What is "Wage Increase email scam"?
"Wage Increase email scam" is the name of a spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The scam emails sent through this campaign - notify recipients of a change within the payment structure and a supposed wage increase.
The aim of this spam mail is to promote a phishing website, which targets email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords). The promoted site uses Google APIs - a legitimate service for improving web and app functionalities.
"Wage Increase" scam email in detail
The fake "Wage Increase" emails (subject/title "Updated JULY Payment Structure (Final Post-Covid-19 listing) And Classified Company Docments"; may vary) claim that recipients' wages will increase. The Human Resources department will allegedly provide additional information.
It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by these letters - is false. Should users try to follow the instructions given by the scam emails, they will be redirected to the phishing website. This page requests users to sign in using their email account credentials.
As mentioned in the introduction, the promoted webpage is a phishing site - hence, any information entered into it is recorded and sent to its designers. Therefore, by trying to log in through this website - users can have their email accounts stolen.
Scammers constantly target emails as they are typically connected to (e.g., used to register other) accounts, platforms, and services. Hence, through stolen emails - access/control might be gained over content associated with them. Unauthorized access can be abused in various ways.
For example, communication accounts (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask contacts/friends/followers for loans - under the guise of the genuine owner. These platforms can also be used to spread malware by sharing malicious files or links.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. To summarize, by trusting the "Wage Increase" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If attempts to sign in through the phishing website have already been made, it is crucial to immediately change the compromised log-in credentials. Furthermore, it is recommended to contact the official support of all potentially exposed accounts and platforms.
|Name||Wage Increase Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that recipients' wages will increase|
|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.
Spam campaigns in general
"The BMW Lottery", "Mail Delivery Failure", "Anti-spam policy violation", and "UN Covid-19 stimulus package" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns. These scams target the log-in credentials of various accounts/platforms, as well as personally identifiable information.
However, these large-scale operations are not used exclusively for phishing and other scams, they are also employed to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). Due to how common spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This occurs 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 editing/content (i.e., macro commands), and they are warned of the risks.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid infecting the device through spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. Furthermore, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Malware is distributed via dubious download sources (e.g., unofficial/freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to download from official/verified sources. Additionally, programs must be activated/updated using tools provided by genuine developers.
It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to perform regular system scans and 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 "Wage Increase" scam email letter:
Subject: Updated JULY Payment Structure (Final Post-Covid-19 listing) And Classified Company Docments
As already announced, The year's Wage increase will start in June of 2021
and will be paid out for the first time by July, with recalculation as of June.
You will be informed of the details in advance by letter from the Human Resource department.
Screenshot of the phishing webpage promoted by the "Wage Increase" spam campaign:
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:
- What is "Wage Increase email scam"?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of possible malware infections.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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.