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Avoid getting scammed by fake "MijnOverheid" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "MijnOverheid email scam"?

"MijnOverheid email scam" is a spam campaign. These spam emails are disguised as letters concerning a tax refund from MijnOverheid - a personal website used to deal with matters relating to the Dutch authorities. It must be emphasized that the scam emails in question are fake and in no way associated with the genuine MijnOverheid.

MijnOverheid email spam campaign

"MijnOverheid email scam" in detail

According to a rough translation, the fake "MijnOverheid" emails claim that recipients are eligible for a 703.79 EUR tax refund. To receive the fraudulent refund, recipients are instructed to click on a link presented in the letters. These scam emails also contain warnings about phishing scams and state that genuine MijnOverheid notifications do not contain links - while containing a link leading to a malicious website.

Spam campaigns like "MijnOverheid" typically aim to obtain sensitive information from their victims. They can promote phishing sites that use varied disguises to acquire vulnerable data (e.g., account usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, banking account information, credit card numbers, etc.).

The extracted data is often used to steal the victim's identity and make monetary transactions, online purchases, loan requests, and similar. Alternatively, the stolen information can be sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and/or used to create personalized scams.

To summarize, by trusting fake "MijnOverheid" emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name MijnOverheid email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim recipients are eligible to receive a tax refund.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as messages from MijnOverheid.
Related Domains nuterug-betalingen[.]buzz
Detection Names (nuterug-betalingen[.]buzz) Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Webroot (Malicious), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), 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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Spam campaigns in general

"Unfortunately, There Are Some Bad News For You", "DHL Undelivered Package Email Scam", "Dropbox Email Scam", "This Is The Last Reminder", "Outlook Email Quota Email Scam", and "Uplift International Charity Lottery Program" are some examples of spam campaigns.

The emails distributed through these operations - are usually presented as "official", "important", "priority", and similar. In addition to phishing and other scams, spam mail is also used to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). Due to the prevalence of this mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can contain virulent files as attachments or download links. These files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so on. When the files are opened - malware download/installation is initiated.

For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins when a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents this process; instead, uses can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content). Note that infectious documents often contain deceptive messages designed to trick users into enabling macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them - as they are origins of potential system infections. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam mail, malware is also proliferated via dubious download channels (e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is advised to download only from official/verified sources and activate/update programs using tools provided by genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove 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 "MijnOverheid" scam email letter:

Subject: Uw teruggave staat klaar


Logo Rijksoverheid
MijnOverheid
 

Geachte heer/mevrouw,


Wij hebben vastgesteld dat u in aanmerking komt voor een terugbetaling.
Uw belastingtoeslag bedraagt 703,79 EUR.

 

Om uw teruggave te ontvangen vragen wij u om uw gegevens te
controleren en te verifiëren. Uw fiscale terugbetaling kan alleen op uw
bankrekening worden bijgeschreven als wij beschikken over de juiste
gegevens.

 

Klik hier om uw aanvraag in te dienen.


Met vriendelijke groet,
MijnOverheid
Logo Rijksoverheid

 

Handig: Berichtenbox app
Post van de overheid direct lezen op uw mobiel of tablet? Dat kan met de Berichtenbox app van MijnOverheid. Download de app via de App Store of via Google Play.
Dit is een automatisch gegenereerd bericht. Een reactie op dit bericht zal niet worden gelezen of beantwoord.

 

MijnOverheid stuurt geen notificaties met een link naar de website. Dit is om te voorkomen dat u met valse e-mailnotificaties naar een namaak-website wordt geleid (zogenaamde phishing). Neem daarom het webadres van MijnOverheid op in uw Favorieten en ga altijd van daaruit naar de website. Ontvangt u toch een e-mailnotificatie met daarin een link, dan is deze dus nooit van MijnOverheid.

Appearance of the "MijnOverheid" scam email (GIF):

MijnOverheid scam email appearance (GIF)

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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Quick menu:

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?

Scam emails are not personal; they are sent by the thousand in large-scale operations.

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

If you've inadvertently disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts without delay and contact their official support. If the information was of a different personal nature (e.g., credit card numbers, ID card details, etc.) - contact the relevant authorities immediately.

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

No, opening a spam email will not initiate infection processes. However, the file attachments and links present in such mail - can start malware download/installation when they are opened/clicked.

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

If the opened attachment was an executable file - then, it is highly likely, that yes - your system is infected. If it was a document (e.g., .pdf, .doc, etc.) - you might have avoided triggering an infection, as these files can require additional actions to jumpstart such processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most known malware infections. However, it is crucial to run a full system scan - since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within the system.

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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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