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Avoid getting scammed by Account Missing Or Incomplete phishing emails

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

"Account Missing Or Incomplete email scam" removal guide

What is the "Account Missing Or Incomplete" scam email?

"Account Missing Or Incomplete email scam" is the name of a phishing spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - claim that recipients' email accounts require an update due to missing/incomplete information. This spam campaign aims to promote a phishing website disguised as an email account sign-in page. Information entered into this site is recorded and sent to the scammers behind these letters, thereby allowing them to steal the corresponding email accounts.

Account Missing Or Incomplete email spam campaign

The "Account Missing Or Incomplete" letters (subject/title "Action required - Review Alerts Summary"; may vary) inform recipients that their email accounts lack certain information. To avoid account suspension and continue using it, recipients are asked to update the missing/incomplete information. Once the "Update Account" button is clicked, users are redirected to the phishing site. As mentioned in the introduction, it is presented as an email account log-in webpage. By trying to sign in through this page, users will inadvertently expose their email account log-in credentials (i.e., passwords). Therefore, scammers can gain access and control over the accounts.

Emails accounts are of particular interest to scammers and cyber criminals - as they are commonly connected to other platforms and services (e.g., they are registered through the emails). Hence, via stolen email accounts - access may be gained to content associated with them. To elaborate on how this can be abused, hijacked communication platforms (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) can be used to proliferate malware. Furthermore, scammers can ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans - under the guise of the platform's genuine owner.Should compromising or highly sensitive content be found on social or data-storage accounts/platforms, scammers can hold it for ransom under the threat of publication. Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallet, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. To summarize, by trusting the "Account Missing Or Incomplete" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. Should attempts to sign in through the phishing site have already been made, it is strongly advised to change the passwords of the endangered accounts immediately. It is also recommended to contact the official support of all potentially compromised accounts, platforms, and services.

Threat Summary:
Name Account Missing Or Incomplete Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam letters claim that recipients' email accounts need to be updated due to missing/incomplete information.
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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"DHL Package Tracking Confirmation", "System Administrator Quota Update", "Monthly Email Validation", and "Rabobank email scam" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns. They target a wide variety of data; primarily, the log-in credentials of various accounts and personal information (e.g., names, surnames, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc.). Spam campaigns are not used exclusively for phishing and other scams; they are also employed to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is important to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the deceptive/scam emails. Alternatively, these letters can contain download links of infectious files. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process starts the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands), and they are warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening dubious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to use only official and verified download sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. 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 "Account Missing Or Incomplete" scam email letter:

Subject: Action required - Review Alerts Summary


Dear *********,

 

For your safety some information on your account appears to be missing or incomplete.
Please update your information immediately to avoid account suspension so that you can continue to enjoy
all the benefits of your account.

 

Sorry for any inconvenience caused by our security measures.
Update Account

 

Sincerely,
Webmaster *********

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Account Missing Or Incomplete" spam campaign:

Account Missing Or Incomplete scam email promoted phishing 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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