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Do not trust the MoneyGram email scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is MoneyGram email scam?

Phishing emails are used to trick recipients into providing personal information, for example, credit card details, usernames, passwords, social security numbers. Usually, scammers behind them pretend to be legitimate companies. This particular email is disguised as a letter from MoneyGram - an American money transfer company.

MoneyGram email scam email spam campaign

MoneyGram email scam overview

This email is written in German language. It suggests that the last interaction with the MoneyGram's website (moneygram.de) has been ended improperly and encourages to end the session properly via the provided link to prevent unauthorized access. The provided link is designed to open a fake MoneyGram website.

The main purpose of this phishing email is to trick recipients into opening a fake MoneyGram website and entering their email address and password on it. In other words, scammers use this phishing campaign to trick unsuspecting users into providing login credentials for their MoneyGram accounts.

Since MoneyGram is a money transfer company, scammers could use stolen accounts to make unauthorized transactions (to drain those accounts). Also, they may use stolen accounts to send money requests to other people. It is important to mention that scammers may try to use the provided login credentials to access other accounts.

It is important to mention that cybercriminals can use fake banking (or other) apps to trick users into providing login credentials. In such cases, cybercriminals create a replica of a bank's (or other institution's) app and upload it to a third-party website. If users download the app and enter their login credentials into it, they send them to cybercriminals.

Threat Summary:
Name MoneyGram Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Last MoneyGram session has been finished inappropriately
Disguise Letter from MoneyGram customer support
Related Domain i-travels[.]kz
Detection Names (i-travels[.]kz) Emsisoft (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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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MoneyGram phishing email in general

To summarize, this phishing email is used to extract login credentials for MoneyGram accounts and possibly other accounts that can be accessed with the same email and password. More examples of phishing emails are "New Fax Received", "Email Cloud", and "Wage Increase". It is important to know that emails can be used to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

When cybercriminals use email as a channel to distribute malware, they send letters with malicious files or links in them. In both cases, the purpose of such emails is to trick recipients into opening a file designed to install malicious software. Typically, files used in malspam campaigns are disguised as important, official documents.

In most cases, cybercriminals attempt to trick recipients into opening malicious Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, RAR, ZIP, or other archive files (their contents), JavaScript files, executable files (like EXE). Malicious documents opened with MS Office do not install malware unless users enable macros commands (editing/content) in them.

It is important to know that Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 do not have the "Protected View" mode. It means that malicious documents opened with those versions do not need permission to enable macros commands to infect computers - they install malware once they are opened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advisable not to open files (or website links) in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses. Especially if the subject (and content) of those emails is not relevant. It is very common for emails of this kind contain malicious attachments or website links.

Programs should not be downloaded (or installed) via third-party downloaders (or installers), from unofficial websites, or other sources of this kind. It is common that those sources are used as tools to trick users into installing malware. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links.

Installed software has to be activated and updated with tools, functions provided by its official developer. It is not legal to activate the installed software with cracking tools. Also, cracking tools (and third-party updaters) can be (and often are) malicious. Typically, users download them from unofficial websites or through other unreliable sources.

The operating system should be scanned for threats regularly. It is recommended to scan it with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and that software up to date. 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 MoneyGram email scam:

Subject: SPECIAL NOTICE : ID45254576195780384267

SEHR GEEHRTER MONEYGRAM-KUNDE

Es tut uns leid, Ihnen mitteilen zu müssen, dass Ihre letzte Sitzung mit dem Onlinedienst moneygram.de nicht korrekt beendet wurde.

Aus diesem Grund bitten wir Sie zu Ihrer Sicherheit, die Sitzung umgehend zu beenden. Um zu verhindern, dass Ihr Zugriff von jemandem außerhalb von Ihnen verwaltet wird

KLICKEN SIE HIER, UM DIE EINRICHTUNG DER SESSION ZU BEENDEN >>

Vielen Dank, dass Sie ein Moneygram-Kunde sind

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

MONEYGRAM CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Fake MoneyGram website used to steal login credentials (email addresses and passwords):

moneygram email scam fake moneygram website

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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