Avoid having your email account stolen via fake "DBS Bank" emails

Also Known As: DBS Bank spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "DBS Bank email scam"?

"DBS Bank email scam" refers to 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 are disguised as messages from DBS Bank - a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation. It must be emphasized that these scam emails are in no way associated with the genuine DBS Bank.

This spam campaign aims to promote a phishing website targeting email accounts. It is presented as a sign-in page; email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and passwords) entered into it are recorded and sent to the scammers.

DBS Bank email spam campaign

"DBS Bank" scam email in detail

The fake "DBS Bank" emails (subject/title "Fwd: Bank Fund Transfer//MT103"; may vary) informs recipients that the DBS Bank has made a payment to their account. When users attempt to review the "attached receipt", they are redirected to the phishing site.

The webpage has two fields into which users are to enter their email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords). By attempting to log in through this page, users will inadvertently expose their email accounts to the scammers behind these "DBS Bank" letters.

Scammers are particularly interested in emails as they are typically connected to (e.g., used to register) other accounts, platforms, and services. Therefore, through stolen email accounts - access/control might be gained over content associated with them.

To elaborate how hijacked accounts can be abused, communication platforms (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to proliferate malware by sharing malicious files or links. Alternatively, scammers can pretend to be the account's genuine owner and ask their contacts/friends for loans or donations.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or unauthorized online purchases.

In summary, by trusting the "DBS Bank" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If attempts to sign in through the phishing website have already been made - the log-in credentials of the potentially compromised accounts must be changed immediately. Furthermore, it is recommended to contact the official support of the exposed platforms.

Threat Summary:
Name DBS Bank Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim that recipients have received a payment.
Disguise Scam emails are presented as messages from DBS 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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Spam campaigns in general

"RingCentral email scam", "Apple cloud Subscription email scam", and "BANCO BPM email scam" are a couple examples of phishing spam campaigns. The emails sent through these large operations are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "priority", "important", and similar. Spam mail is not used just for phishing and other scams, it is also employed to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).

Due to the prevalence of scam letters, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with coming messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malicious software via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of such files.

Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered.

For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process is initiated the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010.

Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), and they are warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also spread through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates.

Therefore, it is important to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and to 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 "DBS Bank" scam email letter:

Subject: Fwd: Bank Fund Transfer//MT103




We have made payment to you account on Friday, Please see attached receipt from our bank.

1 Attachment | 09372-9374.pdf


-----Original Message-----
From: ******
To: Accounts Dept2
Date: Friday, 18 July 2021 3:47 PM
Subject: Bank Fund Transfer//706.20


Dear Customer,


Attach is your receipt


Yours Sincerely,
DBS Bank Ltd
hotline at 1800-222-2200


This attached Advice is sent to you for information only.This is an automatically generated notification.Please do not reply to this email. Contact us at our corporate hotline at 1800-222-2200 between 8:30am to 6:15pm, for any service


1 Attachment | 09372-9374.pdf

Appearance of the "DBS Bank" scam email (GIF):

DBS Bank scam email appearance (GIF)

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted via the "DBS Bank" spam campaign:

DBS Bank scam email promoted phishing website

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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.

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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.

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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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