Avoid exposing your Cornèrcard accounts through phishing emails

Also Known As: Cornèrcard phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "Cornèrcard email scam"?

After receiving this email, our researchers determined that it is a phishing email. The "Cornèrcard" letter in question is fake and in no way associated with Cornèr Bank - a Swiss private bank and credit card business. These emails target French-speaking users and attempt to trick them into disclosing their Cornèrcard account log-in credentials.

Cornèrcard email spam campaign

"Cornèrcard email scam" overview

According to a rough translation, the fake "Cornèrcard" email claims that recipients need to update their accounts. The letter requests confirmation of the recipient's identity to ensure that they are the account's genuine owner. If this is not verified, all online banking operations be suspended to avoid fraud.

When we pressed the link presented in this scam email, it redirected us to a phishing website. This site is nearly identical to Cornèrcard's actual sign-in page.

However, any information (usernames/passwords) entered into the fake webpage will be sent to the scammers behind this spam mail. With this data in their possession, the cyber criminals could potentially gain access/control over the victims' Cornèrcard accounts, which could result in serious privacy issues and significant financial losses.

Threat Summary:
Name Cornèrcard Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients' Cornèrcard accounts were updated and require verification.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as notifications from Cornèrcard/ Cornèr Bank.
Related Domains sasmet.com[.]br
Detection Names (sasmet.com[.]br) Emsisoft (Phishing), Netcraft (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

We have written about many spam campaigns; "MojeBanka email scam", "Account version is outdated", "Česká Pošta email scam", "Wage Bonus/Allowances", and "Google Foundation email scam" are just a few examples of those similar to "Cornèrcard email scam".

This mail usually looks legitimate and convincing, although misspelled words and grammar mistakes are not rare. In addition to phishing and other scams, spam emails are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers etc.).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can have infectious files (e.g., executables, archives, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) as attachments or download links. When virulent files are opened - malware download/installation is initiated.

Some file formats need more to begin infection processes. For example, Microsoft Office documents require macro commands to be enabled. Macros are always active in MS Office programs released before 2010; hence, merely opening a malicious document is enough. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content).

Having analyzed countless infectious documents, we have noted that many contain deceptive messages to lure users into allowing macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We advise against opening the attachments and links present in suspicious/irrelevant emails, as they can cause system infections. Another recommendation is using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam mail, malware is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updaters. Therefore, we urge downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating programs with tools provided by legitimate developers.

Furthermore, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats and issues. 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 "Cornèrcard" email letter:

Subject: RE : Cornèrcard

Cher(e) Client(e),

Votre accès en ligne a été mis à jour, veuillez mettre à jour votre compte.

Pour vous assurer que vous êtes le propriétaire légitime du compte, vous devrez reconfirmer les informations de votre compte.

Si cela n'est pas encore terminé, nous devrons suspendre indéfiniment vos opérations bancaires en ligne car elles pourraient avoir été utilisées a des fins frauduleuses.

Pour confirmer votre enregistrement, veuillez suivre le bouton ci-dessous :

Mettre à jour votre compte.

Cordialement, La direction des services en ligne.

2022 Cornèrcard - Cornèr Banque SA, Cornèrcard, Via Canova 16, 6901 Lugano

Screenshot of the phishing website, disguised as Cornèrcard's sign-in page, promoted by this spam campaign:

Cornèrcard scam email promoted phishing site

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Quick menu:

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?

Cyber criminals distribute spam emails in large-scale campaigns - with the hope that at least some of the recipients will be tricked by them. Therefore, thousands of users receive the same letter.

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

If you provided account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information 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, since opening/reading a spam email will not trigger any malware download/installation processes. System infections are caused when the attachments or links found in these emails 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 - yes, your system is most likely infected. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (e.g., .doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). Document formats can require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, etc.) - to begin infection chains.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all of the known malware infections. However, running a complete system scan is paramount - as high-end malicious software tends to 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.

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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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