How to spot phishing emails like the NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION email scam

Also Known As: NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION" email scam?

Our team has examined this email and found that scammers behind it pretend to be representatives of the Navy Federal Credit Union, a legitimate credit union. It was concluded that this is a typical phishing campaign. Scammers behind it have one goal - to trick recipients into clicking the provided website and entering their bank account login credentials.

NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION email scam email spam campaign

"NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION" email scam in detail

This email is disguised as a letter regarding bank account validation. It states that a recipient has an active Navy Federal Credit Union bank account that requires validation to stay active. In order to validate the account, the email instructs the recipient to fill out the attached validation form. The file attached to this email is named "New Validation Form.html" (its name may vary).

The attached HTML file opens a fake page disguised as the Navy Federal Credit Union's login page requiring the visitor to sign in using a username and a password. Entered login credentials are sent to cybercriminals who will drain the account and probably try to use the provided username and password to access other accounts.

Threat Summary:
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Bank accounts requires validation
Attachment New Validation Form.html (its name may vary)
Detection Names (Attachment) N/A (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from Navy Federal Credit Union
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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Phishing emails in general

Examples of phishing emails are "Validate Now Email Scam", "Email policy & privacy violation Email Scam", "Signed In To From A New Windows Device Email Scam". In most cases, they are disguised as letters from legitimate entities and contain a website link or attachment designed to open a phishing website. Links and files sent by cybercriminals can also be malicious.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

When cybercriminals use emails to deliver malware, they send letters containing attachments or website links. Their goal is to trick recipients into executing a file designed to infect computers with malware. Typically, they use malicious Microsoft Office, PDF, other documents, archives, JavaScript files, executables.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Examine emails containing links or files. Check the email sender's email address and text presented in the email before opening links or files in it. Remember that irrelevant emails sent from unknown or suspicious addresses tend to be malicious. Avoid opening files downloaded from unreliable sources. Always use official pages and direct links as sources for downloading files/programs.

Keep the operating system and programs installed on it up to date. Use tools provided by the official developers to activate and update software. 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 "NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION" email letter:

Subject: Important: Account Validation

Bank Account Validation Form:

You have an active Bank Account with Navy Federal Credit union that requires your validation to stay active.

We are working on providing our customers with value added service by removing dormant accounts from our system.

Your account validation form is attached below, Please fill in all information correctly.

Failure to validate Bank Account will place your account as dormant

Our Members Are the Mission®

Contact Us  |  Security  |  Mobile Banking  |  Privacy Policy  |  View in Browser

Please do not reply to this email. This is an advertisement from Navy Federal. This email is being sent from: Navy Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 3000, Midfield, VA 22119-3000.

Equal Housing Lender  |  © 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union. All rights reserved. NFCU 31689-A (1-22)

Federally insured by NCUA.  |  Unsubscribe

Screenshot of the fake Navy Federal Credit Union's login site (opened through the attached file):

navy federal credit union email scam phishing website

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:

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?

Scammers behind phishing campaigns (and other email scams) do not target anyone in particular - they send emails of this type to all addresses in their databases. Your email has likely been leaked after a data breach.

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

Change all passwords immediately (especially if you use the same login credentials for more than one account). Also, contact your bank (if you are a customer of the Navy Federal Credit Union).

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

No, the file attached to this email is not malicious. However, emails can contain malicious files designed to infect computers with malware. In such cases, executing malicious does infect computers.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, opening an email by itself is completely harmless. Computers cannot be infected without opening files or links in emails.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and get rid of almost all known malware infections. Removing high-end malware requires running a full system scan since malware of this kind is usually hidden deep in the operating system.

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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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