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How to recognize phishing emails like Outlook Email Quota email scam?

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is Outlook Email Quota email scam?

Scammers use phishing emails to trick unsuspecting recipients into providing login credentials (like usernames, email addresses, passwords), credit card details, bank account numbers, or other personal information. Most phishing emails look like letters from legitimate companies. This email is disguised as a letter from the email service provider.

Outlook Email Quota email scam email spam campaign

Outlook Email Quota email scam in detail

Scammers use this phishing email to extract email account login credentials (email addresses and passwords). Scammers attempt to trick recipients into believing that their email account is out of storage space and upgrading their mail quota via the provided "Upgrade Mailbox Quota" link.

That link opens a fake Yahoo login page asking to provide an email address and a password. Stolen credentials are likely to be used to send phishing emails, deliver malware, or sold to third parties. Also, scammers may try to use the provided login credentials to access other accounts (for example, social media, banking accounts).

Threat Summary:
Name Outlook Email Quota Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Mailbox quota has exceeded its size
Disguise Notification from email service provider
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.
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Phishing emails in general

Most scammers behind phishing emails are pretending to be legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. They try to trick recipients into providing personal information. More examples of similar emails are "SF Express Email Scam", "Your Email Will Be Suspended Scam", and "Australia Post Email Scam". Emails also can be used to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

When cybercriminals use email to deliver malware, they seek to trick recipients into opening a malicious attachment or a website link. Their goal is to trick recipients into opening a malicious MS Office or PDF document, executable file, JavaScript file, archive file (its contents), or some other file designed to install malware.

It is important to mention that malicious documents opened with MS Office 2010 and newer cannot infect computers unless users enable macros commands (editing/content). Those MS Office versions have the "Protected View" mode that prevents malicious documents from installing malware. Older versions do not have this mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Attachments (and website links) in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. Software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Installed software has to be updated and activated with tools provided by the official developers.

A computer should be scanned for threats regularly. It is recommended to have a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite installed on a computer and keep it 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 Outlook Email Quota email scam:

Subject: Your Outlook Account is out of storage

Dear ********,
100% full     15 GB

You've used all of your Outlook Email Quota and you have some incoming messages that are placed on hold.
Kindly Upgrade your email mailbox account below to get more storage and access incoming messages, you may cease to receive incoming emails if no action is taken.

Upgrade Mailbox Quota

Outlook Administrator™ Team.
********
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2021

Fake Yahoo login page used to steal login credentials:

outlook email quota email scam fake yahoo page asking to provide login credentials

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Scammers send an identical phishing email to thousands of recipients hoping that someone will fall for it. None of these emails are ever personal.

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

If you have provided any account credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords), then change all passwords as soon as possible. If scammers have been provided other personal information (like as credit card details, ID card information), then contact corresponding authorities.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware if i have opened a malicious file or link in an email received from cybercriminals?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating almost all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that high-end malicious programs usually hide deep in the operating system. Therefore, the operating system has to be scanned using the full system scan.

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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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