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Do not click links in Credito Agricola email scams

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is the Credito Agricola email scam?

Typically, cyber criminals behind these emails attempt to convince unsuspecting recipients into clicking the links and provide sensitive information (such as bank accounts, credit card details, social security numbers, and other information) on the opened pages or to send the details directly via email.

Note that phishing emails often seem like they are sent from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities.

Credito Agricola email scam

This email is in Portuguese and disguised as an email from Credito Agricola, a company in Portugal that offers banking services such as insurance, deposits and investment, credit, and online banking. Therefore, it can be assumed that scammers behind this email are targeting people living in Portugal who are using the Credito Agricola company's services.

The email states that the bank has blocked its service because the limit of attempts to update security keys has been exceeded. Recipients are encouraged to open a provided website (via the "Realizar Processo") and provide certain information to unblock the account. Furthermore, they are warned that, unless they do this within three days of receiving the email, they must pay 147.30 EUR to unblock the account.

In fact, the link in this email opens phishing websites asking users to provide personal information. Some may be designed to appear as the official Credito Agricola website and used to trick recipients into providing credit card details, bank accounts, and other banking information or login credentials.

Threat Summary:
Name Credito Agricola Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's Credito Agricola bank account is blocked
Disguise Message from the Credito Agricola company
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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In summary, this email is disguised as an official message from the Credito Agricola bank and is used to trick recipients into opening phishing websites and providing sensitive information on them. Typically, cyber criminals behind these emails attempt to trick unsuspecting recipients into providing details that can then be used to steal identities, personal accounts (e.g., email, social media, banking accounts), make fraudulent purchases and transactions, and for other malicious purposes.

Note that the emails can be used to extract personal from recipients and trick them into installing malware via attachments or download links for malicious files.

More examples of phishing emails are "Ruralvía Seguridad Email Scam", "Amazon Customer Care Email Scam" and "Verify Microsoft Account Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malware (including ransomware) is usually distributed via malspam campaigns, unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools, Trojans, dubious file/software download sources, and fake software updating tools.

When cyber criminals attempt to distribute malware via malspam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or download links for malicious files. Typically, they disguise their emails as official and important. If recipients open the attached file (or a file downloaded via a website link), they cause installation of malicious software.

Cyber criminals commonly attach executable files (.exe), archive files such as RAR, ZIP, PDF documents, JavaScript files and Microsoft Office documents to their emails. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate licensed software illegally (bypass activation), however, they often install malicious programs and do not activate any legitimate installed software.

Trojans are other rogue programs that can cause chain infections. I.e., when a Trojan is installed on the operating system, it can install additional malware.

Free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, and third party downloaders are examples of other sources that are used to distribute malware. Cyber criminals disguise malicious files as legitimate and regular. When users download and open them, they inadvertently infect their computers with malware.

Fake software updating tools install malicious software rather than updates/fixes for installed programs, or they exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not trust irrelevant emails that have files attached (or contain website links) and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages or other similar sources/tools.

Use only official websites and direct links. Installed software should never be updated or activated with third party, unofficial tools, since they can install malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to use third party tools to activate licensed software.

The only legitimate way to update and activate software is to use tools and functions that are provided by the official developers. Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.

If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text in the email:

Subject: CREDITO AGRICOLA ALERTA - Servico Bloqueado Ative Agora MULTA EUR 147,30. - ( 774943952583  )

Servico Bloqueado.
- para sua seguranca, este servico encontra-se bloqueado por tempo indeterminado porque execedeu o tempo limite permitido para realizar as atualizacoes de suas chaves de seguranca.

Sera necessario que acesse nosso web site para verificar suas informacoes em nossa base de dados, ou os servicos oferecidos por nos on-line serao bloqueados por tempo indeterminado em sua conta.

Caso nao realize o processo on-line no tempo estimado de 03 (tres) dias, a contar desta data de recebimento deste informativo, para realizar o desbloqueio sera necessario procurar uma de nossas filiais mais proximas e mediante pagamento de multa no valor de EUR 147,30 para realizar este procedimento.

Atenciosamente
Credito Agricola.

Realizar Processo
Este e-mail foi enviado para voce por que e um de nossos clientes e segundo nossa politica de uso, voce esta qualificado para receber notificacoes on-line quando necessarias. Protocolo de atendimento: 49693989-49693989, referente a esta solicitacao on-line.

© Credito Agricola - O Banco Nacional com pronuncia local. - 2021. Todos os direitos reservados.
02/02/2021 04:35:11

Screenshot of one of the websites that the link in this email opens:

credito agricola email scam in coming soon landing website

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:
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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 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.

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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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