

Verify Microsoft Account email scam phishing page 2

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

Click to post a comment

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
possible malware infections QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of possible malware infections on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.