Avoid having your bank account compromised through fake M&T Bank emails

Also Known As: fake M&T Bank phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "M&T Bank" email scam?

Our inspection of the "M&T Bank" email revealed that it is spam that operates as a phishing scam. This fake letter is presented as a payment notification from the M&T Bank - a legitimate bank holding company.

However, users are redirected to a fraudulent banking website when they attempt to use the link within the email to cancel the charge. These sites are classified as phishing scams, and they target a wide variety of vulnerable data (e.g., banking account log-in credentials, etc.).

M&T Bank email spam campaign

"M&T Bank" email scam overview

This spam email not only mentions M&T Bank but also uses its logo. The fake payment alert from "M&T Bank" informs the recipient that over 400 US dollars will be transferred from their account as payment for an unspecified purchase from Amazon.com. If the recipient did not make this purchase/transaction, the email instructs them to cancel it by clicking the provided link.

While, at the time of research, the fake bank site did not work - its purpose is clear. Emails of this type promote phishing webpages that record sensitive information typed into them - usually, victims' bank account log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, passwords, passphrases, etc.). By stealing banking accounts - cyber criminals can make unauthorized transactions and online purchases.

It must be emphasized that these spam emails are in no way associated with either M&T Bank Corporation or Amazon.com, Inc.

In summary, via emails like these fake "M&T Bank" letters - users can experience severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already fallen victim to such a phishing scam, we strongly advise changing your log-in credentials and informing the corresponding authorities without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name fake M&T Bank phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's bank account will be charged with a payment for an Amazon purchase
Disguise M&T Bank
Related Domains smartstrategies-bigprofits[.]com
Detection Names (smartstrategies-bigprofits[.]com) Combo Cleaner (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), G-Data (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 inspected countless spam emails; "Meeting Reminder", "Unicaja Banco email scam" and "Server Configuration Manager" are just a few examples of phishing letters.

This mail can have a wide range of disguises, and it commonly mentions real entities to create the impression of legitimacy. In addition to phishing and various scams, spam emails are used to distribute trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can contain infectious files as attachments or download links. These files can be Microsoft Office and PDF documents, executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

After a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is initiated. 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 emails and messages - must not be opened since that can result in a system infection. 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, malware is spread using various methods. Therefore, we also advise downloading from official/trustworthy channels and activating/updating programs with legitimate functions/tools (illegal activation ["cracking"] tools and fake updaters may contain malware).

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This security software has 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 "M&T Bank" spam email letter:

Subject: Support

M&T Bank

Payment Alert

We initiated a payment amounting $428.90 towards AMAZON.COM (AMZN / BILL CA 901/82) from your checkings account. This transaction was initiated on 07/29/2022. This message has been automatically generated and recorded within your account alerts.

If you did not make this transaction please visit www3.mtb.com/fruad/case/10389141 immediately and follow the instructions provided.

Cancel Payment

"M&T Private Client" is the brand name for a banking and investment product and service offering.

Privacy AdChoices Site map Help for homeowners Accessibility Terms of use Security
Member FDIC   Equal Housing Lender
© 2022 M&T & Co.

Another example of M&T Bank-themed spam email spreading a malicious HTML document designed to steal entered login credentials:

M&T Bank-themed spam email spreading a phishing HTML document (2022-12-16)

Text presented within:

Subject: M&T Bank: Mistaken Payment

M&T Bank
Mistaken Payment
Please see the receipt and make the correction

Download on App Store     Android App
Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     MTB

Unless otherwise specified, all advertised offers and terms and conditions of accounts and services are subject to change at any time without notice. After an account is opened or service begins, it is subject to its features, conditions, and terms, which are subject to change at any time in accordance with applicable laws and agreements. Please contact an M&T representative for full details.


Please do not reply to this email. This message was sent from a notification-only email address that cannot accept incoming email. If you have any questions, please contact M&T at One M&T Plaza, 4th Floor, Buffalo, NY 14203, visit mtb.com/email or call 1-800-716-8314.

M&T Bank does NOT initiate emails seeking personal information such as account numbers, card PINs and Social Security numbers. If you receive a suspicious email, please forward it, as an attachment, to us at phishing@mtb.com. For more fraud prevention tips, visit our Security Center. You can also view our Privacy Policy.

As a subscriber of our email list, you can be among the first to know about special offers and promotions from M&T Bank via email. Of course, if you choose not to receive emails from M&T Bank, you can UNSUBSCRIBE, or call 1-800-785-3162 and we will remove you from our email list. Please note, if you choose to opt-out of email, you still may receive service and legal announcements as well as transactional emails regarding your M&T account(s) in accordance with your M&T service agreements.

Screenshot of the attached HTML file:

Malicious HTML document distributed via M&T Bank-themed spam email (2022-12-16)

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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?

Cyber criminals distribute spam emails by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will be tricked by the letters. Therefore, this mail is not personal.

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

If you have disclosed account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if the compromised data is of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact relevant authorities without delay.

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

No, opening such an email will not result in a system infection. Malware download/installation chains are jumpstarted when the files attached to or links included in this mail are opened/clicked.

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

Whether an infection was triggered might depend on the opened file's format. Executables (.exe, .run, etc.) initiate malware download/installation processes almost without fail when they are opened. While document formats (.xls, .doc, .pdf, etc.) may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to do so.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating most of the known malware infections. However, it must be mentioned that since high-end malware tends to hide deep within systems - performing a full system scan is essential.

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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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