What is the fake "Facebook" email?
"Facebook email scam" refers to a spam campaign, a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The messages 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 messages 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.
The scam emails with the subject/title "SUSPICIOUS CONNECTION TO YOUR ACCOUNT" (this 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 states 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 is them. As mentioned, these messages are scams.
By clicking the buttons presented in the emails, recipients are redirected to a phishing web page. Phishing sites are designed to record entered information and then send it to the scammers/cyber criminals behind them. These web pages 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 the 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.
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 web page have already been made, change your log-in credentials immediately. Furthermore, contact the official support of the compromised account.
|Facebook Email Scam
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|Scam emails claim that suspicious activity has been detected on recipients' Facebook accounts.
|Emails are disguised as alerts from Facebook.
|Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
|Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
|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.
"Microsoft Teams email scam", "Email Account Is Almost Full", and "N26 email scam" are some examples of spam campaigns similar to "Facebook email scam". These deceptive messages are usually disguised as "official", "important", "priority", "urgent", and so on.
The campaigns are used not only for phishing but also various other scams and malware proliferation. Due to the widespread nature of spam mail, exercise caution with incoming emails.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Typically, ransomware and other malware is distributed through malspam campaigns, fake software updating tools, untrusted download sources, unofficial (third party) software activation tools and Trojans. Users infect computers with malware when they open malicious files that they receive via email.
They can also infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Examples of dubious file/software download channels are Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, various free file hosting sites and freeware download websites.
Users infect computers through these channels when they download and execute malicious files, which are often disguised as legitimate and regular. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate licensed software free of charge (illegally), however, rather than activating anything, they often install malicious programs.
Trojans are rogue programs that, if installed, install other malware (causing chain infections).
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 fake "Facebook" email message:
Subject: SUSPICIOUS CONNECTION TO YOUR ACCOUNT
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
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
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- What is Facebook spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.