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Avoid having your email account stolen via "Voicemail" scam emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "Voicemail email scam"?

"Voicemail email scam" refers to a spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - are disguised as notifications concerning a new voicemail.

This spam mail aims to promote a phishing website designed to record information entered into it. The page requests users to sign in using their email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords). Hence, by trying to log in through this webpage - users can have their email accounts stolen.

Voicemail email spam campaign

"Voicemail" scam email in detail

The "Voicemail" email notifies recipients of a new voicemail. It also provides details about the fake voice message. When the "Preview voicemail" button is clicked, it redirects to a phishing site. The webpage targets email account log-in credentials. With this data in their possession, scammers may be able to access/control the exposed emails.

Emails are especially targeted by scammers, as they are typically connected to (e.g., used to register other) accounts, platforms, and services. Through hijacked email accounts, access and control might be gained over the content associated with them.

To elaborate, communication accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to pretend to be the genuine owner and ask their contacts/friends for loans. These platforms can also be employed to spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used for fraudulent transactions and/or unauthorized online purchases. Therefore, by trusting the "Voicemail" scam letters, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

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

Threat Summary:
Name Voicemail Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim a new voicemail has been received
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

"Wage Increase email scam", "UN Covid-19 stimulus package", "Lidl email scam", and "DBS Bank email scam" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns. The emails distributed through these large-scale operations are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "priority", and similar.

Aside from phishing and other scams, spam letters are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., ransomware, trojans, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to how widespread 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 files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of such content. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010.

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

How to avoid installation of malware?

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

Malware is also spread via untrustworthy download sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Hence, only official and verified download channels must be used. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine developers.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and updated. This software has to be used to run 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 "Voicemail" scam email letter:

Account: [recipient's email address]
 
New Voicemail Received

 

info have a new voicemail for (972) 255 - 3400.
Caller Name    Jerry-Anderson
Caller Number    (972) 255 - ***
Duration    00:01:04

 

Preview voicemail 

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Voicemail" spam campaign:

Voicemail scam email promoted phishing site

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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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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