Do not trust emails disguised as letters from Banco BPM

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is BANCO BPM email scam?

Phishing emails are used to steal sensitive information, including login credentials (e.g., usernames, email addresses, passwords), credit card details, social security numbers, or other personal data. Typically, emails of this type are disguised as official letters from legitimate companies, organizations and include a fake login website or other website designed to trick people into providing (entering) personal information.

There are at least two variants of this phishing emails. Both of them are disguised as letters from Banco BPM, an Italian bank.

BANCO BPM email scam

Scammers behind this phishing campaign attempt to trick recipients into believing that access to their Banco BPM account is blocked indefinitely because they have exceeded the time limit allowed to perform security updates for their login credentials. They encourage recipients to unblock the account via the provided website and warn them to do it within three days, otherwise, they will have to pay a fine (a total sum of EUR 45.70).

As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, there are at least two variants of this email scam. Both of them claim that the banking account is blocked and can be unblocked via the provided link ("Inizia l'aggiornamento" or "Esegui l'autorizzazione" button).

In both cases, scammers try to trick recipients into opening a deceptive website that looks like the login page for Banco BPM and entering their identification and PIN codes. It is strongly recommended to ignore scams like the Banco BPM email scam.

Cybercriminals behind them may use provided information to access banking accounts and make unauthorized purchases or sell that information to other cybercriminals. Typically, people who fall for such scams lose access to their accounts, suffer monetary loss, become victims of identity theft, and encounter other problems.

It is important to mention that other banking-related email scams may be used to extract credit card details (e.g., card holder name, expiry date, CVV code).

Threat Summary:
Name BANCO BPM Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Banco BPM account is blocked
Disguise Letter from Banco BPM (an Italian bank)
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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More examples of similar email scams (phishing campaigns) are "E-mail Blacklist", "Emails Rejected On Admin Server", and "Your Cloud Storage Was Compromised". As a rule, they contain a website link designed to open some deceptive websites where visitors are asked to enter personal information.

Although, some scammers may ask to send them that information directly via email. In one way or another, emails of this kind have to be ignored. It is important to remember that links or attachments in emails can be used to deliver malware.

A couple of examples of emails used to trick recipients into opening malicious files are "Contech Email Virus", "Air Sea Land Email Virus", and "THUAN HIEP THANH Email Virus".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails used to deliver malware contain malicious attachments or website links. Cybercriminals behind them seek to trick recipients into downloading and opening malicious files, such as Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executables files (e.g., EXE), PDF documents, and archive files (like ZIP, RAR).

In most cases, cybercriminals claim that files in their emails are important documents (e.g., purchase orders, invoices). It is important to mention that malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or any other newer version do not install malicious software on computers unless users enable content or editing (macros commands).

However, documents opened with older MS Office versions infect computers automatically. It is because older MS versions do not have the "Protected View" mode that prevents malicious documents from installing malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Email attachments and website links in emails that are not irrelevant and sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. Quite often, emails of this kind contain malicious links, files.

If opened, those files install malicious software. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct download links.

Files, programs downloaded via Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third-party downloaders, unofficial pages, etc., can be malicious too. Installed software (and operating system) should be updated and activated using implemented functions or tools that the official software developers provide.

Various third-party tools should not be used neither to update or activate any software. Very often, those tools do not update or activate software, they install malware instead.

Also, it is not legal to 'crack' licensed programs/use 'cracking' tools. Also, the operating system should be scanned for threats regularly.

It is recommended to run those scans using a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and always detected threats removed as soon as possible. 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 one of the BANCO BPM email scams:

Subject: BANCO BPM - Servizio bloccato, Notifica di aggiornamento in sospeso. - ( 747017328627 )

Integrazione BPM
Notifica di aggiornamento di sospeso.

Servizio bloccato Clienti:

Per la tua sicurezza, i nostri servizi sono bloccati indefinitamente perche hai superato il limite di tempo consentito per eseguire aggiornamenti di sicurezza per le tue credenziali.

Per evitare di bloccare completamente il tuo account, devi accedere alla nostra webapp ed eseguire il processo di aggiornamento dei dati di registrazione.

Se non completi il processo online entro il tempo stimato di 03 (tre) giorni, contando dalla data di ricezione di questa newsletter, dovrai presentarti di persona presso una delle nostre filiali piu vicine e pagare una multa per un importo di EUR 45.70 per eseguire questa procedura.

Gruppo IVA Banco BPM

Inizia l'aggiornamento.


Rappresentante del Gruppo IVA Banco BPM Partita IVA 153089506604

Screenshot of another BANCO BPM email scam variant:

banco bpm email scam another variant

Text in this variant:

Subject: BANCO BPM GRUPPO BANCARIO - Stimato Cliente il tuo accoutn è stato bloccato aggiornare i dati ora per sbloccare. - (877089645247)

Sistema di notifica di sicurezza

Gentile cliente

Il nostro sistema di monitoraggio in tempo reale ha rilevato che le tue credenziali di sicurezza, insieme al token BPM e/o alla lettera dei servizi telematici, sono in attesa di aggiornamento e/o autorizzazione per l'uso.

Per questo motivo, per evitare problemi e proteggere i tuoi dati, stiamo bloccando l'accesso ai nostri servizi, parzialmente o completamente.

Per evitare la sospensione di tutti i nostri servizi, e necessario eseguire la procedura per aggiornare e/o migliorare le proprie credenziali e il token BPM e/o la lettera dei servizi telematici.

Utilizzare il pulsante qui sotto per eseguire il processo in modo sicuro e completamente online.

Esegui l'autorizzazione.

Esegui la procedura sopra menzionata ed evita la sospensione totale o parziale del tuo account.
Cio manterra il tuo account aggiornato e sicuro.

Rappresentante del Gruppo IVA Banco BPM Partita IVA 10537050964

Screenshot of the fake Banco BPM login page:

banco bpm email scam fake banco bpm login page

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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Quick menu:

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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