Avoid losing your email account through fake "Meeting Reminder" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is kind of email is "Meeting Reminder"?
Our inspection of the "Meeting Reminder" email revealed that it is spam. This letter operates as a phishing scam targeting email account log-in credentials. By making fake claims about an important document having been shared with the recipients - this scam attempts to trick them into disclosing their email passwords to view the nonexistent file.
"Meeting Reminder" email scam overview
The spam email reminds recipients of an upcoming meeting. Before it happens, the letter requests that an important document (referred to in the email's subject as "Meeting Notice 68447.xls") be reviewed. This fake file was supposedly shared via SharePoint.
When recipients attempt to view the file, they are redirected to a phishing website disguised as SharePoint. This webpage requests an identity confirmation to be provided by signing in with an email account - in order to access the bogus document.
The log-in credentials (passwords) entered into this site will be disclosed to the scammers behind the spam campaign. This information will enable the cyber criminals to steal the exposed emails and potentially the associated content (e.g., accounts registered through the emails).
To elaborate on how this unauthorized access can be abused, communication/social accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask the contacts/friends for loans - under the guise of the genuine owners. Alternately, scammers can use these platforms to proliferate malware by sharing malicious files or links.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting emails like "Meeting Reminder" - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have disclosed log-in credentials to scammers - we strongly advise immediately changing the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and informing their official support.
|Name||Meeting Reminder phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipients have been sent an important document, which they are asked to review.|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Phishing spam campaign examples
We have analyzed countless spam emails; "Unicaja Banco email scam", "Server Configuration Manager", and "Password Verification" are a few of our newest finds that operate as phishing scams.
It is noteworthy that these letters can wear a wide variety of disguises and use different scam models. Furthermore, spam emails are used to distribute trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails and messages must not be opened since that may result in a system infection. Additionally, it is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 - as they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros.
However, malicious software is not proliferated exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating programs with legitimate tools (since illegal activation tools - "cracks" and fake updaters can contain malware).
We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "Meeting Reminder" spam email letter:
Subject: ******** shared "Doc#Reminder: Meeting Notice 68447.xls" with you on 27.7.2022 5:46:33
******** Meeting Reminder
New important document waiting for your approval on ******** SharePoint Storage. Please study Document properly for our next meeting
Please click on the below box and authenticate to view document or join the meeting.
View Document View Document
Unsubscribe - Unsubscribe Preferences
Appearance of the phishing website promoted by the "Meeting Reminder" spam campaign (GIF):
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:
- What is Meeting Reminder phishing email?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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 these emails by the thousand with the hopes that at least some of the recipients will fall for their scams.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have provided other private data (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, just opening/reading an email of this kind will not initiate any malware download/installation chains. Instead, infection processes are triggered when the attachments or links found in spam mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether an infection occurred might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your device was infected. While document formats (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep in systems - therefore, running a complete system scan is crucial.
▼ Show Discussion