Avoid getting scammed by fake "Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken" emails

Also Known As: Volksbank spam
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Volksbank" email scam?

"Volksbank email scam" is a spam campaign targeting German-speaking users. These emails are disguised as mail from the Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken - a real brand of cooperative banks in Germany. The goal of this spam mail is to promote a fake website presented as the genuine site of the aforementioned bank.

It must be emphasized that these deceptive letters are fake, and they are in no way associated with Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken.

Volksbank email spam campaign

"Volksbank" email scam overview

According to a rough translation, the fake "Volksbank" emails concern term and condition updates, which are designed to increase the recipients' data safety in their Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken accounts. The button/link presented in these scam letters redirects to a page mimicking the legitimate Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken website. Interacting with this fraudulent webpage can lead to various severe issues.

Typically, emails like these promote phishing sites, and the one pushed by the "Volksbank" scam messages - likely operates in the same manner.

Phishing is a type of scam designed to extract sensitive information from its victims. These schemes can target personally identifiable data, log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, passwords, passphrases, etc.) of various online accounts, finance-related information, and so forth.

To elaborate, should the scammers behind this spam mail obtain recipients' Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken log-in data - they could potentially gain access to their bank accounts and the funds stored therein.

In summary, trusting scam emails can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Volksbank Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients have to agree to the data-security updates for their bank accounts.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as letters from Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken.
Related Domains vr-datenabgleichsportale[.]com, redtechnologies[.]tech
Detection Names (vr-datenabgleichsportale[.]com) CRDF (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), Sophos (Malware), Sophos (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

"HostEurope Email Scam", "Purchase Contract", "New Incoming Messages Placed On Hold", "YOUR CORPORATE NETWORK HAS BEEN HACKED", "MetaMask Email Scam", and "Microsoft 365 Email Scam" are some examples of scam emails.

Spam mail is commonly used for phishing and other scams, and it is also used to proliferate malware (e.g., ransomware, trojans, etc.). These letters are widespread; therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam mail infects systems via virulent attachments and malicious links. The files (e.g., archives, executables, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) proliferated through these emails - start downloading/installing malware when opened.

Some file formats may require additional user interaction to jumpstart infection processes. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. Versions released after 2010 require user permission since they have "Protected View" mode. Hence, users need to enable macros (i.e., editing/content) manually. Note that infectious documents can contain messages designed to trick users into doing so.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Opening suspicious and irrelevant emails is ill-advised. The attachments and links present in these letters - must never be opened, as they can trigger malware infections. It is also recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam mail, malicious software is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fraudulent updates. Therefore, it is advised 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 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 "Volksbank" scam email letter:

Subject: Wichtige Mitteilung
Wichtige Mitteilung

Sehr geehrter Kunde,

Tag für Tag entwickelt sich unsere Welt Schritt für Schritt. Leider nicht nur ins Gute.
Damit wir in unserer Bank die Sicherheit Ihrer Daten garantieren können, haben wir einige Bedingungen umgestellt.


Wir bitten Sie, sich die neuen Bedingungen gut durchzulesen und zu akzeptieren. Dies können Sie einfach und bequem über den Button tun.


Zum Verfahren


Wir wünschen Ihnen noch einen angenehmen Abend und entschuldigen uns für die Unannehmlichkeiten.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Ihre Volksbank


Volksbank- und Raiffeisenbanken

Screenshot of the fake "Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken" website promoted by this spam campaign:

Volksbank scam email promoted fake banking website

Another example of Volksbank-themed spam email:

Volksbanken-themed spam email promoting a phishing site

Text presented within:

Subject: Änderung unseres SEPA-Lastschriftverfahrens


Wir änderen unsere policy     
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren

Durch eine Änderung in unseren Nutzungsbedingungen müssen wir aufgrund einer neuen Gesetzesgebung jeden Kunden erneut um Zustimmung bitten.
Die Änderungen sorgen für die Sicherheit Ihrer Daten, damit Sie auch morgen noch sicher überweisen und online zahlen können. Wir bitten Sie daher, die Änderungen der SEPA-Lastschriftverfahren zu akzeptieren .
Wir bitten Sie, sich bald mit den Änderungen vertraut zu machen.
Dies können Sie einfach über den Button tun.

Mitteilung ansehen

Wir wünschen Ihnen noch einen angenehmen Tag

Einen schönen Tag noch und beste Grüße
Ihr Volksbank Kundenservice

Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken 2021

Yet another example of Volksbank-themed spam email:

Volksbank-themed spam email (2022-02-10)

Text presented within:

Subject: Änderungen ihres Kontos


Anpassung des Bankkontos     
Sehr geehrte(r) Kunde/Kundin,

Durch den Jahreswechsel hat die EU uns Volksbank den Auftrag erteilt Ihre Konten abzugleichen und wenn notwendig zu aktualisieren.

Betroffen davon ist das neue PSD 2 Gesetz was besagt, dass diese jedes Jahr stichprobenartig neu gewertet werden muss.

Wir Ihre VR-Bank sind bereits informiert.

Nun bitten wir sie als Kunden Ihre Angaben erneut zu verifizieren, damit unsere Bankmitarbeiter*in Ihre eingegeben Informationen erfassen können.

Zur Umstellung

Einen schönen Tag noch und beste Grüße Ihr Sicherheitsteam der Volks und Raiffeisenbanken

Herzlichste Grüße und viel Glück im neuen Jahr!

Volks- und Raiffeisenbank 2022.
Wir bedanken ihre Aufmerksamkeit und wünschen ihnen Alles Gute!

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Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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; hence, thousands of users receive the same email letter. Cyber criminals distribute spam mail in large-scale operations - hoping that at least some of the recipients will fall for their scams.

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

If you have provided account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support. For example, if you've disclosed this information when tricked by fake "Volksbank" emails - inform the genuine Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken support. And if you have provided other personal data (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, merely reading a spam email is not enough to trigger an infection. Malware download/installation is jumpstarted by opening/clicking the files attached to or links present in spam mail.

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. However, you might have avoided a system infected if it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, etc.) to start downloading/installing malicious software.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices, detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. However, running a complete system scan is essential - since high-end malicious programs typically 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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