Avoid getting scammed by fake BNP Paribas emails

Also Known As: BNP PARIBAS spam email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "BNP PARIBAS"?

After inspecting this "BNP PARIBAS" email, we determined that it is spam. While it is presented as a message from the BNP Paribas international banking group, this email is fake and in no way associated with said bank.

This spam letter targets Polish-speaking users and attempts to trick them into disclosing sensitive information by claiming that the telephone number they provided to "BNP PARIBAS" requires confirmation.

BNP PARIBAS email spam campaign

"BNP PARIBAS" email scam overview

According to a rough translation, the fake "BNP PARIBAS" email states that recipients must confirm their secure telephone number to continue using the bank's online services. Should the confirmation process remain unfinished by the listed date, the bank account will be blocked, and unlocking it will require visiting a branch of "BNP PARIBAS". To conclude the process, recipients are urged to click the "Potwierdź mój numer telefonu" button.

During our inspection of the website that this link was supposed to open - it was inaccessible. However, this site holds multiple detections as "phishing" on VirusTotal - and it is likely the intended use of the webpage. While we cannot claim with certainty what information this phishing website seeks, we can list the types of data spam emails usually target.

This BNP PARIBAS" scam email mentions telephone numbers, so it could be the information the scammers wish to acquire. Yet it is just as likely that it targets the log-in credentials of BNP Paribas banking accounts. Scams of this kind often request users to verify their identities by signing in with their email accounts.

Phishing scams operate by coaxing vulnerable data from their victims, often by having them type it into sites or files that record entered information. The obtained data can be used for nefarious purposes or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

For example, stolen emails can be used to gain control over accounts/platforms/services registered with them. Social accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask contacts for loans or distribute malware (by sharing malicious files/links) - under the guise of the genuine owner.

Online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, and other finance-related accounts can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting the "BNP PARIBAS" spam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name BNP PARIBAS spam email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients must confirm their telephone numbers.
Disguise Letter from BNP Paribas bank.
Related Domains wisewaysconsulting[.]com
Detection Names (wisewaysconsulting[.]com) Comodo Valkyrie Verdict (Phishing), Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), 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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Phishing spam campaign examples

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION email scam", "Habib Bank AG Zurich email scam", "Validate Now", and "Cornèrcard email scam" are just a few examples of those similar to these "BNP PARIBAS" letters.

This mail can wear a wide variety of disguises and use different techniques to reach their goals. In addition to phishing and other assorted scams, spam emails are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., ransomware, trojans, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails are commonly used to spread malicious software. They can have infectious files attached to them or contain links leading to compromised websites (designed to stealthily download/install malware or to trick users into doing so themselves).

Virulent files can be executables, archives, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc. Once a malicious file is opened - the infection process is jumpstarted.

For example, such a document opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions immediately executes malicious macro commands - thus triggering malware download/installation. Newer MS Office versions have "Protected View" mode - hence, macros can only be enabled manually (i.e., editing/content allowed). Note that infectious documents often contain deceptive messages to lure users into enabling macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail - must not be opened/clicked, as doing so can cause a system infection. Additionally, it is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

However, malware is not spread exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Furthermore, software must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as those obtained from third-parties may contain malware.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and updated. Security programs have to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "BNP PARIBAS" email letter:

Subject: Potwierdzenie podstawowego numeru telefonu!


Otrzymałeś nową wiadomość na Bnpparibas Bank potwierdzającą Twój bezpieczny numer telefonu, dzięki czemu możesz bez wyjątku nadal korzystać z naszych usług online.

Musisz zakończyć aktualizację przed 30.03.2022 , w przeciwnym razie Twoje konto zostanie zablokowane i będziesz musiał odwiedzić jeden z naszych oddziałów Bnpparibas Bank.

Potwierdź swój numer telefonu, klikając poniższy link:

Potwierdź mój numer telefonu

Bnpparibas Bank - POLSKA

Copyright 2022, Bnpparibas Bank NV Polska, Warszawa.

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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; cyber criminals distribute them by the thousand with the hopes that at least some of the recipients will fall prey.

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 possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support. And if you have disclosed other personal information (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 a spam email will not trigger any infection processes. Malware download/installation is initiated when the attached files or website links present in this mail - 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 (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided jumpstarting an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional user interactions (e.g., enabling macro commands - editing/content) - to start downloading/installing malicious programs.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all of the known malware infections. It must be stressed that high-end malicious software tends to hide deep within systems - therefore, running a full system scan is crucial.

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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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