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Avoid getting scammed by fake "Amazon Prime" emails offering exclusive deals

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Amazon Prime" email scam?

"Amazon Prime email scam" refers to a spam campaign. These German-language scam emails claim that recipients have been selected to get a special offer on Amazon Prime - the subscription program of the tech giant's Amazon's e-commerce section.

It must be emphasized that the letters in question are fake and in no way associated with Amazon Prime or Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon Prime email spam campaign

"Amazon Prime" email scam overview

According to a rough translation, the fraudulent "Amazon Prime" emails state the recipient has been chosen to receive a special offer. To get the offer, recipients are requested to complete a survey. When the confirm button ("BESTÄTIGEN") is clicked, it redirects to the fake survey page. After the questionnaire, the deceptive website displays an offer of a brand new Apple iPhone that can be purchased for two euros.

As mentioned in the introduction, these emails are illegitimate. Therefore, users will not receive any products bought at an unbelievably discounted rate. Furthermore, victims of this scam can experience other severe issues as well.

Emails scams like the fake "Amazon Prime" can operate by tricking victims into paying bogus fees for nonexistent products/gifts (e.g., taxes, shipping, subscription, etc.). Such schemes often request the payments to be made via dubious payment gateways that work as phishing scams. This type of webpage records the information entered into it.

Phishing can target a wide variety of data, e.g., personally identifiable details, account log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), credit card numbers, and other vulnerable information. Finance-related data can be used by cyber criminals to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.

Phishing letters can also target the log-in credentials of emails and other accounts. Emails are of particular interest as through them - control might be gained over other accounts and platforms connected to them. E-commerce accounts are sought after as they can be used to make unauthorized purchases on the platform. Alternatively, these accounts can store finance data, which can then be used for nefarious purposes.

To summarize, by trusting these "Amazon Prime" or other scam emails - users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Amazon Prime Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients can get a special offer by completing a survey.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as notifications form Amazon Prime.
Related Domains location-prime.powerteamsports[.]com
Detection Names (location-prime.powerteamsports[.]com) Avira (Phishing), Emsisoft (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Webroot (Malicious), 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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Spam campaigns in general

"FileShare Email Scam", "Download The Pending Mails Manually", "ING Bank Email Scam", and "Your Email Account Has Been Reported For Spam Abuse" are some examples of spam emails.

In addition to phishing and other scams, deceptive letters are also employed to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). "Craiglist Email Virus", "Adobe Acrobat Email Virus", and "Google Pay Email Virus" are a few examples of such emails.

Spam mail is relatively widespread - therefore, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails distribute malware via infectious files attached to them or download links present in the letters. Virulent files can be Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, or other formats. They trigger the infection chains/processes - when they are opened.

For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This occurs automatically in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents this; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content). Note that infectious documents can contain messages intended to trick users into allowing macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advised against opening suspect and irrelevant emails. The attachments and links found in them - must not be opened/clicked, since they can cause system infections. It is also recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Other common malware distribution techniques include - dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal software activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is crucial to download only from official/verified sources and activate/update software with tools provided by legitimate developers.

Furthermore, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and updated. These programs have 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 fake "Amazon Prime" email letter:

Hallo -

 

Amazon Prime ist für alle!

 

Herzliche Glückwünsche!
Der Besitzer dieser E-Mail-ID wurde für ein Sonderangebot ausgewählt.

 

Beantworten Sie alle Fragen, um das Geschenk zu erhalten.

 

BESTÄTIGEN

Appearance of the deceptive website promoted by the "Amazon Prime" spam campaign (GIF):

Amazon Prime scam email promoted website (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:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

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:

Autoruns application appearance

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.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in 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.

Run Windows 8 in 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.

Run Windows 10 in 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 archive and run Autoruns.exe application

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.

Refresh Autoruns application results

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".

Delete malware in Autoruns

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.

Search for malware and delete it

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?

Cyber criminals send the same spam email to thousands of users - in the hopes that at least some of them will fall for their scam. Hence, this mail is not personal.

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

If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if the provided data was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

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 initiate any malware download/installation chains. Infections are triggered when attachments or links present in such letters - are opened/clicked.

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

If the opened file was an executable, then most likely - yes, your system was infected. However, you might have avoided triggering such processes if it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.). These formats can require additional actions (e.g., macro commands enablement, etc.) - to begin downloading/installing malicious software.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. It must be stressed that running a full system scan is crucial - since that high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

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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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