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.
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.
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
"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.
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
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.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Account Missing Or Incomplete" spam campaign:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
- What is Account Missing Or Incomplete 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.