How to recognize email scams like Unicaja Banco phishing email

Also Known As: Unicaja Banco phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "Unicaja Banco" email scam?

After examining this email, we learned that it is sent by scammers who pretend to be Unicaja - a Spanish savings bank. The whole letter is written in the Spanish language. It contains a website link. Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into opening that link and providing personal information.

Unicaja Banco emai scam

More about the Unicaja Banco email scam

This email is disguised as a letter regarding Unicaja's security systems update. It claims that the activation of the banking application expires on 26.07.2022 (the date may vary). It asks to log in to renew the activation to continue using online services. The email instructs recipients to verify their identity via the provided website link.

The link in this email opens a fake Unicaja bank website. Scammers behind it aim to trick visitors into providing personal information (details required to log in to an online banking account). Scammers may use this information to access accounts and make fraudulent transactions. Or they may sell it to third parties. They may also try to use the obtained login credentials to access other online accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Unicaja Banco Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A banking application expires on the specified date
Disguise Letter from Unicaja (Spanish savings bank)
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

As a rule, phishing emails are disguised as official/important/urgent letters from legitimate entities (e.g., companies, organizations). Scammers use them to trick recipients into providing sensitive information. Typically, recipients are asked to provide credit card details, login credentials, social security numbers, or other information.

Examples of similar emails are "Server Configuration Manager Email Scam", "Password Verification Email Scam", and "Your Group Sent You A Message Email Scam". Emails can be used not only to extract information but also to spread malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Computers become infected via emails after opening malicious attachments or links. In both cases, recipients cause computer infections by downloading and executing malware. Typically, threat actors use malicious MS Office, PDF documents, ISO files, archive files like ZIP, RAR, or JavaScript files to distribute malicious software.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Note that irrelevant emails sent from unknown email addresses often contain malicious links or attachments. Carefully examine emails of this kind before opening files or links in them. Download software from legitimate (official) pages and stores. Avoid using other sources like P2P networks, shady pages, third-party downloaders, torrent sites, etc.

Update and activate the installed software and operating system using tools provided by the official developers and keep it up to date. Use reputable antivirus software for computer protection.

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 "Unicaja Banco" letter:

Subject: Actualización de los sistemas de seguridad.

Estimado cliente,

La activación de su aplicación bancaria expira el 26.07.2022.
Por favor, conéctese para renovar su activación y poder utilizar sus servicios en línea.
Por favor, verifique su identidad con nuestros servicios.
Haga clic aquí para verificar su identidad:

Contact: ir@unicaja.es

Teléfono: 952 076 263

© 2022 Unicaja Banco. Todos los derechos reservados.

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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?

This email is not personal. It was sent to all addresses in the scammers' database. It means that this email was sent even to people who do not speak Spanish and are not customers of the Unicaja bank.

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

If you have provided your username and passwords (or other information required to access Unicaja online banking account), change your passwords and contact the Unicaja bank as soon as possible.

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

If that file was an executable, your computer is probably already infected. However, opening malicious documents, archive files, and other types of files is usually not enough for malware to infiltrate the system.

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

No, your computer is not infected. Cybercriminals only succeed if recipients open received links or files.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all known malware. Typically, high-end malware hides deep in the system. Thus, it is required to run a full system scan to remove malware of this kind.

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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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