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Do not trust fake Facebook emails that promote phishing websites

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

"Facebook email scam" removal guide

What is the fake "Facebook" email?

"Facebook email scam" refers to a spam campaign - mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - inform recipients that suspicious activity has been detected on their Facebook accounts. The information provided by these scam emails is false, and the letters themselves are in no way associated with Facebook, Inc. The goal of the "Facebook email scam" is to promote a phishing/malicious website designed to record data entered into it.

Facebook email spam campaign

The scam emails with the subject/title "SUSPICIOUS CONNECTION TO YOUR ACCOUNT" (may vary) inform recipients that a user has logged into their Facebook social networking account. This log-in occurred through an unrecognized Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. The fake "Facebook" email state that their purpose is to verify whether the account's genuine owner has just signed into it. Recipients are given two options: reporting the user who has just logged in or verifying that it's them. As mentioned in the introduction, these letters are scams. Hence, by clicking the buttons presented in the emails - recipients are redirected to a phishing webpage.

Phishing sites are designed to record entered information and then send it to the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. These webpages are often presented as sign-in pages to legitimate platforms or services (e.g., disguised as the log-in page to Facebook accounts). Therefore, any log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, usernames, and passwords) entered into such websites are exposed, thereby allowing the sites' designers to steal the corresponding accounts. Scammers can use social networking and social media accounts to assume the genuine owner's identity and then ask the contacts/friends for loans. Alternatively, the hijacked accounts can be used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware - by sharing infectious files. To summarize, by trusting the fake "Facebook" emails, users can lose access to their accounts, experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If attempts to sign-in through the phishing webpage have already been made, it is strongly advised to change the log-in credentials immediately. Furthermore, it is recommended to contact the official support of the compromised account.

Threat Summary:
Name Facebook Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that suspicious activity has been detected on recipients' Facebook accounts.
Disguise Emails are disguised as alerts from Facebook.
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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"Microsoft Teams email scam", "Email Account Is Almost Full", and "N26 email scam" are a few examples of spam campaigns similar to "Facebook email scam". Deceptive letters are usually disguised as "official", "important", "priority", "urgent", and so forth. These campaigns are used not only for phishing but also various other scams and malware proliferation. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected through virulent files distributed via spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the deceptive/scam emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of malicious content. Infectious files can be in a variety of formats, e.g., archives, executables, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc. When these files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution. Instead, users are asked to enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands) and warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any links or attachments present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also spread through dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to only use official and verified download channels. Additionally, all programs have to be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. This software is to be used to perform regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the fake "Facebook" email letter:

Subject: SUSPICIOUS CONNECTION TO YOUR ACCOUNT

 

Facebook

 

Dear -,

 

A user just logged into your Facebook account from a new device Samsung Galaxy S10. We are sending you this email to verify it's really you.
Report the user
Yes, me

 

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

 

This message was sent to -. If you don't want to receive these emails from Facebook in the future, please unsubscribe.
Facebook, Inc., Attention: Community Support, 1 Facebook Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025

 

To help keep your account secure, please don't forward this email

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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