Do not click the website link in the the Amazon Customer Care email scam

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

Amazon Customer Care email scam removal guide

What is Amazon Customer Care email scam?

Usually by sending phishing emails scammers seek to trick unsuspecting recipients into providing them some sensitive information, for example, bank account numbers, social security numbers, credit card details, login credentials. As a rule, such emails are disguised as letters from legitimate organizations, companies, or other entities. It is strongly advised to ignore such emails (not to click any links in them or provide personal information).

Amazon Customer Care email scam

This phishing email is disguised as a letter from Amazon, it says that to continue using the Amazon account a recipient supposed to update billing/payment information. It includes the "Login & Update" hyperlink which, if clicked, opens a fake Amazon sign in website asking to enter email address (or mobile number) and password. Simply said, scammers send this phishing email with a purpose to steal Amazon login credentials. Such emails have to be ignored to avoid unknown, suspicious, or fraudulent purchases, orders, credit card transactions, suspicious password changes, account changes, or potential fraud.

Threat Summary:
Name Amazon Customer Care Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Billing information needs to be updated to continue using Amazon account
Disguise Email from Amazon
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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More phishing email examples are "Verify Microsoft Account", "Emails Sync Failure" and "Mail - Quarantined". What most of these phishing emails have in common is that they are disguised as official, important letters from legitimate companies (or other entities) and contain a website link that opens some deceptive website where visitors are asked to provide login credentials or other sensitive information. It is important to mention that emails can be used not only to extract personal information from recipients but also to trick them into installing malware on their computers (via malicious attachment or download link).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Recipients install malware via emails when they open a malicious attachment or a file that they have downloaded via website link. Usually in such cases cyber criminals use malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, or archive files like ZIP, RAR to deliver malware. It is worthwhile to mention that infected MS Office documents do not install malware unless malicious macros are enabled. In other words, unless editing/content in a malicious document is enabled. However, if a malicious MS Office document is opened with MS Office version that was released prior to the year 2010, then it infects a computer automatically. It is because the aforementioned versions do not have the "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advisable not to use Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients and so on), unofficial websites,  third party downloaders, installers, etc., neither to download or install software. Only official websites and direct links should be used for that. Unofficial, fake tools should never be used to update or activate any software as well. It should updated or activated only through implemented functions or with tools from official software developers. Moreover, it is not legal to use third party tools to activate any licensed software. Attachments and links in emails that are sent from suspicious, unknown addresses and are irrelevant should not be opened: it is common that files and links in such emails are used to deliver malware. Computers should be scanned for threats regularly, it is advisable to do it with a 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 email:

Subject: Necessary billing information update for your Amazon account.

Update account billing informations.
Dear Valued Amazon Customer,
Necessary billing information update for
your Amazon account.
Please update your payment information to continue shopping with us.
Login & Update


Need help visit our Help Center. Please do not reply to this email.

Screenshot of the fake Amazon website:

amazon customer care email scam website used to steal 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.

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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