What is the "you have used up your mail storage" email scam?
"You have used up your mail storage" is the name of an email spam campaign. These letters claim that the recipients' email accounts will be blocked due to exceeded storage limits - unless they are upgraded. The goal of this spam mail is to push a phishing website that is disguised as an email account sign-in webpage.
"You have used up your mail storage" email scam overview
The "you have used up your mail storage" scam letters inform recipients that they will not receive any emails because their accounts have reached the storage limit. To continue receiving messages, recipients are instructed to upgrade their mail accounts.
The link presented in these spam letters - redirects to a phishing website, which is disguised as an email account sign-in page. By attempting to log in through this site, users will inadvertently disclose their email passwords to the scammers behind this spam campaign.
Email accounts are targeted due to being associated with (e.g., used to register) other platforms, services, etc. Therefore, through stolen emails, control might be gained over the content connected to them.
For example, communication accounts (e.g., emails, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to spread malware by sharing malicious files or links. Scammers can also use these platforms to ask the contacts/friends for loans - under the guise of genuine owners.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, digital wallets, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting phishing spam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||you have used up your mail storage Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam letters claim that the recipient will not receive emails, until they upgrade their email account's storage space.|
|Detection Names (qxxcifwcvh.web[.]app)||N/A (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.
Spam campaigns in general
"Office 365 Email Scam", "Your email account has been reported for spam abuse", and "Network Solutions Email Scam" are a couple examples of phishing emails.
This mail can use a broad range of disguises and target a variety of information. Aside from phishing and other scams, spam campaigns are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., ransomware, trojans, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to how widespread spam mail is, exercising caution with incoming emails and messages is strongly advised.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process happens immediately when documents are opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions. Later versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents this; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content).
It is noteworthy that malicious documents commonly contain messages intended to deceive users into allowing macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened. It is expressly advised against opening/clicking attachments and links found in these letters, as they can cause system infections. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Malware is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware websites, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Hence, it is crucial to download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by legitimate developers.
It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. This software has to be used to perform 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 "you have used up your mail storage" scam email letter:
Subject: Your Email Storage is Filled Up
We write to inform you that you have used up your mail storage
limit of 99.0 gigabytes as defined by your system Admin.
You will be blocked from receiving and mailings E-mails
if not upgraded today.
Kindly Add more storage with the link below for immediate upgrade to receive
additional storage space.
ADD MORE STORAGE
******** Service Administrator
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "you have used up your mail storage" spam campaign:
Another example of email storage-themed spam email promoting a phishing site:
Text presented within:
Subject: Your Mail Account is out of storage
You're out of storage and may not receive new emails
- has exceeded the storage limit.
Kindly upgrade your mailbox for free to continue using your email account or risk deactivation.
12 incoming emails are placed on pending because of low storage size.
Increase Storage Limit
Note: This account might be deactivated in 24hours!
2022 - Mailbox. All rights reserved.
Screenshot of the 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:
- What is You Have Used Up Your Mail Storage spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why did I receive this email?
Spam emails are sent in large-scale operations by the thousands. Therefore, the letters are impersonal, and many users receive them.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided account credentials - change the passwords of all endangered accounts and contact the official support. If the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID or credit card details, etc.) - immediately contact corresponding authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening a spam email is harmless. The attachments or links present in such emails initiate infection chains when they are opened.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the file was an executable, then most certainly - yes. However, an infection might not have been triggered if it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.), as such files tend to require additional actions (e.g., macro commands enablement).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malicious software tends to hide deep within the system. Therefore, it is crucial to perform a full system scan.