Do not trust the "Anti-spam policy violation" scam emails

Also Known As: Anti-Spam Policy Violation spam
Damage level: Medium

What is "Anti-spam policy violation Email Scam"?

"Anti-spam policy violation Email Scam" is the name of a spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. These letters aim to promote a phishing website, which targets recipients' email accounts.

The scam emails make fake claims that the recipients' email accounts have been detected being in use for spam distribution. The letters try to trick recipients to log into their email accounts through a phishing site that is designed to record information (i.e., passwords) entered into it.

Anti-spam policy violation email spam campaign

"Anti-spam policy violation" email in detail

The "Anti-spam policy violation" scam letters (subject/title "Notice From [********] 7th July 2021 Anti-Spam"; may vary) inform recipients that their email accounts were detected being used from spam activities. Hence, the mail accounts were supposedly blocked.

The deceptive emails warn that unless recipients confirm and update their accounts within 48 hours - they will be permanently suspended. When recipients click "Please review and confirm your account below." or "Check / Confirm your email address" - they are redirected to the phishing website.

Log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords) entered into the promoted page - are exposed to the scammers. Therefore, by trying to sign in through this site - users can have their email accounts stolen, and possibly experience other issues as well.

Scammers are especially interested in email accounts as they are typically associated with (e.g., used to register) other platforms, services, and different content. Hence, via hijacked emails - access might be gained to accounts connected to them. This unauthorized access can be misused variously.

For example, stolen communication platforms (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask for loans - under the guise of the genuine owner. Alternatively, they can be used to spread malware by sharing malicious files or links. Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used by scammers to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting the "Anti-spam policy violation" scam emails, users can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If attempts to sign in through the phishing site have already been made, the log-in credentials of the potentially compromised accounts must be changed without delay. Additionally, it is recommended to contact the official support of the exposed platforms.

Threat Summary:
Name Anti-spam policy violation Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients' email accounts were being used to distribute spam mail.
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

"Novo Banco email scam", "UN Covid-19 stimulus package", "CMA CGM email scam", "Process the order attached" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns. The letters sent through these operations are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", and similar.

Aside from phishing and other scams, deceptive emails are also used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malware. Due to how prevalent spam mail is, it is strongly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via virulent files distributed through spam campaigns. These letters can contain download links of malicious files, and/or they can be attached to the emails. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g., archives , executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.

When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is initiated. 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).

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is strongly advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Malware is also spread 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 recommended to download only from official and verified sources. Additionally, software has to be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

To protect device/user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to remove detected threats. 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 "Anti-spam policy violation" scam email letter:

Subject: Notice From ******** 7th July 2021 Anti-Spam


Anti-spam policy violation


Dear ********


Our current record indicates that your email account ******** was detected from spam activities and has been blacklisted as a result.
You are required to confirm and update your account within 48 hours if you wish to continue using
this email account and failure to do so will lead to permanent suspension of your account..


Please review and confirm your account below.
Check / Confirm your email address


Message Encryption: AES64bit

© 2021 [E-mail Address] Email support. .

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "Anti-spam policy violation" spam campaign:

Anti-spam policy violation email scam promoted phishing site

Another example of an email from "Anti-Spam Policy Violation" spam campaign:

Anti-Spam Policy Violation spam email (2023-09-28)

Text presented within:

Subject: Attention: Manual Upgrade Required for ********

Violation of anti-spam policy

Dear ********

Our current record indicates that your email account  ******** was detected of spam activities.You must confirm and update your account within 48 hours if you wish to continue using this email account; otherwise your account will be permanently suspended.
Please login to review and confirm your account below.


Please note that this process is mandatory for all .com subscribers
Message encryption   : AES 64 bit
© 2023 .com email support.

Screenshot of the phishing site promoted via this email:

Phishing site promoted via Anti-Spam Policy Violation spam email (2023-09-28)

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Cyber criminals distribute spam emails in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If you have provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact relevant authorities without delay.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked; merely reading an email is harmless.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was infected. However, you might have avoided an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats can require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to initiate malware download/installation processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan devices and remove detected threats. It can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. Note that since sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep within systems – performing a complete system scan is crucial.

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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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