Do not trust the Outgoing Mail Error phishing email

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

Outgoing Mail Error scam removal guide

What is Outgoing Mail Error scam?

It is popular among cybercriminals to use email as a tool to trick users into extracting personal information. Email using deception to obtain sensitive details is called a phishing email. As a rule, it contains a website link leading to a deceptive website asking to provide login credentials (e.g., usernames, email addresses, passwords), credit card details, or other sensitive information. It is important to mention that to trick recipients into providing information, cybercriminals pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. This phishing email is disguised as a notification from the email service provider.

Outgoing Mail Error phishing scam

Cybercriminals behind this phishing email attempt to trick recipients into believing that there is a problem with their email account. They claim that five messages got "stuck" due to a server error and encourage recipients to resend those emails by logging into their email account via the provided website. That deceptive website asks to enter an email address and password (email account login credentials). It is clear that cybercriminals behind this email seek to steal login credentials for email accounts. Usually, cybercriminals check hijacked accounts for messages containing personal information, or they use them to spread spam or malspam (emails with malicious attachments, links), trick other users into transferring them money, or providing personal information. It is also common that cybercriminals monetize stolen accounts/login credentials by selling them to third parties (other cybercriminals) on the darkweb or through other channels. One more important detail about stolen login credentials is that cybercriminals could use them to access other accounts. It works when users use the same login credentials for more than one account.

Threat Summary:
Name Outgoing Mail Error Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails cannot be sent due to server error
Disguise Notification from the email service provider
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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As mentioned in the first paragraph, it is common among cybercriminals to use phishing emails (and websites) to obtain personal information. A couple of examples of other emails of this type are "Verify Your Email Account Scam", "Secure Your Email Scam", and "LinkedIn Email Scam". As mentioned in the first paragraph, most cybercriminals disguise their emails as important, official letters from legitimate companies. It is important to know that emails can be used not only to extract personal information but also to distribute malicious software. "Walmart Email Virus" and "SALAMA Email Virus" are two examples of malspam campaigns.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cybercriminals use emails to trick recipients into infecting their computers by sending download pages for malicious files or malicious attachments. Usually, those files (or attachments) are Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like EXE), archive files (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents. In most cases, those files install malicious software after opening or unarchiving and opening them. It is important to mention that malicious documents opened with MS Office 2010 or newer do not install malware until users enable macros commands (editing/content). Malicious documents opened with older versions infect malware without asking any permission because the aforementioned MS Office versions do not have the "Protected View" mode that prevents malicious documents from installing malware right after they are opened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advisable not to use Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial web pages, third-party downloaders (and installers), and so on as tools to download or install any programs or files. Software, files should come from official websites and via direct links. Another important thing is to update and activate installed software using implemented functions (or tools) that its official developers have created. Third-party, unofficial tools often are designed to infect computers with malware. Besides, it is not legal to activate software with unofficial ('cracking') tools. Furthermore, website links and attachments in irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially when they are included in emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. It is common that emails of this kind are used to trick recipients into infecting installing malicious software. Additionally, a computer should be scanned for viruses regularly, and it should be done using a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the Outgoing Mail Error phishing email:

Subject: Outgoing Message Delivery Failure (Imap Error)


Outgoing Mail Error

  1. to server error, 5 new mails you sent from ******** are stucked in pcrisk.com

Release below to re-send all stuck emails to the destination boxes.
Release Emails
This is a mandatory  pcrisk.com  webmail service sent to ********

Screenshot of the phishing website used to steal login credentials:

outgoing mail error scam deceptive 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.

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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