What is "Your Outlook Account was logged in" email scam?
"Your Outlook Account was logged in" is the name of an email spam campaign. These emails claim that a suspicious log-in was detected on recipients' Outlook accounts. The goal of these fake letters is to promote a phishing website, which is disguised as an email account sign-in page.
"Your Outlook Account was logged in" email scam overview
The scam emails present recipients with details of the fake log-in and inquire whether they recognize the activity. Should they not, the letters urge to change the allegedly compromised Outlook account's password, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA), and go to the account's settings to remove the suspicious device's access.
The links presented in these fraudulent notifications redirect to a phishing site. The page is disguised as an email account sign-in web page, yet users will inadvertently expose their email passwords by attempting to log in through it. Should log-in attempts have already been made, it is strongly advised to immediately change the passwords of all potentially affected accounts and contact their official support.
Emails are targeted due to being connected with (e.g., used to register) other accounts, platforms, services, etc. Hence, through stolen mail accounts - control might be gained over the content associated with them.
For example, cyber criminals can pretend to be the genuine owners of a communication account (e.g., email, social media, social networking, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends for loans. These platforms can also be employed for malware proliferation - by sharing malicious files and links.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.
To summarize, victims of phishing scams can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Your Outlook Account was logged in Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that a suspicious log-in has been detected to the recipients' Outlook accounts.|
|Disguise||Scam emails are disguised as notification from Microsoft Outlook's official support|
|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
"WalletConnect email scam", "you have used up your mail storage", and "Your email account has been reported for spam abuse" are a couple examples of phishing emails.
The letters distributed through such campaigns can use various disguises and scam models. In addition to a broad range of schemes, this mail is also used to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise care with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process is triggered when a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that stops this process; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content).
It must be emphasized that virulent documents often contain instructions intended to trick users into allowing the macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
It is ill-advised to open suspicious and irrelevant emails. The attachments and links present in such letters - must not be opened, as they are potential origins of system infections. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Aside from spam mail, malware is spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Hence, it is crucial to always download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with functions provided by genuine developers.
It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and updated. 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 "Your Outlook Account was logged in" scam email letter:
Subject: Email Account Login from a new device
Your Outlook Account was logged in to from Chrome (Mac OS X) near Kingwood, TX.
Time: November 8, 2021, 13:18 AM CST
IP address: 188.8.131.52
If this wasn't you, please take the following steps:
Change your password, and turn on two-factor identification.
Go to your email settings to remove the device from your account.
Be aware that this login may have come from a third-party service. Outlook doesn't support third-party services, but connecting them to your email account can trigger alerts like this.
If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center.
The Outlook Team
This is an e-mail message sent automatically by Microsoft Outlook while testing the settings for your account.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "Your Outlook Account was logged in" spam campaign:
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 Your Outlook Account Was Logged In 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 not personal; they are sent by the thousand in large-scale operations. Scammers distribute the letters in the hopes that at least some of the recipients will fall for their deception.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you've entered account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support. Should the disclosed information have been of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the corresponding authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening and reading a spam email will not trigger any infection processes. Instead, malware download/installation is initiated by opening the email attachments or clicking the links found in the letters.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether an infection was triggered - depends on the file's format. If it was an executable, then most likely - yes. However, document formats (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.) can require additional actions (e.g., macro command enablement) to initiate infection processes.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malicious software usually hides deep within the system. Therefore, performing a full system scan is crucial.