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Avoid being scammed by fake "Banco de Espana" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is the fake "Banco de Espana" email?

"Banco de Espana email scam" refers to a spam campaign. This term defines a mass-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. The scam messages distributed through this campaign are disguised as deposit notifications from "Banco de Espana".

Note that these emails are in no way associated with the real Banco de España (Bank of Spain). The purpose of the deceptive emails is to promote a phishing/malicious website via link presented in them.

Banco de Espana email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Banco de Espana" scam emails (subject/title "sigue deposito en su cuenta bancaria 3 mil euros - [ id 656427097 ]" may vary) claim that a certain sum has been deposited into the recipient's bank accounts. The sum, worth three thousand euros, is a loan request that the recipient's agency has supposedly submitted.

To print the deposit data, recipients are instructed to click the provided link. Doing so redirects to a dangerous phishing site. Therefore, you are strongly advised against trusting the fake "Banco de Espana" messages. Phishing web pages are designed to record any information entered into them.

They are often disguised as legitimate websites (e.g., log-in pages of online bank accounts). These sites are created to collect sensitive/personal information. For example, names, surnames, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, log-in credentials (IDs, usernames, passwords), banking account and credit card details, etc.

The gathered data can be misused in a variety of ways such as stealing users' accounts, sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals), used to facilitate other scams, and so on.

Scammers can use hijacked communication accounts (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messaging services, etc.) to ask contacts for loans and/or spread malware (by sharing infectious files) under the guise of the genuine owner.

Bank accounts and others that directly or indirectly deal with financial information (e.g., store credit card details) are of particular interest to scammers. These accounts can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

Scam emails are also used to proliferate malware. This can be done through bogus websites. Upon entry, these sites initiate the infection chain (i.e., download/installation) of Trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and other malware.

In summary, by trusting "Banco de Espana" scam messages, users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Banco de Espana Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim a sum has been transferred into recipients' bank accounts.
Disguise Scam emails are presented as mail from Banco de España (Bank of Spain).
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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"N26 Email Scam", "Email Disabling Service", "I Monitored Your Device On The Net For A Long Time", and "Credito Agricola Email Scam" are some examples of other spam campaigns.

The emails spread through these campaigns are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", and similar, and may even be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, companies, agencies, organizations, service providers, and other entities.

As well as promoting phishing and other scams, spam mail is also used to proliferate malware.

Regardless of how scam messages operate, their purpose is the same: to generate profit for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them.

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

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 "Banco de Espana" scam email message:

Subject: sigue deposito en su cuenta bancaria 3 mil euros - [ id 656427097  ]

 

Banco de Espana - adjunto de deposito    

                                           

Sigue un archivo adjunto de deposito de 3 mil euros en su cuenta segun prestamo solicitado a su agencia


Imprimir:

 

DEPOSITO ADJUNTO DE 3 MIL EUROS - 2021.38.00.019685-2 (TF-1)

Another example of Banco De Espana-themed spam email (the link within this email downloads a .zip archive containing a malicious .msi file, which injects the Banload Trojan into the system):

Banco De Espana spam email (2021-02-12)

Text presented within:

Subject: sigue el deposito de 5.987,20 mil euros en su cuenta bancaria - [ id 570174872 ]

 

Resultado de imagen para pdf
Descargar todo como.zip  archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)

se anexa el seguiente comprobante de transferencia
Remitente: Servicio de Administracion financiero.
pago de reembolso relacionado con el impuesto sobre la renta:
A quien corresponda
SERIE Y FOLIO:  2158945
FECHA DE EMISION:  11/02/2021
MONTO TOTAL:  5987.20

Servicio de Administracion banco espana,
+34 1308 808 800 Capitales y areas metropolitanas

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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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.

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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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