How to spot phishing emails like Your Group Sent You A Message

Also Known As: Your Group Sent You A Message phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Your Group Sent You A Message"?

After examining the email, our team has concluded that it is a phishing email containing a link that opens a deceptive page. The purpose of this email is to trick recipients into providing sensitive information. It is disguised as a letter regarding some final report.

Your Group Sent You A Message email scam

"Your Group Sent You A Message" scam in detail

Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into believing that they have received a shared document ("March Final Reports"). This letter contains the "Open Report" hyperlink that opens a phishing website. Additionally, the email claims that it was scanned by BitDefender (a legitimate antivirus) to make an impression that it is safe to click the link.

The website scammers use to trick recipients into providing sensitive information poses as a login page. It asks to login into the account using an email address and a password. Scammers attempt to steal login credentials that they could use to access email, social media, and (or) other accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Your Group Sent You A Message Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim You have received a message from your group
Disguise Letter from a group
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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Emails of this type in general

As a rule, phishing emails are disguised as important/urgent/official letters from legitimate entities (e.g., banks, email service providers). Most of them contain a link (or links) designed to open a deceptive page asking to provide personal/sensitive information like passwords, credit card details, etc.

Scammers use stolen information to hijack accounts and (or) sell it to third parties. Depending on the type of stolen accounts, they can be used to distribute malware, make fraudulent transactions, purchases, etc.

More examples of phishing emails are "Message Failure Receiving Notice Email Scam", "Your OneDrive Is Inactive And Will Soon Be Deleted Email Scam", and "Impex Delivery Services Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malware cannot infect computers until it is executed by users. Emails used to deliver malware contain malicious attachments or links. In both cases, threat actors attempt to trick recipients into downloading and opening malicious files by themselves.

Most threat actors use MS Office, PDF documents, executables, archives, JavaScript, and other files to distribute malware. Not all files infect computers immediately after execution. For example, malicious MS Office documents cannot inject malware unless users enable macros commands (editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments and links received from unknown/suspicious addresses. Always examine irrelevant emails before clicking/opening their contents. Remember that emails containing malware usually are disguised as official letters from legitimate companies or other entities.

Also, update and activate installed programs with tools provided by their official developers. Avoid using untrustworthy sources to download files and software. Download them from official websites.

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 "Your Group Sent You A Message" email letter:

Subject: ********* New Document

********* Document

*********, Your Group sent you a message.
Here is the attached copy of shared ********* March Final Reports.

[Open Report]

Screenshot of the phishing website:

your group sent you a message email scam phishing page

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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?

Most scammers use email addresses that have been compromised in a data breach. They send the same email to all addresses (their emails are not personal).

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

If you have provided your password, change your passwords as soon as possible. In other cases (if you have provided credit card details, ID card information, etc.), contact the corresponding authorities.

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

If that file is executable (like a .exe file), it is very likely that your computer is already infected. Other files (e.g., Microsoft Office, PDF documents, archive files) do not infect computers until additional steps are performed.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, an email cannot infect a computer. Malware infiltrates the system after the execution of a malicious file.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove malware from your computer. It can detect almost all known malware. It is important to scan computers infected with high-end using a full system scan option. It is because malware of this kind usually hides deep in the system and cannot be detected using a quick scan.

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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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